Bill McKibben —
The Moral Math of Climate Change

A conversation about climate change and moral imagination with a leading environmentalist and writer who has been ahead of the curve on this issue since he wrote The End of Nature in 1989. We explore his evolving perspective on human responsibility in a changing natural world.

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is Scholar-in-Residence in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, and the founder of 350.org. He's the author of many books, including The End of Nature.

Pertinent Posts

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A Yale study identified "six Americas" when it comes to climate change. Where are you on the spectrum?

About the Image

The terminus of Gangotri glacier, the source of the Ganges River. In the last several decades the glacier has been receding at an accelerated rate, which most climate scientists attribute to climate change.

(photo: Maneesh Agnihotri/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

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I am frustrated by the discussion of climate change, primarily because I do not believe that it is the right place to focus my efforts, or the efforts of our government. In brief, I believe the holy scriptures describe various horrific events, cataclysmic destruction which will completely change the way of life as we currently experience it. I am thinking of the words in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Saint Matthew, and Daniel. The many events described in the program concerning the suffering throughout the world in recent history cause me grief, but I do not believe their source is global warming. I believe the scriptures tell us that our societal problems, even those whose source appears to be industrial, scientific or technological, are a result in general, from the fall of man. I believe that global warming is an opposition of science, which the scriptures inform me to avoid. As an example, consider the description of the event in Siloam in chapter 13 of Luke's Gospel, where a tower fell and people died; this informs me that horrible natural occurrences have happened to mankind throughout history; these are not necessarily a result of the specific people's faith, or lack of faith. I was encouraged by the discussion on being a good neighbor. I have been moving around so much in my life primarily because of military service; I am looking forward to taking roots and growing in my local community. I liked the reference to the discussion at the end of the book of Job; I would differ in that I do not believe we are in a position to directly control the forces of nature, at least not on a large scale; the examples in Job 38 - 40 concern the beauty in the heavens and earth, meteorological occurrences, and animals in nature; I remember seeing Saturn from Waimea Falls on O'ahu on my son's birthday, it was memorable to both of us - similar to your discussion on the camping trip and viewing the Milky Way; about the only item which I think we have language to describe today that Job did not would be describing the breadth of the earth. I agree with the importance of individual and community restraint and the need to think of ourselves as small in a larger scheme. I also agree with the importance of making the right choices for one's community. I have a fifteen year old daughter, and I commend your efforts in developing your daughter's global understanding; for now we are working more on understanding some fundamentals of our government such as the Constitution and its amendments. Thanks for the challenging program. The picture was taken on a recent family trip on the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.

There are so many ways that the reality of climate change seeps into my life. One is an increasing mindfulness of my personal impact upon creation, and the quest for difference-making ways of living I can integrate into my spiritual practice: becoming aware of where things actually come from and what it takes for them to be available to me, recycle more, use less, moderate the household thermostat, eat local, support helpful political and social initiatives, think less in terms of "me" and more in terms of the "we" that includes my son's generation and the more-than-human world.
These days my prayers, especially at table, are often simply about noticing what is present and available to me (food or communion elements). Then, I take time to mindfully observe who made these gifts possible, and what it took to do so; farmer, fisher, mine-worker, rancher, trucker, forest, field, tree, stream or lake, oil well, gas pipeline, the life of a particular animal, sun, rain, and more. One by one, I follow the path for each feature of the meal and give thanks for the gift that has been provided. But, I also consider if, next time, my consumption should be different; not inducing guilt or pity, but simply noticing what might be better next time, and then offering a deep vow to move, even slowly toward such redemptive possibility.
However, I've noticed another difference that climate change has made in my life. It is less about practice or tangible products, and more about a sort of shadow lowering across my being. It is a great deal like the overwhelming, un-nameable, fear I felt as a child when my elementary school would have all us children move into a deep basement for a "fire drill" that we all knew was less about fire and more about monster bombs that could obliterate our lives. The shadow is more a deep sadness for what may become that tempers any joy of what could be, a frustration about what I cannot do myself and yet the wider community seems not to want to do, a crushing fear for the devastation that my son may know in his lifetime, a lie that my actions do not matter and that I shouldn't waste my time trying. This shadow seems to creep across the hills and vales of my existence until life is simply not the celebration it could be, but rather some pressed down struggle to find futile purpose and hope for the future. This is the worst part of the climate change experience for me.
Most of the time, though, I am able to keep the shadow at bay. By prayerful attentiveness to Spirit's activity, watching my son play, taking my camera out into the woods to photograph something wild, playing a tune on one of my Native American style flutes, being with my wife -- the lies of this shadow are undone by the light of possibility and the truth of my willingness to be even just a small part of the solution in this world.

