Environment Archives

Friday Link Wrap-up

A typical reason couples live together before getting married is that, supposedly, this will allow them to find out if they are compatible and thus ensure their marriage lasts longer.  But a new study says, nope, they are less likely to stay married.

Read my lips; no new taxes on those making $250,000 or less.  Well, we may soon add to the many exceptions since that promise was made, “unless you own a home”.

The revolving door between the MSM and the Democratic Party.  Oh, that liberal media.

If the Gulf oil spill had happened on Bush’s watch, do you really think the environmental groups would be as virtually silent as they are now?  (Me neither.)

Remember how the UN climate change panel was supposed to be the result of boatloads of scientists in agreement?  Turns out the boat was a dingy.

And from the “Beware of Governments Bearing Gifts” department:

Churches and other faith-based organizations that receive government funds, beware. In an agreement that will be enforced by a federal court, government agencies in New York have agreed to monitor the Salvation Army to ensure that it doesn’t impose religion on the people its serves through its tax-funded social services.

The agreement just effects the Salvation Army’s social work in New York, but it’s more than a cautionary tale for religious groups in this era of government-backed faith-based initiatives. “With this settlement, government is watching out,” co-counsel Deborah Karpatkin of the N.Y. Civil Liberties Union said in a statement. “It will not fund religious organizations to proselytize to recipients of government-funded social services.”

The Salvation Army’s social services are intended to be an expression of faith in God and love for fellow man, but if they are prevented from doing the former while performing the latter, they’re being hobbled.  My suggestion has always been to avoid government money at all costs.

Mr Obama and a Good Idea … Not Mixing

Mr Obama is in a pickle. He “says” he is thinking morning, noon, and night and obsessing about the what to do about the oil leak in the Gulf. And there’s a little problem here. A subterranean tactical (20-40 kiloton) nuclear device activated in the vicinity of the leak would stop the leakage with almost no danger of any excess nuclear material being released to the environment. I’m betting this won’t be done. Why?

  • Mr Obama is religiously anti-nuclear. He holds to an unstated (unexamined?) ivory tower plan toward a nuclear free world. Using a nuclear device to stop one of the larger modern ecological disasters has no part in that plan. The notion that a nuclear device might do anything but harm would be a fatal flaw for his dream.
  • If it works then it would have worked it two months ago. Which means the longer we wait to do that … the more obvious that doing it earlier would have been better is all the more compelling. Which is why, now two months down the road this won’t be done. Every day, every hour makes the chance of acting decisively less easy.

So remember, as you look at pictures of ecological impacts of the oil spill in the upcoming months. Mr Obama could have fixed this and even prevented it but didn’t because it would hurt his case for non-proliferation and because it would make him look a little stupid.

So when you gaze on the gulf disaster you’re looking at the results of Mr Obama’s pride and folly.

The Latest News

If by "late" you mean "bordering on stale".  Walter Mead notes that the NY Times is singing long after the opera is over.

Climate Fears Turn To Doubts Among Britons,” blares the headline.

The story begins:

LONDON — Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium here to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet?

Last month? The conference was last month and we are only hearing about it now, at the end of this month?

It turns out, however, that by Times standards a report on a conference from last month is a late breaking newsflash.  The main evidence that ace reporter Elizabeth Rosenthal has tracked down for her story about changing public sentiment comes from a BBC opinion poll from February.

The last I looked, we were approaching the end of May.  This is deliberative journalism at its best: only ninety swift days between a BBC poll and the time that the New York Times thinks you are ready to hear about it.

Rosenthal has tracked down some other elusive leads.  Concern about climate change, she reports, has also dropped dramatically among Germans — from 62 percent to 42 percent.  This time, the news dates only  from March.  Sixty days from simmer to serve: the head spins at the speed of information in this globalized world of ours.

And there’s nothing as thorough as a professional journalist hunting a good story; she’s also got another late breaking revelation.  As recently as January, a scant four months ago, a mere flick of the eyelid in geological time,  a survey of Conservative political candidates in the UK showed that stopping climate change rated as the lowest among 19 priorities for the new government.

Now six months after the rest of the world found out about it, Times readers are finally learning that Climategate and Glaciergate so seriously reduced public confidence in climate science in so many countries that there is little or no chance that serious global climate change legislation will be enacted.  At the time, the story did not merit much attention in the print pages of the Times; but sometimes a good story has to age like a fine wine.

