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The Climate Crisis as a Global Theological Matter of grave importance #PeoplesClimate #OWS

October 01, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate, Theoblogical

At Union Theological Seminary, a remarkably diverse group of more than 200 religious and spiritual leaders will gather for the Religions for the Earth conference. Representing Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia, the Pacific nations and the Arctic, these leaders will bring a much-needed moral perspective to the climate crisis. They represent billions of people of faith.

via Religions for the Earth: Redefining the Climate Crisis.

We need to deepen and expand the worldwide movement to fight climate change and sieze its moral trajectory.

On all these fronts, it is incumbent on religious institutions to take the lead

As I was writing about yesterday,  MLK saw the interwoven tapestry of values that have their impact across many sectors of white. Just as MLK saw in the 60’s,  Militarism , Racism, and Poverty were fueled and cross-pollinated by the others.  The economic structure privileges the white,  the military draws disproportionately from the lower classes,  which are disproportionately black.  The economic powers tend toward plunder and evade responsibility,  since the stockholders demand ever higher profits,  which creates the desire/necessity for lower bottom lines,  which means that workers lives and incomes and well being are de-emphasized over ever”More Productive” processes,  which leads to off-shoring,  which leads then to hiding the injustices “off-shore”;  where unrest and poverty due to such sources threaten the smooth process (of profits) ,  then military might is employed to pave the way for “re-smoothing” the way. The environment has become one of those threats,  since regulation aimed at minimizing environmental consequences affects that bottom line,  particularly the Big Oil industry,  one of the most wealthy sectors of the economy.  As the science warrants greater and greater corrective measures,  the forces of “smoothing” and “status quo economics”  disseminate “debunking” counter “facts” to discredit the science.   The environment and the global effects of its deterioration from the uber-technological effects (largely emissions)  has become another casualty of this war along with continued racial disadvantages, economic disadvantage,  and military “options” to ensure compliance when threats to smooth operation arise.  Associating “climate alarmists” with devious political activity seeks ultimately to socially stigmatize (even criminalize through efforts to avoid regulatory pressure/costs) the suggestion that the globe is beg adversely affected.

It seems apparent that the environment/global climate is an unavoidable casualty of the ongoing conflict occasioned by the global spread of oligarchy, short -term gratification of comforts,  and blinders toward the future consequences.

This is “the world” and the “Principalitiesd” against which we now struggle, and this is a deeply theological matter.

MLK and the triple threat impacts environment issues as well (and vice versa) @ThisChanges Everything #OWS

September 30, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate, Theoblogical

As I read Naomi Klein’s ThisChangesEverything,  I am also winding down the final chapters of Tavis Smiley’s book Death of a King,  about MLK’s final years,  where he was offending a good portion of his following becuase they saw him as “Venturing out” from Race to issues (like war and economics)  that many were saying were “beyond his province”;  “Stick to civil rights” he quoted others as saying to him.  His answer:  “Ive worked too hard and too long  against segregation to end up segregating my MORAL CONCERN”.   This is a KEY THEOLOGICAL truth.  “Theology” is not “over here” while economics, race,  and yes,  the environment are “over there”.

I have this friend who is constantly missing that truth:  that theology is not “other” than any of the socio-ethical issues of our time, or any time.  This comes up time and time again whenever “Separation of Church and State” comes up.  It’s always “Keep the ‘religious’ element OUT of the decision making process where it concerns governing; religious beliefs ‘have no place’ in deciding what to do about X”.  Again,  the separation of “religous” into some ideological section OTHER than politics, government, social welfare.  Frustrating artificial divide.  The same collection of false dichotomies leads to what I was tweeting about earlier:  that the reaction to the environmental crisis is yet “another issue” that is something to be “into or not into”;  is it is certainly understandable,  and one cannot argue with “I’m just not interested in that subject,  although I believe the science about it”.   But the “gap” there is realizing that this climate crisis constitutes a much bigger deal than the act of giving it a score ,  and of course,  to people who treat it this way,  it is practically impossible to point out this disconnect, since they HAVE that disconnect.

Naomi talks about the great weight of this issue,  and how it drives so many people (like herself,  and like me,  even more so) to treat it as we would any other issue,  and read about it and listen to discussions,  but also somewhat consciously set it aside as it becomes “too much” to take in,  given the state of our politics,  and the ingrained harsh capitalist behavior of the fossil fuel companies,  and their constant ,  largely successful pressure, on the politics,  which is a part of why our politics is in such a depressing state of being totally subservient to the corporate state.   The corporate state , in turn,  bows to the will of the Fossil fuel companies by actually subsidizing their already massive profits.  How this makes sense in an economic atmosphere where the conservatives oppose “government intervention” and regulations of any kind,  is revealed when we follow the money cycle,  which changes hands virtually between the halls of government, Fossil Fuel, Conservative think tanks,  and the .1% drivers of all this.

