Quantcast

Kenny Loggins and Gary Burr Share their Passion for the Environment

Energy

Stefanie Penn Spear

Blue Sky Riders—Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman

and Gary Burr.

I interviewed Kenny Loggins and Gary Burr of Blue Sky Riders about their thoughts on environmental issues prior to their upcoming performance at EcoWatch’s fourth annual Green Gala on Friday, Sept. 14 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum.

This year’s gala in downtown Cleveland along Lake Erie will hone in on the issues of clean water, in celebration of the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, and renewable energy, in promotion of EcoWatch’s petition telling Congress to expedite renewable energy.

While talking about the value of clean water, Loggins commented, “Years ago when Tom Hayden was a senator in California, he told me that water would be the primary issue that this country would face and I think we are right on the edge of that.”

In regard to renewable energy, Burr said, “I know there’s a giant infrastructure of people making bucketloads of money by extracting fossil fuel, but it’s finite and we can either be farsighted and start switching over now or just wait and try to suck the last hunk of coal and the last bit of natural gas out of the ground.”

“I think it’s a shame that the government has not been willing to really launch the support for renewable energy,” Loggins added, “because not only would we satisfy a large percentage of our energy needs as a country, but we’d put a lot of people to work doing it... We may be getting to the breaking point where the cost of extracting oil is higher than the cost of creating renewables, that may then tilt the balance toward renewable energy.”

We moved on to the topic of old growth forests, something near and dear to my heart. While promoting the Green Gala, I was told by a friend that Loggins had helped his organization protect Opal Creek, an old growth forest in Oregon. Loggins remembered it well and reflected, “Talk about shortsighted. I mean to take the last of the old growth out of Oregon. They don’t see any value in it but the dollar and cents they will make. There’s so much that needs to change. If we would get back to using hemp for paper we could save millions of acres of forests ... I’ve always seen this issue as really a spiritual one more than a political one, though its been politicized. To me it’s a matter of being aware of your connection to life and to the planet. One issue is feeling that man is somehow outside of everything or in some way here to use everything and it’s become like a religious belief that we are somehow superior to all other living things.”

Burr added, “I agree with the spiritualness of it and that we are just a part of this giant ecosystem and we do have to embrace the Native American philosophy that we have to be the stewards of the planet and pass it down in not worse shape than we found it.”

Loggins shared a new project he’s launching—The All Join In Festival—with Michael Martin, CEO and founder of Effect Partners who has helped revolutionize social change in the music industry, and Phil Sifferman, an expert at connecting corporate sponsors with extreme sports events, to teach new parents how to make their homes nontoxic.

“I’ve made three children’s albums which are actually parent albums or family albums and we started to build around the idea of creating a green parenting festival where we bring together adult acts who ventured into the children’s marketplace,” Loggins explained. “We can center a festival around teaching young parents how to make their homes nontoxic ... People who are confused about what to do and where to begin will coalesce around the health and safety of their children ... And through that passage into protecting their children they protect their home, they protect their family and then they see their connectedness out from there ... And that we are all connected and that there is something we can do.”

I asked Burr what environmental issue he’s most passionate about and he said, “I’m all for environmental causes and I try to use whatever talent I’ve got to help whatever cause comes along, because I believe in them all. I’ve played with Carole King for years and we played a lot of benefits and talked about her environmental bill in Idaho she’s been trying to get passed for 20 some odd years.” (King is a longtime supporter of policies that protect wildlife habitat and old growth forests, and she works to strengthen environmental policies like the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act).

Circling back to the water issue, Loggins added that his son, who works in information technology, thinks the biggest emerging issue is going to be the millions of pounds of batteries that are now in our computers and cell phones that when disposed will leak into the groundwater.

“There are so many different things that need visionary leadership and I’m not sure we have it,” Loggins said.

Loggins concluded: “What I’m feeling today as we talk is the level of overwhelming odds that have been stacked against us. It’s almost like we’re reaching a breaking point that if we have another summer like we’ve been having this year, water and food is going to continue to be in short supply. Can you imagine another summer like this? It’s going to require dramatic changes in how we farm, how we protect our water and a dramatic change in our priorities. We are going to have to start seeing that all that really matters now is our survival. End of story.”

Blue Sky Riders will perform at EcoWatch's Green Gala on Friday, Sept. 14 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A vegan diet can improve your health, but experts say it's important to keep track of nutrients and protein. Getty Images

By Dan Gray

  • Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
  • A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
  • It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.

New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.

Read More Show Less
Students gathered at the National Mall in Washington DC, Sept. 20. NRDC

By Jeff Turrentine

Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
samael334 / iStock / Getty Images

By Ruairi Robertson, PhD

Berries are small, soft, round fruit of various colors — mainly blue, red, or purple.

Read More Show Less
A glacier is seen in the Kenai Mountains on Sept. 6, near Primrose, Alaska. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey have been studying the glaciers in the area since 1966 and their studies show that the warming climate has resulted in sustained glacial mass loss as melting outpaced the accumulation of new snow and ice. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Mark Mancini

On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.

Read More Show Less
Members of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America table at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18. Alex Schwartz

By Alex Schwartz

Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
StephanieFrey / iStock / Getty Images

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Muffins are a popular, sweet treat.

Read More Show Less
Hackney primary school students went to the Town Hall on May 24 in London after school to protest about the climate emergency. Jenny Matthews / In Pictures / Getty Images

By Caroline Hickman

Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?

Read More Show Less
Myrtle warbler. Gillfoto / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Bird watching in the U.S. may be a lot harder than it once was, since bird populations are dropping off in droves, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less