As we collect ever more evidence about times past and places afar, we find that there seem to have been no times or places when or where environmental edens existed (at least not since the original Eden).
What do a Catholic bishop, a Nez Perce tribal elder, a wildlife biologist, a flyfishing surgeon and a commercial fisherman have in common? Each one values a personal connection to the Columbia River and has a passionate concern for its future.
Major crises in recent years have been fostered by an unregulated private sector. Wall Street’s recklessness unraveled the economy and put millions out of work. BP oil company cut corners on safety and ravaged the environment in pursuit of profits.
As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, churches and religious organizations along the Louisiana coast are providing food, money and support to parishioners whose livelihoods hang in the balance.
The sudden, hideous explosion of oil in the Gulf of Mexico is the latest reminder of who we really are. By we, I mean:British Petroleum: Broken Pipe? Bigtime Pollution?Our government: The Bush administration's constant deregulation is a factor, but Barack Obama avoids offending the big oil and coal companies. We as in us: Every politician in America notices that Americans scream any time the price of oil begins to rise.
After moving out of the Bronx neighborhood where she grew up and finding a corporate job in Manhattan, Alexie Torres-Fleming decided it was time to return to the Bronx. She got involved in neighborhood issues, and in 1994 she founded Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice. The community organizing group works on environmental and social issues.
The book Two Billion Cars arrives in stores at the close of a quarter that has seen auto sales plummet 30, 40, even 50 percent, depending on the manufacturer. The Big Three went to Washington to plead for a handout (and Toyota has passed GM as the world’s biggest automaker, even though its sales are also in steep decline).
Today’s transcontinental head of lettuce, grown in California but eaten in Washington, D.C., is emblematic of our dysfunctional food economy. For every calorie of food energy this lettuce provides, roughly 35 calories of fossil fuel energy will have been burned to grow, harvest, process and ship it. Compare this to 60 years ago when one calorie of fossil fuel produced roughly two and a half calories of food. From the standpoints of energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness, we would be better off drinking the oil.