And so,  1988 ,  the year commonly identified as when the climate scientists got their message out that some concerning trends had been taking place around and on the globe,  due to the massive emissions.   And once a network of collaboration has been shaped and implemented that creates an economic ideology that underpins and enables that behavior,  there is a seemingly endless problem in breaking through that set of assumptions about our economics.   That a certain style and shape of economics is assumed if it is to be called capitalism.   And then when people like Naomi Klein question the ethics and practicalities of such a capitalism,  there are endless protests of “anti-capitalist” as if that meant “Anti-American”,  which for many people, does indeed mean that.

MLK understood this process,  which enabled him to question the economic priorities of the United States and not be attacking the very idea of America,  which we took great pains to articulate,  drawing from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  He saw a “triple threat” to America in the shape of racism, poverty, and militarism.  Post 1988,  he would be talking about climate as well,  as a principal component or major product of the threats. He often talked about militarism and the economy in terms of priorities,  and the impact of poverty on ALL of the poor,  fueled by racism and militarism.  Add the environmental implications,  which has its economic causes (“unfettered capitalism) and effects on poverty (low income areas often most impacted by toxic activities,  since the more affluent have the political muscle to have a say in where these “byproducts” can be handled and expelled.  And racism is a vicious cycle,  acting as a social stigma,  due to the generalizing that racist elements use to develop prejudices ,  from the impact of strident low-income populations,  being beset by economic disadvantages, environmental hazards,  and lack of funds for basic infrastructure (often in no small measure due to the wasteful activities of the economy and the corporations which lobby the halls of government for increasingly lax regulation and subsidies.

So you see the quandry we’re in,  caught in multiple feedback loops where problems compound and spill over into the others.

RealClimate: Start here

September 28, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS, Theoblogical

 

 

 

 

via RealClimate: Start here.

Here’s a list suggested by a reader of realclimate):

http://climatedenial.org
http://climateprogress.org
http://www.climatesciencewatch.org
http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com
http://deconsumption.typepad.com
http://www.globalissues.org
http://globalisation-and-the-environment.blogspot.com
http://fergusbrown.wordpress.com
http://initforthegold.blogspot.com
http://www.realclimate.org
http://reasic.com

– See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/#sthash.vAquKrY1.dpuf

Church Communication Orgs could use their own “Facebook Connect” style API

September 26, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Facebook, Theoblogical

Was reading the final chapters of The Facebook Effect,  and when it mentions “Facebook Connect”,  ” a way to project information about the actions you take on other sites back to your Facebook friends as if they were actions inside Facebook”.

This is a key issue for Web social integration.  It is the Facebook strength, writ large and Web wide.  Facebook’s strength is its insight into leveraging the power of shared interests and building a powerful “Social database” out of those insights.

Church Websites and Web apps should be focusing on this.  There was a time when many church orgs were trying to do this ,  seeking to launch “User profiles” so that user behavior on their sites and with their data can be mined to enhance that user experience by becoming “smarter” re: what those users want to see and do.  This CANNOT be done with out user profiles.  Without them,  the site remains a “top down” server of content ,  and cannot be a the kind of community that is possible via the Web,  no matter how much they write artciles insisting that they are building community.

This, for me,  is a crucial theological truth for Churches seeking to be the church in the Web space.  And it cannot really be discovered in all it’s impact until one begins to see the social power kick in.  Facebook saw this early on,  and the apps and reach just snowballed and expanded exponentially from there.  I have been intrigued with thier concept of “Social Graph” ever since I first heard it articulated.

At its very simplest,  a pure traffic analysis of a user suggests a lot about the theological inclinations of that user. It suggests a gold mine of information crucial to serving that user the most relevant and eye-catching (and “soul enhancing”) content.  And it brings to light a clearer path to connecting people with theological commonalities they care about.

And Facebook is finding out a lot about users,  now after Facebook connect,  not just about what they do ON FACEBOOK,  but what they do on those other sites that employ Facebook connect (which is a staggering percentage of sites).  Wouldn’t Church websites benefit from knowing about what their users like and comment upon and view on other sites?  This is not “tracking” in the anonymous sense.  This is recording WHAT THE USERS TELL YOU they like.  They already know they’re telling Facebook.  Why would they mind if they are telling you?

The possibilities seem endless.

was wondering if people could come and test my comment social login. havent gotten any lately and I want to see if it’s still working

September 26, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical, Wordpress

Just click Comments below and try to login with your choice