Despite the Headlines, Ed Davis is Hopeful About the Planet

Posted by Monica Hoel
Dr. Ed Davis has been a professor at Emory & Henry for more than 30 years, and in that time he has cultivated a reputation for many things. He is known for having a great sense of comedic timing. He’s a stand-out stand-up bass player. He’s an accomplished gardener, a decorated academician, an author of multiple books, and he is one of the country’s leading experts on collard greens.

Also, he’s a committed conservationist.

He is advisor to a student group called the Emory Climate Collaborative that brings students and community members together to discuss issues of climate change and climate justice. He heads up the President’s Climate Working Group that strives to find a way to make Emory & Henry carbon neutral by 2036 (the College’s 200th anniversary).

And by living what he believes, he serves as a mentor to all around him about how to live a life that presents a smaller impact on the planet.

As the world celebrates the 51st anniversary of Earth Day this month (April 2021) there are many issues in our environment that still cause concern and even alarm. So how does Ed remain hopeful? He gives that credit to his students.

He says their youth naturally makes them more hopeful about a bright future, and he finds that very encouraging and inspiring. “People want to say young people are naïve, but I don’t think that’s right. Young people are hopeful and energetic about a better world, and we all need that enthusiasm. If we only dwell on the depressing parts of the news, we won’t have the energy to do what we need to do.”

Ed says he has always had an interest and affection for the natural world, but his eyes were really opened to a new way to exist when he was 19 years old and traveled to a farm in Norway and found people living in a simple, happy, non-materialistic manner. He says that experience still influences the choices he makes about what he consumes and how he uses his time.

Earth Day is April 22, 2021 – a perfect excuse to read more about how we can all do our part for the planet. Ed recommends the website 350.org as a great way to being learning more, and reminds us there are simple things we can do to make an impact – like shopping at local farmers markets, for instance. “We don’t always stop to consider just how far some of the food in the grocery store has traveled to get to our tables. Supporting our neighborhood farmers is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint – and also eat great food. I’m a big fan of food.”

Enjoy a conversation with Ed from a recent interview on WEHC. (Interviews are listed alphabetically.)

  • Dr. Ed Davis, E&H Professor of Geography and  Environmental Studies

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