2004 Noble Peace Prize Laureate. Founder, Green Belt Movement
EXTRACT: Through my experiences and observations, I have come to believe that the physical destruction of the earth extends to us, too. If we live in an environment that’s wounded — where the water is polluted, the air is filled with soot and fumes, the food is contaminated with heavy metals and plastic residues, or the soil is practically dust — it hurts us, chipping away at our health and creating injuries at a physical, psychological, and spiritual level. In degrading the environment, therefore, we degrade ourselves.
Wangari Maathai is the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Her latest book is Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World (Doubleday Religion), from which this piece is excerpted.