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Environmental Politics

The last few weeks have both been shocking and have marked a major transition in our government’s relationship to climate change. So now is the moment when we need to take account of the increasing danger to our future, to understand the way the white nationalists are trying to co-opt environmentalism, and to see some positive ways forward. First, the danger. 2020 tied 2016 as the hottest year on record . It was also a year in which ocean temperatures set a record high . Although one would think that a year in which much of the economy ground to a halt would have made a big difference in green house gasses. there was actually very little effect. As soon as the economy begins to recover, which, of course, we all wish, we will be on a bad trajectory again. We have just a few more years to make a huge transition to carbon free energy if we wish our dear earth, part of God’s creation, to be livable for future generations and to avoid devastating deaths from heat around the world. Next, the

Predictions, Resolutions and Gardening for 2021

 It’s still early enough in January to take some guesses about the coming year and to make some resolutions. Maybe you recognize Bill McKibben’s name, but don’t know who he is. Born late in 1960, he pursued a path in journalism through high school and college, determining in 1980 to devote his life to environmentalism and non-violent advocacy. His first book in 1989, The End of Nature, sounded the alarm about climate change and raised many people’s consciousness. Since then he has written 18 books and countless articles. He founded the group 350.org and led it in demonstrations and led it in organizing demonstrations and spreading the word about climate change activism on most continents. He led the campaign against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project, going to jail for participating in a protest. He’s been awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Right Livelihood award. He’s been named one of the nation’s most influential people and leading environmentalist. So when Bill McKibben

About "A Perfect Planet" with Province V

 Are you passionate about the Earth?  The Creation Care Networks of Province V and IV are joining together to offer a discussion of "A Perfect Planet" by Sir David Attenborough on Tuesday, January 26 at 6:00 p.m. EST.  This five-part series is available through Discovery+ .  This series is highly recommended by the network members who have already seen it.  Please watch available episodes (not all 5 are available through Discovery+) before the evening of the discussion event and bring your thoughts and questions to the group that gathers. We invite you to attend even if you were unable to watch.  You might be able to view through BBC America, if your cable company is connected. Otherwise, we do understand that not everyone has access to streaming or the $5 to purchase Discovery+ for a month.  We hope that you’ll come along to hear some of the details about the show and the things that people learned by watching. You can check out an article about this series . You can watch a

What’s ahead for 2021 Creation Care

 We have lots of hopes for the year ahead, given that last year was so awful. We need to be realistic, of course. It will be summer before we reach a vaccination level close to “herd immunity.” In the meantime we need to keep wearing masks and socially distancing, even after we have been vaccinated. Public health scientists haven’t yet determined whether the vaccine keeps you from spreading the disease once you have been vaccinated. However, the coronavirus can’t keep us from learning about and practicing environmentalism. As far as learning, first up this year is a new series by British filmmaker David Attenborough who has just turned 94. He has just made a new series for BBC One and the Discovery Plus channel: “ A Perfect Planet .” You can watch the five part series on Discovery Plus. It is a paid subscription  though there is a free trial. See the supplemental post " About A Perfect Planet with Province V " to learn all the details..  You can also learn from the Washingto

2020: An Environmental Retrospective

 It could have been worse. During a year of a pandemic, economic recession, and an administration intent on removing environmental protections, we might have expected some really bad news about creation care. But many of the year end reports from environmental watchdogs paint, not a rosy picture, but not the darkest one either. To recall the year, read The New York Time ’s “ The Year in Climate .” It’s pretty grim stuff: wildfires in Australia, the Amazon and across the western part of the U.S.; there was a relentless storm season in the Atlantic and Pacific; the arctic melted at an alarming rate; and terrible heatwaves made parts of Africa and Asia nearly unlivable. But it wasn’t all terrible. Grist found six ways in which “ 2020 wasn’t as bad for climate change as you thought .” Among them, climate change became a major national election issue for the first time; major institutions divested from fossil fuels; and renewables kept growing despite the pandemic. Senior environmentalist

Children, Fruitcake and a Little Song

 It’s probably too late for this year, with all the presents for children already bought, wrapped and perhaps under the tree. But if you are tired of giving children heaps of Christmas presents that soon outlive their entertainment value, you might appreciate this advice from Katherine Martinko on keeping kids happy with fewer gifts to keep in mind for next year. A few days ago I watched my grandsons toss a football, catch it, run with it, and tackle each other for an hour, laughing the whole time. I’m visiting in California, so a sweatshirt was enough to keep them warm. But if you’re in Ohio or another northern state, sending kids outside to play is different  matter. Still, it is important to get your children outdoors from an hour to an hour and a half each day according to national and state guidelines . Even babies should have some time outdoors each day. Playing outdoors in winter keeps kids healthier and burns off a lot of energy (a great relief to parents). How do your keep th

Some Environmental Joy

 We’re in the third week of Advent which began with “Gaudete Sunday” (Joy Sunday), so let’s look at some environmental news that can bring us some of the joy. First, puppies. One of the senior writers of Treehugger , a great environmental news site, has fostered three Merle puppies. They look like adorable little polar bear cubs, so she picked bear names for them from those submitted by readers. The problem with Merle dogs is that if bred true, the puppies are likely to be born blind or deaf. You can read more about the puppies, Merle dogs, and how to raise them in Mary Jo DiLonardo’s article . How about something to listen to as you wrap presents? “ How to Save a Planet ” by journalist Alex Blumberg and marine biologist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson asks "What do we need to do to address the climate crisis and how do we make those things happen?” and then answers that question and others submitted by listeners in weekly podcasts exploring a wide variety of topics. The podcasts focu