Stopped Spring

“When all is said and done, more is said than done.”
Lou Holtz

With no warning, spring melted straight into autumn.
Leaves flamed orange before fully unfurled,
and fell incongruously on tender, dandelion-spattered lawns.
Tulips made it up, those facing the sun, but shriveled as it got colder.
People talked about it and joked, "It's a good thing we didn't put away the snow-blower."
But they were disappointed, and some worried about their heating bills.

They looked to the weather channel, possibly reassured by the omniscient drone
of cheery meteorologists forecasting probable rain and falling temperatures.
Some people talked. Some ate chips. Most led busy lives and adjusted.
News-reporters found other stories to tell. Life went on, but spring didn't return.

Just weeks after the snow had melted, it began falling again.
The ski industry celebrated and hay fever sufferers rejoiced.
Other people were alarmed and formed groups to talk about Stopped Spring.
The overall consensus was that the government was to blame.

Angry farmers, having consulted the almanac and planted early,
stomped at the waste of seed and demanded relief.
Hay and silage became scarce. Milk prices soared.
Consumer groups formed to talk about it.
The milk crisis was balanced overall by a dip in the price of beef
as dairy farmers liquidated stock.
Equestrian sports halted altogether when even moldy hay ran out.
Horsemeat became trendy in Uptown.

The effects of Stopped Spring spread.
Global markets and denial are complex so it took a while
for people to notice changes at the grocery store.
Produce remained plentiful, though distant growers starved
at an even faster rate than before.
There was concern when local prices rose, and people talked about it.
Many thought the inflation temporary, grinned and bore it.
Others complained, regretting their vote. Most wanted to get home and eat.

Months marched past in odd uniforms, out of synch with their names.
Commodities dwindled unevenly, and grains were the first to go.
Breakfast cereal manufacturers increased sugar contents,
their product being sold by weight, not volume.
Parents didn't notice and children didn't complain. Ritalin sales tripled.
Bakeries promoted meringues until eggs ran out, then closed their doors.
No bread, no pasta. People talked about that.

With the depletion of fresh produce, at any price, the same marketing logic
used with white rice and bleached flour was applied,
and canned foods became de rigueur on better tables everywhere.
It was all the talk, but the trend was short.
The last canned peas went for thousands. Diamonds were cheaper.

Outdoors, weakened waterfowl dropped mid-flight
and wobbling whitetails collapsed.
Wild young perished with their mothers before they could stand.
Men talked about it and put away their guns, disappointed.

Trees couldn't consume enough CO2 anyway,
but when their leaves fell early and didn't return,
Change accelerated and took unpredicted turns.
Icecaps gone, polar oil drilling began in earnest.
Fresh wars broke out over the rights.
When oil prices plummeted, everybody talked about it.
People traveled farther and farther to find food
but since there were fewer and fewer of them,
oil consumption remained steady overall.

It didn't take long to clear out terrestrial life.
After just a few cycles, only the neurotic hoarders were left,
mostly injured by starving neighbors.
They huddled and murmured, struggling with their wounds.
When their food was gone, they were silent.

Had they been there to talk about it,
people might have said they’d learned something.
They might have been hard pressed, though,
to say just what it was.

©Sandra Turner

I'm glad I was able to listen to your program this week. With all the media coverage of the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, I was thinking about the environment and global warming this week and wanting to reach out in some way.

