LISTEN TO INTERVIEW
DATE: May 21, 2019
PatZi & Vernon LaVia
Earth Avoidance & Our Disappearing Connection with Nature
It was a joy to talk with Vernon LaVia about his book, Make Earth Great Again, which connects the dots on 26 bi-diversity issues that are vital to our understanding of our beautiful earth -- an earth that is in danger of being destroyed by our own neglect.
It is a small book with big ideas. In just fifty years the earth's population has doubled -- from 3.6 billion to 7.6 billion. While mankind grows, our animal and plant life has rapidly declined through consumerism and citification. The result is that people are no longer connected to nature. Life spent in cities and working in cubicles has had a profound change on our understanding of nature -- and the result is that we are ignoring the serious problems caused by our actions, or inactions, when it comes to clean air and water and the protection of animals and forests.
"Man's heart away from nature becomes hard..." -- Luther Standing Bear (1868--1939, Lakota Chief)
Vernon LaVia has a fascinating perspective on the changes that have taken place -- you might say he has a bird's eye view of the world. An avid bird watcher, he has traveled to six continents and seen over three thousand different species. It is this love of nature that he brings to Make Earth Great Again.
"The forest and water problems are perhaps the most vital internal problems facing the United States." --Teddy Roosevelt, 1913 Autobiography
MEGA, as Vernon calls his book, was written with co-author, Eli Gonzalez, a bestselling ghost writer and frequent guest on Joy on Paper. They hope that this book will jolt readers into action.
With that in mind, Vernon has created an organization dedicated to informing people about the steps that they can take to help save the earth. It is called theMEGAmovement. Visit the website to discover six steps that you can take right now to Make Earth Great Again. What I particularly like about this website is that Vernon has a list of six practical things that we can all start doing right now to make earth a better place for all of us.
About the Author
Vernon LaVia has discovered that JOY of nature and now the joy of seeing his words on paper. An accomplished business man (President & Founder of Defibrillators, Inc.) and advocate for nature, he currently sits on the Board of Directors of "Illinois Audubon Society” and on the Advisory Board of “The Conservation Foundation.”
He has dedicated this to his father who instilled in him the sense of journey, quite literally, by taking Vernon and his brother every summer to follow the birds across the United States and into Canada and Mexico. Now, after many years of traveling to 49 countries and all 50 states, Vernon has turned his passion into a movement to save the earth. Over these years he has seen about 3,600 of the estimated 11,000 species of birds.
An adventurer by nature, he has had many diverse experiences. He studied socio-economics in Costa Rica and observed the destruction of bird habitat in Kenya. He participated in an archaeological digs at Mayan ruins in Belize and helped build homes with Habitat for Humanity in Central America.
I have invited him to come back to the studio the next time his is in Clearwater -- there are so many more questions I have for him.
Yoopers are Nature Lovers
I grew up in Northern Michigan's Upper Peninsula one of the most beautiful areas of America. We are known as Yoopers and, except for a few cities, we live in the country or along the shores of Lake Superior.
My childhood, especially my summers, were spent in glorious enjoyment of nature. In the mornings we would grab our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and KoolAid and -- of course for me, a book -- and run wild for the entire day. We could put our hands under the rippling flow of a spring water as it cascaded down rocks and snack on wild raspberries. We loved to listen to the rustling branches of the birch trees and the sweet sounds of birds calling to each other.
That is why I hope you will buy Make Earth Great Again. It is a book that will remind you of the joys of nature -- and it is filled with real 'do-able' suggestions that you can put in practice right now.
The Call of the Screech Owl
Vernon is an expert on bird -- so it was fun when he demonstrated his talent for bird calls.