"All the news that’s fit to print…eventually." 

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Tragedy: How Your Church Can Help!

What can we do as Christians and what can our churches do to help address the damage from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Here’s a thorough guide from Flourish, with clear information, how to pray, ideas for fundraising, and tips for action.

One tip:

Although it is not appropriate to fly down to the Gulf Coast, pick up an oil-slicked bird, and start scrubbing on your own, there are lots of opportunities to assist established organizations with oil spill clean up efforts at ground zero.

A Southern Baptist Leader’s View of the Oil Spill and Christian Responsbility

There is no shortage of articles and broadcast reports on the Gulf oil spill–who is to blame, what’s being done to stem the flow of oil, what the impact will be on the Gulf coast and its people, flora and fauna.

The Flourish Blog has an important view of things, The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Creation Care, from Southern Baptist Seminary’s Russell Moore.

Moore writes:

Some conservatives, and some conservative evangelicals, act as though “environmentalism” is by definition “liberal” or even just downright silly. Witness a lot of the evangelical rhetoric across social media on Earth Day a while back: mostly Al Gore jokes and wisecracks about cutting down trees or eating endangered species as a means of celebration.

Do some environmentalists reject the dignity of humanity? Yes. Do some replace the reverence for creation with that due the Creator? Of course. This happens in the same way some do the same thing with reverence for economic profit or any other finite thing.

There’s nothing conservative though, and nothing “evangelical,” about dismissing the conservation of the natural environment. And the accelerating Gulf crisis reminds us something of what’s at stake.

This is an important read for those of us who are conservative evangelicals from one of our community’s articulate leaders.

American Makeover Series Starts in Sprawlanta

When filmmakers John Paget and Chris Elisara were looking for a location to shoot the pilot of their new web series on the strategic growth of American cities, they considered Atlanta the natural choice. It is history’s fastest expanding city, which in their series premiere—called Sprawlanta—they say would spread from coast to coast at the rate it has grown since its beginning. But they found that Atlanta was not only the poster child of suburban sprawl but also the site of one of the nation’s models of what is called “new urbanism.”  Glenwood Park, a development by Internet entrepreneur Charles Brewer on the Glenwood Avenue connector, provides an example of a  in-town location with wonderful places to live, work, shop, eat, and play within walking distance; a model of what  these fans of new urbanism say will create safer, more enjoyable, and healthier cities.


The series is called American Makeover and you can view the Sprawlanta series premiere and support this project here.



A Modest Proposal

I’ve been mulling this over for quite a while, and I think it’s time to put these thoughts out there and see if I can get other fair-minded folks to back me up on this.  I’ll have to admit it’s not something that’ll be easy to adjust to, but I think that, in the end, you’ll thank me.

On average, every year airline travel kills 1,000 people.  Every year.  Now, statistics about deaths per passenger or per passenger-mile are used to try to mitigate this, but if one of those 1,000 people is someone you know — friend, family, or perhaps yourself — it doesn’t matter how many others didn’t die.  Those are 1,000 people that aren’t going to be landing at an airport near you ever again.  Consider this; that’s 1/3 of a 9-11-type terrorist attack every year.  Where’s the uproar about that

And even if you cravenly choose to brush this aside, let’s not forget the death traps that are automobiles.  On an average year, these instruments of death cause 40,000 – 50,000 deaths!  Every year!  Osama bin Laden doesn’t have to kill us infidels with planes; he can just wait for Detroit to do it for him. 

Given the immense human cost of these modes of transportation, I think that any sober individual would agree that these statistics prove that air flight and driving should be outlawed, or at least a moratorium put on their use until such time as they can be made completely harmless to man and beast alike. 

This isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a Democrat/Republican, liberal/conservative thing.  All Americans have life, and losing it should be avoided at all costs.  Even one death is too much if we truly value the safety of our people, especially our children.  Children are usually put into these instruments of death without a say in the matter, and so we must speak for them.  Ban transportation for the children.

This may adversely affect our culture, our economy, and our competitiveness in the world market, but again, what is one life worth?  Environmentalists seek to save endangered animals; what about the endangered humans?