I went to high school in the 1970's at a time when there was great concern about the environment. I attended a Catholic high school and was a member of the ecology club. I don't remember concern for the earth and the our environment being discussed directly in religion classes, but there was a lot of emphasis on social justice and on the idea that one's faith should have an impact on what one did in one's everyday life. Once a month our Ecology Club gathered on a Saturday afternoon and drove around the local neighborhood collecting newspapers for recycling. Although it was unspoken it seemed both a response to our concern for the world we believed God had created and a way of having an small impact on our world.

Now we have weekly recycling of paper and plastic in our village, but I still turn off lights around my home and will pick up plastic bottles and containers that are I find in the street or our local park.

I am somewhat familiar with the problems and extent of global warming from coverage on public radio and reading National Geographic magazine, which did an extensive article recently and gave a helpful image of a bathtub filling up with water to illustrate the increased CO2 levels in our world.

I found your program to be disturbing in several ways. For one thing, Bill McKibben's description of how quickly we have changed the balance of our planet and his description of how we are conducting an unprecedented experiment in which we ourselves are living in the test tube hit hard. His description of the impact that global warming could have on some of the poorest people in the world, such as those living along the Ganges River, was also very troubling.

The program was also disturbing in other ways as well. I found Bill's solutions less encouraging. In light of the crisis we are facing I think it will take more that neighbors getting closer to one another, shopping locally and improving mass transit. I feel it will take every bit of our scientific and technological creativity and expertise to come up with solutions to global warming and/or to mitigate its effects - because in real politic we may not be able to do as much as we'd like to stop or slow it. I also felt that as much as the Internet is a wonderful tool for sharing information and organizing in support of the environment and efforts to address global warming, it seemed somewhat contradictory to embrace it so warmly. For one thing, the Internet and all those computers and devices hooked up to it require more and more electricity, which for now comes largely from fossil fuels. For another thing, the Internet also seems to alienate people from one another at the very same time it enables people to connect. You can have friends all over the world, but you don't need to talk to them face to face at all! My daughter says that she and her college roommates sometimes sit in their apartment each of them on their own computer listening to their own music without interacting with one another - even thought they are in the same room!

I am very much one of those who, as Krista pointed out in the program, don't feel that I know how much of an impact I can have.

I liked the discussion of the Biblical story of Job and agree that the point of most of the major world religions seems to be to make us realize that we are not the center of the universe either individually or as a species. At this point in my life, I feel that the main lesson we are supposed to learn from life is that we need to trust in and turn things over to a higher power, whatever we may call it or however we may understand it. We need to let "God" be "God" and let ourselves be fallible human beings. The more we do that, the more we will be in right relationship with ourselves, others, our planet and with the universe.

After learning about climate change, peak oil and the inevitable economic instability that follows, I was moved to start a Transition Initiative in my community (Media, PA).

Transition is an international movement founded by the UK's Rob Hopkins (author of The Transition Handbook) to create local, resilient communities that will be able to thrive in the future. Michael Brownlee brought Transition to the US, and was instrumental in the creation of the first Transition Initiative in the US--Transition Boulder, Co. There are now 50 Transition Initiatives in the US.

A Transition Initiative is a community effort to transition from fossil fuels to a sustainable, locally based economy that is able to feed itself and create local jobs. The key idea behind the Transition movement is to help a community become better able to insulate itself from globally driven shocks--whether they're caused by oil prices, climate change or economic instability.

It all starts when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared concern: How can our community respond to the challenges and opportunities of peak oil, climate change and economic instability?”

Our community needs to become relocalized and resilient because:
•Climate change makes it essential
•Peak oil makes it inevitable
•Economic instability makes it necessary

The Transition Initiating Group uses the Transition Model with the intention of engaging a significant number of the people in their community to kick off a Transition Initiative. As awareness is raised, community members begin working together to look peak oil, climate change and economic instability squarely in the eye and address this important question:

For all aspects of life that our community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience* and drastically reduce carbon?

