Category: Environment

All Rivers, Great and Small

I have lived most of my life in cities bisected by rivers and have often used a quiet spot by the river to clear my head and listen for God’s voice. At the Kebar River in Babylon, God spoke to Ezekiel. At the River Jordan, God spoke to the assembled crowds at the baptism of Jesus. In Ezekiel 47, the prophet describes a river that flows from the temple of God, bringing life and healing to the land. Revelation 22…  [more]

Do Zoos Have a Future? Should They?

On a hot, humid, July afternoon I took my daughter to our local zoo. The air was thick and chewy and the thermometer neared 100. We pushed through the turnstiles in pursuit of lemonade and her favorite section: the polar bear exhibit. On this particular day, the polar bears were in the shade, sleeping off the heat, rather than splashing into the pools and wrestling one another as they normally did. My daughter tugged…  [more]

Repair Cafes vs Throwaway Culture

When Life magazine ran an article on “Throwaway Living” in 1955, who would have guessed that the pope would reference the term nearly six decades later? In 2013, describing what he called an “economy of exclusion,” Pope Francis expanded his ecological critique of consumer culture to include human beings, who are “considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded.” Repair…  [more]

Sacrificing the Sacred: In Memory of the Pioneer Cabin Tree

Earlier this month, the iconic Pioneer Cabin Tree—an ancient behemoth—came crashing to the ground in a fierce storm. In the heart of California’s Calaveras Big Trees State Park, this giant sequoia was laid to rest after inspiring centuries of awe. Known also as the “tunnel tree,” the sequoia had a car-sized hole bored through it in 1881 by a private landowner in a move to generate…  [more]

Why Christians Should Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux

It is critical we take a moment and pay close attention to what is unfolding among the Standing Rock Sioux, the United States federal government, and proponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline. If we do, we may begin to understand the debt of love (in the form of social and environmental justice) that U.S. citizens—and Christians in particular—owe to Native Americans. On Monday, the U.S. Departments of the…  [more]

A Christian Vote for Jill Stein in 2016

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series offering endorsements for the four major candidates in the U.S. presidential election. We ask that comments refrain from inflammatory language and personal attacks. Will 2016 be the year of the third-party candidate? Mainstream candidate favorability is at a historic low, leaving many voters prepared to cast a vote for someone outside of the Republican and…  [more]

A new Noah’s ark? How about a renewed Garden of Eden

Amid an apocalyptic July, in which terrible events evoked the book of Revelation, it was comforting to see the book of Genesis figure in the news on at least two occasions. On July 7, the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Ky., opened to the public. And on July 17, the Iraqi marshlands, which lie at the confluence of the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers and are thought by many scholars to be the location of origin for the…  [more]

SeaWorld and the humane economy

You can’t think of SeaWorld without picturing the park’s iconic orcas performing tricks before crowds of awestruck spectators. Thus SeaWorld’s announcement that it will phase out the use of these intelligent, beautiful — and deadly — animals is as astonishing as it is welcome to those concerned about the welfare and well-being of both animals and people. The wholesome, harmless (and…  [more]

Watching the Earth breathe

In a recent blog post for National Geographic, Robert Krulwich highlighted a NASA video model that represents the changing carbon dioxide levels across the globe over the course of one year. It’s a stunning display of color that seems timely for the advent of spring — when budding leaves begin to draw CO2 out of the atmosphere again. “It’s as though the Earth itself has lungs,” Krulwich…  [more]

Sin, evil and the Zika virus

It always seems to come back to a failure to care. From an epidemiological point of view, the Zika virus is a complete nightmare. The epidemic spread silently for nine months before any evidence began to appear. Months went by until enough dots were connected to notice a pattern. By the time the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global emergency, the Zika virus had already spread to 20 countries and appears…  [more]

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