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Top (10 or 13) Things To Do As An Ecological Steward

July 13, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, People's Climate, Theoblogical

A Twitter acquaintance (Ryan; met him via some post comments on UMC.org), asked me via Twitter yesterday:  “Can you give me a list of top 10 things to do to live as an ecological steward?” .  I responded with a followup , clarifying question:  “as individuals, collectives, or all of the above?”.   And  also : “regardless of your reply, that is a great subject for a blog post. Thanks! might do 10 of each ( individual,collective)”.   and then “that has opened up such an awesome theological exploration for me. Thanks again. I will attribute the question to you.”

And then I offered up a “preview”:  “this may take a day or two….but major will be getting off fossil fuels ASAP, with attention to how urgently (fast)” followed by “that’s a collective one, but it syncs with an individual one: to work on the church level to raise awareness in that collective”

I would say that is my number one.  As one working in the Web communications business since 1994,  and doing it almost exclusively from within the church,  this is my natural concern:  that the church awaken to its call to be a “City on a Hill”; to be a foretaste of Kingdom-of-God living.  The conference I attended at Pomona College Claremont , CA ,  organized by the Center for Process Studies (and John Cobb)  ,  “Seizing An Alternative: Toward An Ecological Civilization” sounded like a call to me.  That “Ecological Civilization” is all about a wholistic approach in all disciplines,  with a keen focus on ecology and economics as they pertain to “The Common Good”.

So,  I think I will do two lists,  and these lists overlap at points,  as I anticipated in my initial response tweets, listed above.

So far,  I have a total of 13,  but I want to end up with 10 of each.

Collective
1.  getting off fossil fuels ASAP

2. include the ecological costs in our accounting and economics

3. develop programs to promote and incentivize individuals/families to implement solar for electricity

4. Ramp up dramatically the move to ZERO emissions autos (electric, not “hybrid”)

5. Collaborate with the world efforts to seriously address the problem of global economy being so dominated by oil interests.

6.Get the churches involved in lobbying government to recognize the neccessity of immediate re-orientation efforts

7. More to add as I think of them

 

Individuals/Families

1. Be present in your church and share your concerns about the Ecological (and increasingly, Economic)  crisis we face.

2. Get moving to find programs (or be active in efforts to get them going) to promote solar for homes and businesses (syncs up with number 3 collective)

3. Economize on trips, errands, water usage (especially hot water that uses both water and electricity) , heating and air, and local food over big chain, big brand (which cuts down on emissions created in transporting food, and on demand for high-carbon “Big Agro” production)

4. Waste less food and water

5. Move to much -lower emissions means of transport in personal transport (public transport where feasible), especially in choice of vehicles (Electric is preferrable over hybrid, which still creates emissions, only 50% less,  which is good,  but don’t stop there.

6. Find active organizing, lobbying group such as “Citizen’s Climate Lobby” to hook up with people collaborating on ways to help the collective.

7. Stay educated on Climate issues,  and avoid the “Denier” memes propogated by conservative media,  and the “jury’s still out” debates that pit the science vs the “Denier-groups” which are largely funded by fossil fuel interests.  Staying educated will also help you to add new items to this list.  Hopefully, some day,  and very soon,  you will be able to find “Eco-mission” with people in your congregation.

8. More to add as I think of them

 

My online friend Ryan is at @ColtsFan254 on Twitter.  Ryan is much more conservative theologically and politically than I am,  but he has engaged me on 2-3 occasions via Twitter,  and as I have told him,  he has been a help and a very civil debater on these topics.

 

Wes Jackson speech (Sunday AM plenary at @PandoPopulus conference)

July 12, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, People's Climate, Theoblogical

Video from PandoPopulus, ( Click here to begin at 24:50 is when Wes Jackson begins speaking)

“An evangelism of ecology” Let’s do it.

July 10, 2015 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, People's Climate, Theoblogical

Yes!

Pope Francis devotes an entire chapter of the encyclical to the need for an “ecological conversion” among Christians, “whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”

An evangelism of ecology, I realize, is what I have been witnessing take shape during the past three days in Rome—in the talk of “spreading the good news of the encyclical,” of “taking the Church on the road,” of a “people’s pilgrimage” for the planet, in Miranda laying out plans to spread the encyclical in Brazil through radio ads, online videos, and pamphlets for use in parish study groups.

A millennia-old engine designed to proselytize and convert non-Christians is now preparing to direct its missionary zeal inward, challenging and changing foundational beliefs about humanity’s place in the world among the already faithful. In the closing session, Father McDonagh proposes “a three-year synod on the encyclical,” to educate Church members about this new theology of interconnection and “integral ecology.”

–Naomi Klein in “A Radical Vatican?”

This reads almost as a prayer , for me,  for the renewal of the Church,  and for a “conversion”;  an “evangelization” as Naomi calls it (and I agree).

She’s onto something there; something deeply challenging for theology,  and necessary for its advance (or some might say,  instead of “advance”,  to “turn it around” and halt it’s decline or its role as a corrupter of values necessary for survival and for justice.

A New “Earth-Honoring Faith” is required; a new Reformation

July 10, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, People's Climate, Theoblogical

“By asserting that nature has a value in and of itself, Francis is overturning centuries of theological interpretation that regarded the natural world with outright hostility—as a misery to be transcended and an ‘allurement’ to be resisted.” – Naomi Klein in “A Radical Vatican?” via The New Yorker

Yes, Naomi, it is a STEEP theological legacy that must be reformed. But that will take more time to undo than we have time for. So, for now,  the church must be strong as an “Alliance” in participating in what needs to be done collectively as a human species, and only then, begin to offload the destructive baggage of a church that, all too often, imported the extractive, oppressive systems of the Empire.

Is the Climate Crisis to become an issue of major emphasis and effort for the church?

July 10, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, People's Climate, Theoblogical

another choice quote from the above article by Naomi Klein:

We’re here because many powerful Church insiders simply cannot be counted upon to champion Francis’s transformative climate message—and some would clearly be happy to see it buried alongside the many other secrets entombed in this walled enclave. Naomi Klein in “A Radical Vatican?”, New Yorker Magazine

I get this same sense in the Mainline Denominations too. Although many in the leadership of those Mainliners are in support of environmental measures, I have yet to see much at all of a major “Crisis Level” emphasis. One reason often seems to be an extreme retiscence to address the topic at all, much less come off as “alarmist” about it. This article yesterday is a good one to read on the real concerns of Climate scientists :http://www.esquire.com/…/ballad-of-the-sad…/… It’s not only a major civilizational crisis of epic social justice proportions and extremely large challenges to the human population and other species, it is also, largely because of that, a major theological challenge as well. The civilizational threat may not be the “Day Job” of the UMC or any other church, but it seems that their communications might be informing us and conversing with us about the gravity of the problem. And it will eventually become more consequential to our Day Job, the more it impacts the level of economic, social, and ethical problems it precipitates.