A Transition Initiative goes through a comprehensive and creative process of:
•Raising awareness about the issues of peak oil* and climate change
•Expanding our ability to adapt to change
•Connecting with existing groups in the community
•Building bridges to local government
•Connecting with other transition initiatives
•Forming self-selecting groups to look at all the key areas of life--food, energy, news media, health care, emergency services, economy, education, the arts and transportation.
•Kicking off projects aimed at building people's understanding of resilience, carbon issues, self-sufficiency, financial stability and community engagement
•Eventually launching a community defined, community implemented Energy Descent Action Plan* over a 15 to 20 year timeframe.

This process results in coordinated projects that will drastically reduce the community's carbon footprint and rebuild the resilience we've lost as a result of cheap oil.

The community also recognizes two crucial points:

•We used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy slope. There's no reason we can’t do the same on the way down.

•If we plan and act together early enough, there's every likelihood we can create a more sustainable lifestyle that is significantly more desirable and more connected with our environment than the oil-addicted, climate abusive and economically irresponsible treadmill that we find ourselves on today.

For more information on Transition Town Media, PA, go to our web site www.TransitionMedia.memberlodge.com

For information about Transition in the USA (initiated by Michael Brownlee), go to www.TransitionUS.org

I want to thank you for presenting this program. I hope there are more people like Dr. McKibben who are able to link the hard facts of science with faith, people whom those who deny the reality of CO2 build-up in the atmosphere, its sources in human activity, and its catastrophic consequences, will not be able to dismiss with a flick of the wrist and a sarcastic comment.

The challenge is, what will I do? I'll drive less, walk more, turn the thermostat down, and work for political candidates who support the transition to green energy. Again many thanks for this program, it is a major contribution to the nexus of faith and science.

Dear Krista,

I awoke this morning to your voice and that of Bill McKibben discussing the moral and spiritual implications of the effects that humanity's dominance over nature has had on the environment. I have been working passively in this arena for most of my life, turning off lights, recycling, bicycle commuting, composting, gardening and telecommuting. I have also begun a more active role by educating my engineering students on the role of sustainability in design. If your readers or listeners are interested in an engineering perspective, I encourage them to read through a recent publication of mine that appeared in the International Journal of Green Energy. http://layton.mem.drexel.edu/LJGE_A_349971_O.pdf. I wrote the paper with the intent of bridging the mathematical divide that frequently and unfortunately excludes many who think of themselves as mathematically challenged or non-technical. If you wouldn't mind sharing my paper with your audience, I would be interested to hear their feedback as to whether or not it helps to clear up many of the concepts that must be delt with when understanding the role that energy, economics and politics play in determining what the world will look like in the next few years and decades.

Sincerely,
Bradley Layton

This is one of Kristine's best, putting a positive discussion of climate change with hope vs the long line of negative output we are so used to. I was reminded, on the negative side, of Olaf Stapleton's "Last and First Men," and his best known - "Starmaker" The great black obelisks in "2001" and the universe view from the Adam's Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe Trilogy, with the earth being removed/destroyed to make way for a intergalatic highway, plus the punishment of having to see the whole universe at once and one's place in it, driving all but one man mad, plus the earth just being a massive computer spitting out the final answer "42" without the question or dimensions. I had the opposite view of Job, in what kind of god would do that to one of his most faithful followers. The horrible fates of Job's innocent first family on the basis of a casual morning coffee bet by god with his mortal enemy satan turned me off totally. Perhaps there is hope, see the last chapter of Asimov's "I, Robot." But will an outside force, like the robots, or the obelisks, be necessary to control us for our own good, to save us from our pugnaciousness, greed, self centeredness, and attitude of "give me more and more and more" even at the cost to society." like the current bankers. I wish Bill McKibben and his group luck or else the chemistry and physics will win, There will be an earth. But it may not be human hospitable. Tom

I am deeply grateful that there is a "Speaking of Faith" and likewise very thankful for the efforts of Krista Tippett and her producer and staff who make the show happen, and the organizations who empower it financially.

But...

