Welcome to
the World Garden

about worldgarden and Christopher Childs

worldgarden.net features the photography and writing of Christopher Childs, author of The Spirit’s Terrain: Creativity, Activism, and Transformation, published by Beacon Press in 1998 with a Foreword by the Dalai Lama. Publisher’s Weekly called the book a “spiritual manifesto for modern-day social-environmental activists,” and Bill Moyers praised it as “a very powerful insight that has significance for journalism as well as activism”.

Christopher Childs served as activist and award-winning National Speaker for the U.S. branch of Greenpeace between 1987-96, and was one of the earlier speakers crisscrossing the country warning of the risks of carbon emissions and a shifting climate. He has since served as Conservation Chair for the Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter, as Chair of the chapter’s Clean Air and Renewable Energy Committee, and as an elected member of its Executive Committee. Also a 2007-2010 boardmember and Advocacy Committee Chair of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, he helped formulate policy, and shape and promote legislation and issue response, both for MRES and — regionally and nationally — for the Sierra Club.

In 2004, Childs created the Club's "Walk for Wind," which promoted wind power across Minnesota and was reprised in 2006. With his wife, well-known activist and former Green Party-endorsed St. Paul mayoral candidate Elizabeth Dickinson, he lives on St. Paul's West Side in a 1911 house that gets its primary electricity from a 3-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system; their largely self-renovated home has twice been on the Minneapolis-St. Paul Home Tour, and four times on the American Solar Energy Society's national Solar Tour.

While serving with Greenpeace, Childs was named Lecturer of the Year by the National Association for Campus Activities, chosen from among finalists who included Maya Angelou. He also served Greenpeace as an activist for clean, alternative energy and clean industrial production — and, in the process of demonstrating (peacefully) for those causes, he garnered arrests in four states and in the District of Columbia at the gates of the Bush (41) White House. Honors he has received include his naming as 2004 Volunteer of the Year by Sierra's North Star Chapter — partly for his work on the "Walk for Wind" — and he is the recipient of two additional chapter awards for leadership.

An actor as well as author and activist, his credits extend from several roles on PBS’ American Playhouse (most notably as the misguided Rev. Nicholas Noyes in the Salem witch trial re-creation “Three Sovereigns for Sarah”, starring Vanessa Redgrave), to an appearance in Henry Fonda's last film — the ABC-TV movie “Summer Solstice” — to national tours of his own one-man “stage portrait, ” Clear Sky, Pure Light: an Evening with Henry David Thoreau ... last performed aboard a riverboat on the upper Mississippi as a 2006 benefit for the Sierra Club. He has, however, found minimal time for acting since becoming seriously involved in environmental activism in the mid-1980s. He has been communications director for two high-profile Minnesota political campaigns: that of his wife for St. Paul Mayor in 2005, and the 2002 Green Party gubernatorial campaign of his former Greenpeace colleague Ken Pentel, at a time when the Greens were officially a major party in the state.

Currently, in addition to his nearly full-time volunteer work on energy and global warming and periodic speaking engagements on creativity, on the environment, or on the cause of the Tibetan people – particularly close to his heart since a trip to Tibet, northern Nepal, and Dharamsala, India, at the turn of the millennium (see http://home.igc.org/~worldgarden for Tibet info) – Childs has been working by turns on a memoir of his years with Greenpeace; on the outline of a book about creating a new frame for the climate shift debate; and on a novel set in Tibet between the Chinese invasion of 1950 and the present day.

Christopher Childs can be reached at worldgarden@igc.org