Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living

By Steve Bivans

Environment & nature | Paperback, eBook


Do the crises in our world worry you? The pollution, the violence, the corruption, the apathy? Have you ever wished you could escape? Step through a mirror directly into Middle Earth? Steve Bivans, in his book, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth, argues that we are already there. He examines the problems facing mankind and our planet today through the lens of Tolkien’s world and the War of the Ring. The similarities are all around you, and the struggle is indeed very real. Middle Earth faced destruction at the hands of Sauron and Saruman; our world is under attack from the metaphorical Two Towers: Ignorance & Fear, and Poverty & Greed. Saruman-ic, Corporate Capitalism threatens to control and poison our agriculture, education systems, governments, and our common property—both real and cultural. Worst of all, our sense of humanity and hospitality is being sapped and despoiled. If left to continue unabated, the modern Saurons and Sarumans will devour the basic resources essential to our survival: the water, soil, and the very air we breathe. Our world has lost its 'Shireness.' Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth is a guide to bringing our ‘Shireness’ back, from the bottom up: one Hobbit, one home, and one Shire at a time. Steve Bivans draws positive lessons from Tolkien's works as a metaphorical map, a guide for reconnecting communities, and rebuilding them into sustainable, modern Shires. While our modern challenges seem complicated, nearly impossible, the solutions are really quite simple. The first step on that journey is a change of mind, a transformation from Modern Humans into Modern Hobbits. Only with this new way of thinking can we begin to clean up our scoured Shires: the damage done to our food supply, to our environment, to our communities, and to our political systems. Will that be easy? No, it will not. After all, realizing that the One Ring must be destroyed, was a simple concept, one that even a rustic Hobbit like Frodo Baggins could understand. Carrying it all the way to Mordor to accomplish the mission was another matter, so was cleaning up the Shire when he and his companions returned home. Such it is for us. The situation for our planet is dire; Mordor is at the door and the Black Riders are burning our Shires. What will YOU do? Will you destroy the Ring? Or will you hang on to your ‘precioussss’? Do you have to move ‘to the country’ and live in a hole in the ground? Absolutely not. Moving isn’t necessary. Instead, we need to bring Nature into our minds, and into those spaces we call home. We must change our story. We need to remember that we are PART of Nature, not Nature’s masters. We need to return to harmony with Nature and with each other, to become what humans were destined to be, builders of gardens and Shires, as Hobbits, not Masters over creatures great and small. You can be a Hobbit, anywhere. Even in a condo in the middle of a city! So buy the book, read it, tell everyone you know about it, then Be a Hobbit, and Save the Earth!


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Do the crises in our world worry you? The pollution, the violence, the corruption, the apathy? Have you ever wished you could escape? Step through a mirror directly into Middle Earth? Steve Bivans, in his book, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth, argues that we are already there. He examines the problems facing mankind and our planet today through the lens of Tolkien’s world and the War of the Ring. The similarities are all around you, and the struggle is indeed very real. Middle Earth faced destruction at the hands of Sauron and Saruman; our world is under attack from the metaphorical Two Towers: Ignorance & Fear, and Poverty & Greed. Saruman-ic, Corporate Capitalism threatens to control and poison our agriculture, education systems, governments, and our common property—both real and cultural...


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Steve Bivans is a Viking scholar by training. He holds a master’s degree in history, and when not writing a 500 page book on ‘being a Hobbit,’ is working on a dissertation on Viking Warfare to obtain his Ph.D. in history. At some point or another, he’s worked about every job known to man. More recently he’s been a special education assistant, and an instructor of history and graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota. In the past he’s been a working sous-chef, a burger-flipper, a landscaper, a pizza delivery driver, a rock-god guitar player, a concert promoter, a window washer, and a Salvation Army Christmas Kettle bell-ringer. These days? Mostly he’s a writer, a freelance blogger, a BBQ expert, the best cook he knows, and a Hobbit, though he looks more like Theoden and is grumpier than Gollum, at least before second breakfast. When he's not dreaming of building his own Hobbit-hole, or traveling the Earth, you might find him preaching sustainability in a bar with ‘a splash of cola in his bourbon,’ researching Viking battle-axes (throwing them at stumps in the back yard), writing, cooking, reading, partying, watching Buffy, mindlessly playing WOW or LOTRO, and/or eating. Always eating. “Pass the butter, please. And while you’re at it the bacon. And he’s as dusty as the desert and as dry as the road through Mordor, so pass the beer too!”


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Steve Bivans is a Viking scholar by training. He holds a master’s degree in history, and when not writing a 500 page book on ‘being a Hobbit,’ is working on a dissertation on Viking Warfare to obtain his Ph.D. in history. At some point or another, he’s worked about every job known to man. More recently he’s been a special education assistant, and an instructor of history and graduate assistant ...


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