The excellence of knowledge in this morning’s Speaking of Faith (about Global Warming) was matched only by the guest’s (Bill McKibben) excellence in arrogance when recommending that people think smaller and find greater comfort and inner gratification in the place they live … and Googling (yes: using Google) to visit places that might otherwise enrich their lives … rather than burning carbon fuel (directly or indirectly) to go there.

That kind of solution is both shameful and the ultimate intellectual cop-out.

It may work great for the fortunate few living in Middlebury Vermont who by the luck of the draw were born into families and social networks that allowed them to understand and acquire the essential tools for making smart choices on how to enrich their life. I’m just as lucky (live in Washington, D.C., though).

In point of fact, McKibben’s solution, so logical in its wording, is SO out of touch with the lives of people living in Anacostia or East St Louis or parts of Oakland - and in so many other places in America no less the world - as to defy any notion that its roots lie in REALISTIC rational, thoughtful, and empathetic thinking.

Perhaps Mr. McKibben should live with a broken family in East St Louis or Detroit for a year … on the same budget they do. He might then better meet the moral and ethical challenge of formulating a cognitive solution that works for more than just us well-off, too-often-white select few.

Global warming is SUCH a critical issue, one that cries out for multiple solutions big (Copenhagen) and small (how the interests of real live people living in my city or village will be served directly). Those two tasks may be very hard to do, especially the second one. But a solution that fails to solve the toughest objective and instead revels in solving the easier ones (no matter how "tough" they are) is no solution at all.

Nor is delivering up prescriptions that work in the abstract but not where the rubber meets the road for most people.

Such remedies are instead no more than a slap in the face of not-so-lucky people who WOULD respond, if only they were offered (or made a part of designing) tools that were realistically relevant to their actual lives.

I look forward to your program on Sunday mornings on WBEZ. This morning I listened as Bill McKibben talked about the moral aspects of living with global warming. I was trained as an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, and I've contributed for decades to environmental organizations trying to change the way things are.

I have found it extremely difficult psychologically to cope with what is happening to the life on this our world. Since I was a small boy I have felt intense kinship with other beings, other life. Where this comes from I don't know. Every day, it seems, I hear another story on the radio of plants and animals--or entire groups of plants and animals--going extinct: frogs and amphibians all over the world, bats in North America. All this beautiful life. On and on. It never stops, this litany of death. It is all particular with me. It is grief, intense grief, and I have not found a way to face it or do something with it.

This is the reason I found it particularly difficult to listen to Bill McKibben. I take no issue with anything that McKibben spoke about, but his credibility is near zero in my book. You need go no further for the living, breathing embodiment of environmentalist hypocrisy. In 2007, he had a piece in Sierra, the Sierra Club's magazine, on green construction, in which he writes how he and his wife became fed up with NYC, found a designer, and built a custom house on a big lot "deep in the woods" of rural Vermont. McKibben takes pains to describe the "green" technology he used and how he only had to take down a "couple" of trees to make room for it. His account of building this 2000-sq ft house is replete with such rationalizations. From the photographs, it is apparent that this house must have cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars to build. McKibben must realize that only the very wealthy can go this route, and he must also realize that even if everyone did have the means to follow his example, doing so would be unsustainable and environmentally disastrous. Meanwhile, McKibben jets around the globe talking about how the human race has to live sustainably and work actively to curtail its wasteful ways. McKibben's right: It may already be too late. But it doesn't matter; McKibben has found a shtick that works for him.

I hear about Climate Change quite often in this day and age. The media tells me I need to buy this kind of car, this kind of light bulb and live my lives this way and not that way. I’m confronted by pictures of polar bears floating adrift on ice chucks in the ocean, and ancient rivers in far off countries that have been reduced to nothing more then parched beds of dirt. These images terrify me, but no matter how many light bulbs I change to fluorescent or times I take the bus instead of drive, I simply can’t help but feel my efforts are in vain.

