A Twitter Friend: An Environmental Columnist Shares Some Thoughts…
“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.” ~Theodore Roosevelt, seventh annual message, 3 December 1907
One of the great benefits of joining social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and such is the convenience of connecting with some of the most talented, informed, interesting and successful people around. From my first week of tweeting till now, I have had, as so many others have, the opportunity to converse and collaborate with some pretty creative and impressive folk. My Twitter friends are terrific.
As I’ve said in other interviews here, the goal remains to share insights and stories from my interviewees and present the real people behind the many usernames that greet us on myriad sites. Theodora Filis is a twitter friend whom I met through another great twitter friend Deana Martina.
“There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.” ~Brooke Medicine Eagle
“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
When we first connected on Twitter, what struck me about Theodora or Dora, as she is fondly called, is that she listens and remembers exchanges. How many of us are able to do this consistently? With all the internet distractions, it’s not as easy as we think. After a few tweets, I sought my way to Dora’s website to get a better sense of the person behind the username and found her writings and outstanding research on environmental issues. I remember a post she wrote on the impending water crisis in the US and how we are marching down the road to water becoming a rare commodity. Or as an expert said, “Water is overtaking oil as our scarcest natural resource in the world.” (Charity: Water is doing awesome work on this)
Dora has consulted with corporations and government agencies, travels extensively, lives partly in New Jersey and Greece, and actively contributes her freelance write-ups to various publications including Examiner.com, UK Progressive, GreenWala and more. Ever the busy mom of two boys, she agreed to share some thoughts with us. I am glad she did. I encourage you to read her blogs: F.R.E.E. Foundation, Introspections, DorasDoingitHerWay, Shewrites, follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn. Enjoy her contribution below…
“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?” ~Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985
Tell us a bit on your background: Who are you? Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
My name is Theodora Filis. I am a 21st Century woman who lives each day to the fullest and looks at road blocks as stepping stones. I look at blessings as signs that I am not alone. Born and raised in Queens, New York, I moved to Athens, Greece in 1989 and lived there until 2009. I now reside, with my sons, in a small town in New Jersey.
What do you do for a living?
I am a freelance writer for UK Progressive, Examiner.com and GreenWala. I teach Organic Farming and Environmental Safety at Brookdale’s Outreach Program. Prior to moving back to the US, I was an environmental consultant working with organic farmers throughout Europe.
Why did you choose the path you now follow?
I did not choose this path, it most definitely chose me, and I continue to follow its light.
When did you decide to make key changes in your life?
I have yet to stand on terra firma. My life is constantly changing and shifting. Just when I start to feel settled – the tectonic plates of my life decide to shift.
Share your world view: How do you live your life and manage your household?
I have simultaneously raised two sons and built a career applying one very basic rule to everything I do: Love, Laugh, Respect and Appreciate!
***In Response to a Question: What are your top 6 environmental issues of the 21st Century:
Dora Responds: Here is the list of my top 6 environmental issues of the 21st century.***
Depending on what part of the world you live in, each one of these issues will effect you differently. Nonetheless, all have global impacts and demand global attention.
1. Climate Change
Climate Change has been the topic of more scientific research, political debate and public concern than any environmental issue of the past 10 years. Although climate change has sparked worldwide concern, it has failed to inspire world leaders to set aside their national agendas’ and work together toward a global strategy.
Recommended reading: “The Climate War” by Eric Pooley. Provides a behind the scenes look at the efforts to solve the climate crisis.
2. Global Water Crisis
According to the New Global Water Security Index, 10 countries worldwide, including 5 African nations are at “extreme risk” because of limited access to clean, fresh water. The effects of climate change and population growth will exacerbate the stress on these water supplies, potentially threatening stability in many regions. Among the nations most at risk are Somalia, Mauritania, Sudan, Niger, and Iraq. Other nations at extreme risk including Pakistan, Egypt and Uzbekistan are already facing internal and boarder tensions because of limited
Global water crisis statistics: WaterAidAmerica.org
3. Endangered Species
The disruption of the food chain and fragile ecosystems have been pressing issues from 2000 till now. Once a link is disturbed, every balance is lost. There is an urgent need is to save the environmental niche of endangered animals on a global scale.
Comprehensive list of endangered species by country: Endangered species list
4. Food Safety and Chemical Contamination
World Health Organization reports: “The contamination of food by chemical hazards is a worldwide public health concern and is a leading cause of trade problems internationally. Contamination may occur through environmental pollution of the air, water and soil, such as the case with toxic metals, PCBs and dioxins, or through the intentional use of various chemicals, such as pesticides, animal drugs and other agrochemicals.”
View the complete report: FoodSafety
“Despite increased awareness of the importance of these forests, deforestation rates have not slowed. Analysis of figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) shows that tropical deforestation rates increased 8.5 percent from 2000-2005 when compared with the 1990s, while loss of primary forests may have expanded by 25 percent over the same period. Nigeria and Vietnam’s rate of primary forest loss has doubled since the 1990s, while Peru’s rate has tripled.”
Global deforestation rates: Deforestation Rates
6. Biodiversity and Land Use
Every type of land use involves utilization of land resources for human benefit. Biodiversity is a land resource that is more often the target for human utilization. Land use may therefore, have direct effects on biodiversity, especially when the form of land involves harvesting or modifying the land cover.
***There are 4 other environmental issues that cause me great concern. They are
Ozone Layer Depletion, Air Pollution, Energy, and Oceans & Fisheries.
I will cover the remaining 4 in my blog: DFilis Blog and will write a follow-up article for UKProgressive in the days to follow.
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
What do you consider the most important thing about yourself?
My loyalty and devotion to those I love, my work, and the world around me.
What motivates you to get out of bed?
The birds chirping outside my window, the dawn of a new day lighting up the sky, and my two beautiful sons.
What makes you happy/laugh?
Everything! Happiness is a gift I won’t squander – laughter is something I can’t control!
What makes you sad/mad?
What would you do differently with your life if you had the power? With the world if you had the choice?
With my life – nothing. With the world, I would take the blinders off every person allowing them to see that we are all important, intricate parts of a divine whole.
What guiding principle(s) do you follow to make your life meaningful?
I have a destiny, and I will not rest until I have fulfilled that destiny.
What word(s) of advice would you give to others today?
Love, respect and honor one another and this beautiful planet we call home.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a loving mother who tried her best to do her best.
Happiness is … ?
Knowing God is with me every step of the way!
What are your questions or comments for Theodora? Are you an expert in a field that our readers can benefit hearing about? Do you have a story to share? Please share your feedback with us. Thank You!
COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER FOR VIDEOS***
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
Photograph of Theodora Filis ~ courtesy of Theodora
All other photos via Theodora Filis/Google Images
Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©