In the summers of 1920 and 1921 southern West Virginia was the scene of some of the most historically significant unrest in U.S. history. Yet today this history has been largely forgotten. Although I was raised in West Virginia, I first learned about these events as a nearly grown man when I saw the movie Matewan, John Sayles’s cinematic vision of the seminal events of the mine wars.
Like novelist Richard Brandford, James Gustave Speth, one of America’s premier environmentalists, uses the familiar nautical adage “red sky at morning, sailors take warning” to title a coming-of-age story—here the story of the international environmental movement.
One hundred Christian leaders told President Bush in a pointed Earth Day rebuke that they have “grave moral concern” about his clean-air policy. The letter, coordinated by the National Council of Churches, accused Bush of weakening air-quality standards and putting the elderly and young children at particular risk through his “Clear Skies” initiative.
White House senior political adviser Karl Rove says that Theodore Roosevelt would be “standing up and applauding” President George Bush’s environmental policies. Let’s check the record on that. Roosevelt created 150 national parks, founded the National Forest Service and set aside some 230 million acres of public land as parks and refuges.
Pastor Jim Ball has a message for car buyers. “Most people don’t think the kind of car they drive has anything to do with their faith. We want to show them how it does.” Ball plans a campaign based on one question: What would Jesus drive? “Evangelical Christians,” he says, “ought to relate everything we do to the Lordship of Christ.”
In 1977 Wendell Berry warned that the rise of corporate farming and the disappearance of the family farm were destroying local communities and economies. These developments also caused soil erosion, and reduced the quality of the food we eat.
As we hurtled toward Shakespeare, Ontario, I felt a familiar cold visceral tightness and fear. “Shakespeare,” I brooded. “I hope the name isn’t an omen. ‘Shakespeare’ suggests tragedy. Or worse, comedy.”