When I listened to the December 3rd broadcast of Speaking of Faith, “The Moral Math of Climate Change” with Bill Mckibben was really an eye opener to me. Not only did he explain the history and the facts of climate change in laymen’s terms, but also the way he applied the things we need to do to alleviate climate change to innate human instincts. Sometimes we get so caught up in the modern world, we forget what it really means to be human. Perhaps our quest towards saving the planet will not only lead to a healthier planet, but a richer, reinvigorated sense of humanity and appreciation for life amongst us all.

My "perfect storm" for the green revolution is being part of a small company with a unique retrofit idea for any internal combustion engine that will improve fuel economy by at least 30% and will allow future engines to be downsized. I was laid off in January 2009 and had kept in touch with friend from when we were were both laid off in 1991. We need $1-2M to take this proven concept demonstrated on the single cylinder engine with a full scale vehicle engine. It has been an adventure and a learning experience searching for funding for this technology. See more information at www.yanengines.com and should have a video on youtube soon.

Hearing Krista Tippet’s talk with Bill McKibben on today’s Speaking of Faith, is one more good sign that the critical intersection of faith and ecology is finally being brought to the attention of the general public. Today’s show arrives at the end of a week that began with USA Today running a substantial front-page article about religious leaders playing an active role in Copenhagen for the struggle against global warming. Finally, word is getting out about a story that for too long the popular media has either ignored or simply missed.

More than anything else, the challenge of climate change has brought religious communities on board to become environmentally active. But people people of faith who are responding to this threat have also recognized that there are multi-fold eco issues that must be addressed if we are to create a more sustainable future.

I'm Marty Ostrow, a documentary filmmaker, and I spent many years watching the quiet growth of an eco-spiritual movement that holds enormous promise for inspiring people to think and act deeply about our human relationship with the earth. Years ago I was strongly influenced by the writings of cultural historian Thomas Berry, who speaks about the deep bond that humans share with an interconnected emergent universe. His suggestion that we carry a psychic and spiritual intimacy with the universe, made me think differently about the environmental crisis. While I once saw it primarily as a question of science and technology, I later came to see it as a personal and spiritual issue.

My co-producer Terry Kay Rockefeller and I spent several years meeting and filming ordinary citizens of diverse faiths across the nation, who are making this spiritual connection with the planet, facing the difficult challenge of what it truly means to be human.

RENEWAL is the first feature-length film to tell the stories of America’s growing grassroots religious-environmental movement. Our documentary tells eight different stories, with each story set in a different religious tradition, in a different part of the country, addressing different environmental concerns.

A two minute trailer for RENEWAL is available here:

http://renewalproject.net

Bill McKibben has long recognized the essential role that people of faith can play in the effort to build a more sustainable future. He’s said this about RENEWAL:

"The religious environmental movement is potentially key to dealing with the greatest problem humans have ever faced, and it has never been captured with more breadth and force than in RENEWAL. I hope this movie is screened in church basements and synagogue social halls across the country, and that it moves many more people of faith off the fence and into action."

Last May, RENEWAL partnered with Bill McKibben and the 350.org campaign in a large interfaith event at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, in New York City. Bill was a guest speaker along with Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-coordinator of Yale’s Forum on Religion and Ecology. http://fore.research.yale.edu (The Forum, an interfaith multi-disciplinary project, has done more than any other academic institution for broadening an understanding of human-Earth relations while exploring comprehensive solutions to both global and environmental problems.)

RENEWAL was shown in its entirety and many people, inspired by the film and the interfaith religious setting, made a strong commitment to Bill’s Call to Action, for the International Day of Climate Action on October 24th.

In subsequent months, it’s been gratifying to see RENEWAL being used successfully as a catalyst for environmental action in many churches, synagogues, mosques, spiritual centers and schools across the country. We’re working hard to spread the word about the film because the film has proven to be a powerful portal to the religious-environmental movement and change.

As people are awakening to the promise of this multi-faith movement, we hope that SOF listeners will discover their own unique experiences of renewal, by exploring the sacred connections that we all share with the natural world.

.

