Posts Tagged ‘Thoreau’

Wasik Chosen in Essay Contest

Monday, August 31st, 2009

An essay I wrote on global warming was chosen to be included in an anthology on global warming entitled “Thoreau’s Legacy.” Here’s an article about it:

August 27, 2009

John Wasik of Grayslake is one of 67 Americans whose essays and photographs will be included in a new book on global warming.

The anthology titled Thoreau’s Legacy: American Stories About Global Warming tells what global warming means personally to Americans.

Wasik wrote an essay titled Counting Cranes that will be in Chapter VI of the new book, published by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Penguin Classics.

“Little things you do to help the environment add up,” Wasik said. “You can make a difference if you live simply.”

He said he felt honored to be selected for Thoreau’s Legacy: American Stories About Global Warming.

The competition to be included in the anthology was strong. Established and aspiring writers and photographers from across America sent in nearly 1,000 submissions. People submitted 200- to 500-word personal accounts or photographs that focused on the places they love and want to protect, and the steps they are taking in their own lives to stem the tide of global warming.

A team of reviewers from Penguin Classics and UCS selected 67 contributions for the anthology. They partnered with Mixit Productions to produce an interactive book. It is available free online at; as a free eBook at; or for $24.95 as a limited edition hardcover book at

Author Barbara Kingsolver wrote a forward on global warming for the book, where she said that “we must radically reconsider the power relationship between humans and our habitat.”

The anthology highlights the tradition of environmental writing embraced by Henry David Thoreau, who encouraged people to appreciate the world around them and to preserve it for future generations. The diverse contributors include scientists, students, grandparents, Native Americans, journalists, veterans, evangelical Christians, artists and businessmen.

For Wasik, his focus is on conserving our natural resources.

“I can’t say that global warming has been a passion (of mine), but conservation has been,” Wasik said. “We live in a conservation community — Prairie Crossing in Grayslake — where we have an organic farm and acres of open land and trails.”

He shares his passions through his writing.

“I’ve been an environmentalist most of my life and have written several books on the subject,” said Wasik.

His most recent book is titled The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream. He has also written The Audacity of Help: Obama’s Economic Plan and the Remaking of America, which addresses President Barack Obama’s plan to create “green” jobs.

Wasik heard about the Thoreau anthology through his membership in UCS, a science-based non-profit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices and consumer choices, according to a release.

UCS partnered with Penguin Classics, a publisher committed to using paper products from manufacturers that follow sustainable paper production techniques and to in-house conservation and recycling.

– Marcia Sagendorph/For Pioneer Press