Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire is a deceptively short yet theologically deep book. As William Cavanaugh inquires how Christians should think about and engage in economic life, he draws on the resources of his Catholic tradition, including such figures as Augustine, Aquinas, Hans Urs von Balthasar and John Paul II. His four chapters, on the free market, consumerism, globalization and scarcity, are interrelated, but each could stand alone as an essay worthy of reflection and study. Cavanaugh explores concrete attempts by Christians to “discern and create economic practices, spaces, and transactions that are truly free” and “marked by the body of Christ.”
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).