Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Forgotten Star and Reconnection

Twice in the past couple of weeks I've bumped into the figure of Petra Kelly.


Once from a book I picked up from the Library's new book shelf Nonkilling Global Political Science, where the author, Prof. Emeritus of political science Glenn Paige writes:

Her [Petra Kelly] call to action encompasses every critical issue from disarmament through economy and human rights to worldwide cooperation to save the planet. She calls for a "global culture of ecological responsibility" and urges establishment of "binding principles governing ecological relations among all countries (Kelly, 1992: 76). Along with Tolstoy, Gandhi, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, and Martin Luther King, Jr., Petra Kelly deserves to be seen now and will be recognized in the future as a major contributor to nonviolent global change in the 20th century and beyond (Kelly 1989; 1992; 1994; Parkin 1994). 

Ironically, Parkin, the biographer he cites, is Sara Parkin.


 I met her twice, once at a conference where a few of us sat around late one evening discussing sustainability and geopolitics and a second time when I invited her to speak at Michigan State, where again I had the opportunity to sit casually and discuss the state of the world with her. So a few days later I am halfway through Petra Kelly's biography, an impressive story and great read, meanwhile discovering another book by Parkin written since she visited here a few years back entitled The Positive Deviant: Sustainability Leadership in a Perverse World.
Front Cover

Both were crucial forces in the emergence of the European Green movement, an unlike Kelly, who's life was shortened by a bullet at 44, Parkin has continued her lifelong work to make the world a better place. I haven't started her latest book yet, although attracted by title :) but looking forward to it before long.