CH residents' free talk considers dangers of another 'silent spring'

Two Cleveland Heights residents, Laurel Hopwood and Tom Gibson, have put their heads—and energy—together, to work toward the goal of environmental sustainability. 

To honor Earth Day 2019, they will present a free program, "Next Silent Spring?" on Sunday, April 28, 2–4 p.m., at the Cleveland Museum of Art Recital Hall.

Years ago, when Hopwood read about bees, she thought about how bees have their place in the universe. Yet she saw people shudder when bees were mentioned, fearing bee stings. She knew that bees just want to do their work. Other than making honey, one of every three bites of food we feed our families is available because of the primary work of bees—pollination. 

A longtime volunteer environmental advocate with the Northeast Ohio Sierra Club, Hopwood then heard about the crash in bee populations. She learned that many food seeds now being planted are coated, or sprayed, with a relatively new class of pesticides, called neonicotinoids. Many farmers were overjoyed because almost all the bugs on their farms were killed. As insect populations decline, however, birds and other creatures that feast on bugs are also adversely affected. Hopwood fears the end result will put the entire ecosystem at risk. 

After his retirement, Gibson knew he had a passion to be useful to the community. As a principal in Green Paradigm Partners, and using his certificate in permaculture design, he uses his soil-building and community-organizing skills to help revive neighborhoods. 

Hopwood and Gibson invite all to attend the program, ask questions, and help move the Heights community forward to benefit the seventh generation to come. (The Seventh Generation Principle, based on an Iroquois philosophy, urges that decisions made today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.)

Kathryn Klaber

Kathryn Klaber is a Cleveland Heights resident who rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 12:14 PM, 04.01.2019