In conclusion, instead of moving around so much, we should stay still.  Still, baby, still! 


In other news today, with the oil spill from the BP rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico ,which killed 11, heading for land, many on the Left are calling for a stop to off-shore drillingSome are invoking an accident from 21 years ago to buttress their point, and asking for at least a moratorium on new drilling.  Perfection, apparently, has not yet been reached.

D.A.R.E Loses Major Battle

No, not that D.A.R.E. I’m talking about Democrats Against Renewable Energy.  The Obama administration has prevailed.

BOSTON, Mass – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today approved the Cape Wind renewable energy project on federal submerged lands in Nantucket Sound, but will require the developer of the $1 billion wind farm to agree to additional binding measures to minimize the potential adverse impacts of construction and operation of the facility.

“After careful consideration of all the concerns expressed during the lengthy review and consultation process and thorough analyses of the many factors involved, I find that the public benefits weigh in favor of approving the Cape Wind project at the Horseshoe Shoal location,” Salazar said in an announcement at the State House in Boston. “With this decision we are beginning a new direction in our Nation’s energy future, ushering in America’s first offshore wind energy facility and opening a new chapter in the history of this region.”

The Cape Wind project would be the first wind farm on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, generating enough power to meet 75 percent of the electricity demand for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island combined. The project would create several hundred construction jobs and be one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in the nation, cutting carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants by 700,000 tons annually. That is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from the road for a year.

This project has been held up for at least 7 years, with liberal luminaries like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Walter Cronkite opposing it.  It’s all well and good for us plebeians, but not where it might spoil the view for the well-heeled. 

It’s good of the Obama administration to get this project unstuck, but he has to get his own party on-board with renewable energy in their own backyards, and ensure that delays like this don’t happen again, if he wants to be taken seriously with this whole "green energy" thing.

Earth Day. . .

and the Christian life.

A balanced and wise piece on the Flourish blog, which concludes:

Instead of being optimistic, we–as Christians–are hopeful. And our hope is foundational to every day of our lives, not just Earth Day. So let us celebrate this day in recognition for what it means in the history of our relationship with God’s earth. But let us also celebrate Thanksgiving in gratitude for the bounty of God’s creation and the love that can occur between strangers. Let us celebrate Christmas in acknowledgment that not only is Christ our brother, savior, and redeemer, but he is also the One through whom all things were made. Let us celebrate–on each nameless day of our lives, on our birthdays, at family get-togethers, and at church–the goodness of God’s creation with hope, joy, and hard work.

We are hopeful because the earth is the Lord’s–a fact that remains unconstrained by holidays or public awareness or sin–and that is why we care for his creation every day.

“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it …”

– Psalm 24:1

Front Porch Virtues

Do you have a front porch? I mean a real front porch, where you can greet neighbors and sit with a friend who stops by for a visit. No, neither do I.

We need more porches to restore a more American and even biblical way of life, says architect Bill Randall writing at the Flourish Blog. He writes:

Porches also are a wonderful way to interact with our neighbors. To sit on the front porch in a chair or a swing, sipping iced tea or lemonade in our present “cool of the day” still holds an amazing appeal to us. To be able to greet our neighbors and have a short chat fosters that very spiritual concept called community.

While our connection to nature could be part of the first great commandment of loving God, our connection to those in our immediate community could be part of that second commandment to love our neighbor. Do we really love our neighbor? Do we even KNOW our neighbor? We’ve fallen out of touch with those around us as the “place” of our front porch has waned and one of our primary means of connecting with our neighbors has faded.

Three inventions in the mid 20th century had an almost fatal effect on the front porch and our connection to our neighbors: the automobile, the air conditioner, and the television.


God Observes “Everything is Mine Week”


AP Photo/Icelandi Coastguard

AP Photo/Icelandi Coastguard

Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images
Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images










An Alternative Observation of Earth Day

As parts of the nation prepare to observe Earth Day, it has occurred to me that we may be observing The Earth is Mine Week.  With a well-placed volcanic eruption, God may be accomplishing three things:


 1.       In the face of slow action by humankind, God temporarily addresses global warming with volcanic ash that may lower worldwide temperatures for a time. 

2.       To provide an example of how people can slow down for a few days, God closes European airspace, dramatically reducing  consumption (and the burning of fossil fuel) and helping people observe the Sabbath.  