I am surprised at how this question has agitated me. My moral imagination conjers a disturbing dreamscape of "death-bed spirituality" in which the "developed" world senses the coming of its final days and, having little true spiritual anchor for its existence, begins to panic in guilt and fear, begging for confession. It comes to me like a poignant movie of the greedy coming to terms with their demons, as forgiveness reigns large and infinite. And, I believe they WILL seek and find a new spirituality, yet perhaps out of defeat and after a generation of paralysis brought on by anger, grief and cynicism.

Regardless of this messy scenario, I do believe that society will enjoy a spiritual rebirth from the catastrophe of climate change. I will not live to see it, nor will my children, but perhaps my grandchildren will.

I went through a similar challenge thirty years ago as a part of the "back-to-the-land" movement in the '70s, and moved to the mountains of North Carolina. My peers and I have tried to live by all the "green" principles ever since, and we naively thought that the time for the rest of society to join us was maybe a decade or two away. We could never have imagined the world we now have. We have been stewing in our grief and in some cases crippling righteousness, for many years. My own spirituality has come through a life-long discernment process and is my own slow path. It includes a mindfulness of my attachments to this physical realm, including my anger and grief and disdain for us humans, and sadness for the innocent. All of this is my spiritual being, and all of this is OUR spiritual being. Compassion and love emerge from the letting-go of time, with time the wild card only of this realm. I am hopeful.
peace,
Taylor Barnhill

Hi, really enjoy your program. This is the only time I have ever responded. I think this is a very worthy topic that should be discussed in depth. I drive a Honda Civic Hybrid and pride myself in getting over 45 MPG. In my opinion, the world and the USofA is in big trouble if we here in the United States do not take drastic action to significantly reduce our consumption of oil. It can be done, but if appears that no one in power wants to propose a national speed limit of 55 MPH or less. That step alone would save an enormous amount of oil with very little pain.

More painfully remedies would include: a national gasoline tax to raise the cost of gasoline by several dollars per gallon; mandating that vehicles that do not get at lease 30 MPG (35 MPG) pay a stiff tax; using that tax money for incentives to produce mass transit, alternative fuel vehicles and other oil consumption reducing ideas.

It would be of interest to me for you to explore on your program what the world and the United States will be like in just 10 years, if we do nothing to reduce our consumption of oil.

Thanks for this opportinity.

This broadcast had a lot of interesting insights about not only the environment but on human nature on well. I found it interesting that people who shop at the farmer's market on average have more conversations with one another. This has a lot to say about our attitude towards the planet. It seems that now, as we find ourselves living in a high speed world of convenience, that we take for granted many of our resources because we ourselves don't need to really interact with their sources in order to recieve them. In the past things like warmth and shelter were all achieved through hard labor and each tree or resource used was accounted for in one's mind because they personally had to salvage it. We've slowly been moving away from a lifestyle of "doing" and more towards a lifestyle of "demanding". Plenty of people are aware that our planet is changing and many more may even be demanding a change but how many of us actually take action?
This attitude reflects faith in many ways in that it's easy for us to claim ourselves faithful or compassionate and expect to reap the benefits, like praise from a church or paradise in another realm. It's much harder, however, for us to go out and prove these claims by "doing" something. It's so easy to judge life and the world around us when we never really consider ourselves on trial. Just like the planet, we as people are all interconnected, something we seem to lose sight of time and time again until we really go out and interact with our peers, along with our mother Earth.

I was surprised that McKibben downplayed the impact of jet travel. A NY Times article from November 18 - "Paying More for Flights eases Guilt, not Emissions" cites a British study that found that a flight from NYC to London produced more carbon than a British person's entire yearly commute. So if you are teaching people to potluck and ride buses, and those same people are jetting around during their free time, it's a joke. This shows how sticky and thorny environmentalism is, even for someone like Bill McKibben. Some things we really love, activities that are a huge part of our identity - like globe trotting - are horrible for the environment.

I tried to leave a message, but it appears my answers were too long! :)

What would it feel like to live in a world that — spiritually, psychologically, philosophically — meant something different?

