Writings By Jason Gray

What’s New?

An insightful guide to authentic environmental leadership

In Our Next Evolution: Transforming Collaborative Leadership to Shape Our Planet’s Future (Lioncrest Publishing 2021), Laura Calandrella provides an insightful and practical framework for addressing our most pressing environmental – and societal – challenges through a more authentic, relational engagement with each other.  This leadership framework is centered on grounded research and on point guidance based on Ms. Calandrella’s own expert practice of sustainable development endeavors around the world.  Our Next Evolution lays out a clear recipe for each of us to engage better, more fully, and more collaboratively to affect real, necessary, and lasting environmental change. 


Loss of a Friend and Leader – Robinson Lopez

Last night, I learned that a friend of mine – an amazing, young indigenous leader in the Colombian Amazon – was taken from his family, and the world, much too early by this terrible virus. He fought for indigenous rights, against the destruction of forests and climate change, for equity and partnership, and for a better world. Tears seem hollow in the face not only of this loss, but in the face of the continuing loss of indigenous leaders who are confronting the pandemic and the historic devastation of their lands and cultures by so many other forces. The virus is wrecking havoc all around the world, and is especially terrible in indigenous territories where support is often lacking. In honor of my friend, Robinson Lopez, and in profound sadness, solidarity, and respect for his family, please join me in listening and learning about this emergency here and here and contributing what you can to causes such as this and this
Amazing tributes are circulating nearly every minute.  Here’s one I’m proud to have contributed to from the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force Global Committee for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.
Peace, brother. Your fight and spirit will continue.

Joint action needed to protect vulnerable populations against COVID19 in Tropical Forest regions

One of the privileges of the last decade of my career working on climate change and government partnerships has been to participate in an incredibly innovative partnership called the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force. This subnational collaboration of 38 states and provinces from 10 countries works to protect tropical forests, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and promote realistic pathways to forest-maintaining rural development.

As with many of us, GCF Task Force states and provinces, indigenous peoples, and local communities are facing devastating impacts from COVID-19, in particular in rural areas and indigenous territories. Many of the GCF Task Force states and provinces are taking leadership initiatives on the front lines of this pandemic, including seeking support from the Secretary General of the United Nations.

The GCF Task Force as a partnership is echoing this urgent request for support, including seeking to help identify medical equipment (ventilators, masks, rapid tests), logistical and telemedicine support, and early warning systems for rural areas. The GCF Task Force Secretariat, based at the University of Colorado Boulder, is also able to direct financial support to COVID-19 efforts on the ground in many of the states and provinces.

As we confront a changed world and its impacts on our families and our communities, the power of partnerships is more important than ever for our climate and forests, our public health and economy, and our humanity. I urge everyone to explore the incredible partnerships within the GCF Task Force, to read the UN letter referenced above, and to support in any way you can.

Find out more about the GCF Task Force here.

For those interested in donating support for COVID-19 response efforts in tropical members of the GCF Task Force, you can do so here.

Update: You can also directly support COVID-19 relief efforts of COICA (Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin), a critical partner of the GCF Task Force and a guiding force for indigenous leadership in the Amazon Basin, here https://www.amazonemergencyfund.org

GCF Task Force Picture

Gabon Book Stocking Stuffer

For your forest-loving, travel-seeking, elephant glimpsing adventurer friends and family, here’s a terrific stocking stuff: my book about the forests, people, and biodiversity of Gabon.  Video review available here.  Book available at Amazon.

Excellent News for Conservation Efforts in Gabon!

This news is outstanding recognition of the long-standing conservation and climate leadership in Gabon.  Diboti Gabon and Norway for the climate support!


Gabon could earn up to $150 million for forest conservation

Book Review: Fall Back Down When I Die by Joe Wilkins

Much as his poetic writing evokes the “hard snow glister[ing] beneath the sun,” Joe Wilkins’ masterful debut novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, is as ragged, raw, and sharp-edged as the Bull Mountains of eastern Montana.  Like the northern sun exposing bleached bones in a drought-dried coulee, this book exposes people of firmly held convictions and tough-as-leather circumstances, juxtaposed as can be, for the reader to ponder, absorb, grin along or cry with, and shake a fist at.  An overwhelming sense of place, poetic, tragic, lovely.  Goddamn… this book is a must read.

Book review: Slain Wood by William Boyd

Expertly weaving together a meticulously studied analysis of industrial processes, ecological processes, economics, labor, race, geography, politics, law, and emerging science and environmental awareness, William Boyd’s treatise on the pulp and paper industry in the South of the United States provides an understandable, comprehensive history of the dynamics at play in shaping and reshaping land and region.  Slain Wood paints a compelling picture of the complex array of factors that resulted in this continuing industrial force of the South.  Boyd’s methods and writing highlight the need for incorporating multiple areas of study and research – we must look through economic, ecological, social, and political lenses to see the full picture, understand problems, and develop more lasting solutions.  For students of history, of environmental externalities, of methodological research, and for anyone looking to learn as they read, I highly recommend this book.

Video Book Review!

Super excited about the video book review on Glimpses through the Forest from San Francisco Book Review.  Check it out here.  Will also be posting it to my website.

Glimpses through the Forest as college reading

In browsing through the interwebs, I was excited to discover (randomly) that Glimpses through the Forest has made it into the reading list of an honors English course titled Exploring Cultural Contact Zones: Analyzing Cross-Cultural Conflict, Dialogue and Exchange at Texas Christian University.  I would love to hear from students and teachers about their thoughts on the book, as well as the overall class.  Thank you!

Proud of California’s Governor Brown!

I’m proud to work for Gov. Brown’s administration.  Onward in the fight against climate change!