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Robert and Deborah Arnold: Founders of the The New Earth Communications Co.

A Plowboy Interview with Robert and Deborah Arnold, the founders of The New Earth Communications Company, on their objective to promote environmental change beyond the stereotyped approach.

| January/February 1971

  • The Plowboy Interview with Robert and Deborah Arnold.
    The Plowboy Interview with Robert and Deborah Arnold.
    Photo by Keith Shoemaker

  • The Plowboy Interview with Robert and Deborah Arnold.

The Plowboy Interview: MOTHER talks to Robert and Deborah Arnold, founders of The New Earth Communications Company.

The Plowboy Interview: Robert and Deborah Arnold

There's a special breed of people afoot in this land today and what sets them apart from all the rest is their profound respect and regard for the planet. Bright, young and talented, these folks are turning their backs on comfortable positions to take their chances with newsletters, magazines, radio and TV programs, film companies, law offices and public relation firms all designed to serve one major client: Mother Earth.

The Establishment, of course, doesn't know what to think of these people and life is not always easy for them. Still — dedicated, energetic and pragmatic — they continue on toward their idea of a meaningful life in harmony with the earth from which they spring. They're a fascinating breed and here's two for the price of one: Robert and Deborah Arnold.

Robert, as I recall, you were rapidly becoming established as a commercial and advertising photographer when you decided to devote all your energies to the environmental cause . . . and, Deborah, you were almost a regular fixture on local Cleveland TV commercials. Those fields pay well. Why did you decide to chuck two glamour careers and start a nonprofit film company for ecologists and conservationists?

It was no big thing. We just realized one day that — by producing TV commercials — we were working for the forces that threatened the future of our two (only) children, Hallie, 5, and Thea, 6. When we considered the first alternatives that came to mind — going to the woods or leaving the country — we figured that neither one offered a real solution in today's shrinking world. There isn't anyplace else anymore. No matter where you go, mankind's misuse of the planet will eventually catch up. After thinking it over we decided that the only sensible thing we could do was to commit ourselves totally to the preservation of the earth.

You didn't drop out of a secure niche in the establishment then so much as you went on to a higher level of awareness.

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