Dance, Don’t Drive


Resilient Thinking for Turbulent Times

Warnings regarding our unsustainable lifestyles have become so commonplace that eyes glaze over at the mere mention of the topic. Chip Ward aims to change that. Seeking to convey the importance of living sustainably, he reframes the discourse to point out the consequences we face and the choices we make. Ward says we must recognize that we are bounded by the limits of a finite natural realm, that “after years of driving economies, we must learn to dance with ecosystems.” The dancing lessons he offers are eloquent, original, and compelling. Urging us to build resilient communities, he concludes: “When we practice that awkward dance of mutuality that is the very signature of a democratic culture—the dance where we share, learn, listen, reconcile, invite, reciprocate, step towards one another and embrace—we may be received with rough hands and a tenuous grasp. But if we have the courage to engage honestly and if we take our dancing lessons to heart, we may become not only resilient but grateful, humble, and reverent.”

Warnings regarding our unsustainable lifestyles have become so commonplace that eyes glaze over at the mere mention of the topic. Chip Ward aims to change that. Seeking to convey the importance of living sustainably, he reframes the discourse to point out the consequences we face and the choices we make. Ward says we must recognize that we are bounded by the limits of a finite natural realm, that “after years of driving economies, we must learn to dance with ecosystems.” The dancing lessons he offers are eloquent, original, and compelling. Urging us to build resilient communities, he concludes: “When we practice that awkward dance of mutuality that is the very signature of a democratic culture—the dance where we share, learn, listen, reconcile, invite, reciprocate, step towards one another and embrace—we may be received with rough hands and a tenuous grasp. But if we have the courage to engage honestly and if we take our dancing lessons to heart, we may become not only resilient but grateful, humble, and reverent.”


Chip Ward is a plitical activist, writer, and former library administrator. He cofounded Families Against Incinerator Risk, HEAL Utah, and other grassroots groups to raise awareness about the links between environmental quality and public health. He is the author of two books and numerous essays.