3.       Makes a dramatic statement:  The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” Psalm  24:1. 



Spring Break Catch-up

I was on Spring Break vacation with the family last week, so other than my post-dated blog posts, I didn’t write much … well, anything.  But I did surf the web and kept track of some articles I wanted to highlight when I came back.  Here they are, in mostly chronological order of when I found them.

Amnesty International decided that jihad was not antithetical to human rights so long as it’s "defensive". 

The bump in polling numbers after passing health care "reform" was supposed to go to Democrats.  Instead, while it’s just a measure of emotion at this point in time, you’d think that all the promises of the bill would give Democrats a few higher point.  Instead, they’re at an 18-year low.  It’s quite possible that people are only now understanding what they supported all along, because the "free" stuff isn’t materializing right now.

What was the point of the resurrection on Easter?  Don Sensing has (had) some thoughts.

The Tea Party’s ideas are much more mainstream than the MSM would like you to believe.  And Tea Partiers are much more diverse that the MSM realized.  Turns out, they did some actual journalism and found out the real story.  Imagine that.  Has the liberal slant of the press become a problem of corruption, especially with, first, the willful ignoring of the Tea Party story, and second, the willful misreporting of it?

Toyota cars have killed 52 people, and got a recall for it.  Gardasil, a cervical cancer vaccine, has had 49 "unexplained deaths" reported by the CDC and it’s still required in some states.

Changing the names to protect the guilty, the words "Islam" and "jihad" are now banned from the national security strategy document.  When the next terror attack Islamic jihadists happens, it’ll be interesting to find out how they describe it.

Cows have been exonerated of helping to cause global warming.  No, really.

Rep. Bart Stupak’s reversal of his principles is having the proper effect; he’s decided not to seek re-election.  Likely, he couldn’t get re-elected anyway, after betraying his constituents, but let this be a lesson about trusting "conservative" Democrats too much.

And finally, media scrutiny of church vs. state (click for a larger picture):

Media scrutiny

Oh, that liberal media.

Making Good Coffee Good for Everyone

My name is Jim and I am a coffeeholic. Yes I do love coffee, and although I enjoy the various combination drinks at Starbucks, I regularly enjoy a good, rich, dark roast.

Since I’ve begun working in environmental stewardship, I’ve been learning more about not just what makes good coffee, but what makes coffee good–as in fair and just, a positive impact on those who grow it, and gentle on the environment. But all of the labels–such as shade-grown, fair-trade, and bird-friendly–have been confusing to me, as they may be to you.

A post on coffee and community at the Flourish Blog is very helpful in sorting out how individuals and churches can make coffee hour a truly redemptive time.

On the church coffee hour, it reads:

The church coffee hour is already a ministry—a time of fellowship, connection, and service for people who need the love of God and the love of our brothers and sisters. Drinking conscientiously-produced coffee and tea simply extends that ministry to brothers and sisters we may not be able to meet and greet, but who are no less deserving of love and justice. When this service is viewed as a ministry, and not just a perk or an expectation, options open up for making it work.

Check it out.

Warming up to cooler climate changes over colder times of warmer weather

Colder means warmer when global warming becomes climate change except when more hurricanes result in less hurricanes before a dip in temperature preceded by a warm few years and less snow on an Olympic downhill run sixty years after record heat waves.

Oh bother!

Fumento tells us all about climate vs. weather regardless of who happens to be doing the claiming (and he links to an interesting page which tracks EVERYTHING that global warming is affecting).

January 2010 was the world’s warmest January since satellite tracking began in 1979.  Hard to appreciate in Washington, D.C., NY and the capitals of Europe, which have experienced remarkably wintery weather.  But NY is not the world, as hard as that is to believe for New Yorkers and the NY-based national media.  And the worldwide average last month made it the wamest January on record.


“Last November was the hottest November we’ve ever seen, November-January as a whole is the hottest November-January the world has seen,” he said of the satellite data record since 1979.

The World Meteorological Organization said in December that 2000-2009 was the hottest decade since records began in 1850, and that 2009 would likely be the fifth warmest year on record. WMO data show that eight out of the 10 hottest years on record have all been since 2000.

Two truths for the day:  Weather is not climate.  A cold winter in one area of the world doesn’t debunk science.

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