Choosing a better world

While monitoring the coughing of my sick daughter at 3am recently, I was lucky enough to hear the repeat of an interview with US author Frances Moore Lappé on Radio National’s New Dimensions show (Aug 2).

I’ve been meaning to tell readers about it, who may not have heard of Frances or her books. Moore Lappé has won numerous environmental and activist awards, including the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the "alternative Nobel Prize”, which honours people working for positive social change. She is co-founder of the Institute for Food and Development Policy and the Small Planet Institute. Among her eighteen books, is the bestseller Diet for a Small Planet (Ballantine 1991) and the recently released Getting a Grip 2: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage for the World We Really Want (Small Planet Media 2010). I hope to get hold of the latter for review and a possible article in Organic Gardener soon.

The Radio National website has this intro to the interview: "We as societies are creating a world that none of us as individuals would ever choose." With this singular bit of insight Frances Moore Lappé defines the pivotal issue of our time none of us wishes for children to die of hunger, or for global warming to continue, yet every day it happens. Now, after more than three decades of helping us understand what it takes to live in harmony with the rest of the world, Frances has identified the reasons we haven't fixed all the problems yet. And she's still confident we can turn things around. In this uplifting interview Dr. Lappé explains what often stops us from taking action, how to overcome the obstacles and how to find inspiration in the miracles others have already achieved.

I would agree it was an uplifting interview, and I have to say, I need a fair bit of lifting as I am often trapped by what Moore Lappé describes as “the gathering power of despair”. She was literally bursting with positive stories about the good change she was seeing around the planet in corporations, communities and even nations. It was a touch ‘new agey’ for me in parts, but I really didn’t care and I recommend you have a listen either at:


• To learn more about the work of Frances Moore Lappé go to

By: Steve Payne

First published: August 2010

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