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As we make presentations at various communities around Southern California, we have accumulated quite a lot of resources which are useful to faith communities, particularly those in the greater Los Angeles area.

 
What We Can Do

specific recommendations for communities that are just beginning their journey

Understanding the problems

Explanation of peak oil, climate change, and economic contraction -- Their simultaneous occurrence will shape all human experience in the coming years and decade.  Planning for one without the other two will only lead to more wasted resources, and futile efforts without long term viability.

Specific Tools
The Genesis Covenant

an interfaith pledge to reduce carbon emissions at your community site by 50% in 10 years

 
Our recommendations

Interfaith and spiritual

Buddhist

  • The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology, by Thich Nhat Hanh -- specifically addresses engaging in urgent action on global warming & economic destruction, and the personal transformations needed to address the crisis
  • Joanna Macy
  • Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World by Wendy Johnson -- beautifully introspective writing on spirit and ecology, told through garden experience at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Northern California

Catholic

  • "Environmental Justice" article by Joanne Poyourow with Jacqueline Welsh
  • ‘It is manifestly unjust that a privileged few should continue to accumulate excess goods, squandering available resources, while masses of people are living in conditions of misery at the very lowest level of subsistence. Today, the dramatic threat of ecological breakdown is teaching us the extent to which greed and selfishness — both individual and collective — are contrary to the order of creation, an order which is characterized by mutual interdependence.’
    • -- Message of Pope John Paul II for the 1990 World Day of Peace on the theme “Peace with God the Creator, Peace with All of Creation”. 8 December 1989
  • "among the basic problems which the international community has to address is that of energy resources and the development of joint and sustainable strategies to satisfy the energy needs of the present and future generations. This means that technologically advanced societies must be prepared to encourage more sober lifestyles, while reducing their energy consumption and improving its efficiency."
    • -- Message of Benedict XVI for the 2010 World Day of Peace on the theme “If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation ”. 1 January 2010
  • "the issue of environmental degradation challenges us to examine our life-style and the prevailing models of consumption and production, which are often unsustainable from a social, environmental and even economic point of view. We can no longer do without a real change of outlook which will result in new life-styles"
    • -- Message of Benedict XVI for the 2010 World Day of Peace on the theme “If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation ”. 1 January 2010
  • We strongly urge Catholic communities to reach beyond the "St Francis Pledge," and to make a commitment to concrete emissions-reducing action and new lifestyles.

Christian (evangelical)

Christian (interdenominational)

  • The National Council of Churches open letter about the environment
  • "Why church people should be at the forefront of the global warming issue" by Bill McKibben.  scroll to second half of the Christian Century article here

Episcopal

Hindu

  • Yamas and niyamas (doc) with a perspective on the environment by Joanne Poyourow with Vidya Chaitanya

Jewish

  • Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life - "Protecting Creation, generation to generation"
  • Ecology & the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature and the Sacred Meet by Ellen Bernstein ed. -- a beautiful collection of essays, very pertinent
  • A Spirituality of Resistance: Finding a Peaceful Heart and Protecting the Earth by Roger S. Gottlieb -- addresses the spiritual difficulty of being on a perpetual campaign where one might not see results in one's own lifetime

Muslim

Native American

Pagan

 
 
 
 
 
Last updated Apr 2010

 
 
 
 

"Westchester Church Trades Lawn for Food"
Our Community Garden project

The Daily Breeze, May 2008

“A child born in a wealthy country is likely to consume, waste and pollute more in his lifetime than 50 children born in developing nations.”

-- George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, UK, quoted in Guy Dauncey, Stormy Weather, p.25

 

“… the United States has the world’s largest Footprint at 9.57 hectares (23.7 acres) per person -- a sustainable Footprint would be 1.88 hectares (4.6 acres)”

[That means that if everyone on the planet consumed the way Americans do, it would take 5 planets to provide for it all.]

from Consumption of world resources at “Ecological Footprint of Nations, 2004“, United Nations.