I’m not sure how to answer this question. I’m tempted to just skip it altogether (lol). It seems to me that life is inherently transient… no circumstances are permanent. In just a few moments, the world is already a radically different place. A child has died in New York, a lion has tackled its prey in Africa, and a few hundred thousand neurons have sent electronic impulses through the tissue of my brain. I guess it depends on your perspective, but it seems to me that each moment gives birth to a different world.

How has climate change affected your “moral imagination?” And, in turn, how has it also changed the way you live your life on a day-to-day basis?

I think that over the past several years, my growing awareness of changes occurring in the natural world has made me slow down and pay more attention to my connection with the earth. However, rather than focus on the ominous forecasts of global catastrophe, I have come to believe that it is more useful for me to imagine the opportunities this moment may hold for my generation to mold its own destiny. Human beings are by no means helpless observers in the circumstances we now face. The apocalyptic warnings being proselytized by many of the most outspoken environmental advocates remind me of the words of Alfred Edward Housman, one of my favorite English poets. In one of his poems, he lamented… “I [am] a stranger afraid, in a world I never made.” I do not believe that we are strangers to this earth. The very cells that make up the fabric of my being may have once lived in the roots of trees, the feathers of birds, and perhaps even the emaciated body of a child in Africa. I am not just a creature on this earth; I am a creature of the earth.

I believe that the task that humanity is confronted with now is to change the way we are living so that our children and grandchildren can also have access to the wonderful resources the natural world provides. In our preoccupation with industry and materialism, we seem to have forgotten the fact that we are just as integral a part of the natural world as the trees that were harvested to manufacture our dollar bills. Thus, unless we choose to live in a way that is sustainable and harmonious with the other living systems of the earth, we will indeed suffer the serious consequences environmentalists like Bill McKibben warn of in the future.

Do your family, cultural, and spiritual backgrounds factor into this understanding?

In terms of my traditional family, I don’t think my immediate relatives had too great an influence on the tenets I hold regarding climate change and sustainability. Growing up, my mother enjoyed gardening, but we certainly weren’t a family of environmental advocates. Likewise, as an American, I’ve grown up in a culture that promotes materialism and the myth that human beings are somehow separate from the “natural” world. When I decided to switch to a vegetarian diet, my family and friends were extremely discouraging of my decision. I received responses like “It’s too expensive!” and “You’ll never get enough protein.”; not unlike the voices that echo in the internal dialogues I think many Americans have with themselves when they consider adopting more sustainable lifestyles. If anything, those early experiences encouraged me to develop a practice of inner-reflection and contemplation. I learned that no solution is a simple one… there are no easy answers. I developed a capacity be comfortable with and even embrace the most difficult questions… an ability I think may be of great benefit to me as I ponder an increasingly uncertain future.

I think my spirituality has evolved right alongside my concern for the environment. I am only twenty years old, so in many ways the “spiritual background” you refer to is still developing and only in its infancy. I grew up in a very non-traditional, open-minded protestant church. My pastor introduced me to the teachings of not only the Christian tradition, but also writings from Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and the other Abrahamic faiths. As a result, my beliefs are sort of an amalgam that may only fit in that oh-so-cliché category “Spiritual, but not religious”.

I suppose that fundamentally, I believe that love is the essential element of life. I believe that it is the essence of love, what religious traditions have personified as God, Allah, Brahma, etc, that will heal our wounded world. My faith in love has endowed me with a deep veneration for and devotion to the earth. I don’t have a sense of separateness from the force that impels my heart to beat and the one that sustains the life of the dandelion outside my window. As I’ve watched the precious gifts of the earth progressively disintegrate over the past several years, my own alarm seems to be driving me toward action. My spiritual reflections have allowed me to accept and embrace the fact that I am kin to every sentient being on this earth. As such, I believe that my life’s purpose is to act as steward to the earth and all of its creatures.

"What would it feel like to live in a world that — spiritually, psychologically, philosophically — meant something different?"

Part of my problem with AGW believers is stuff like this, and examining my "moral imagination". I am a reasonably well educated person and I can't make sense of what these questions are trying to accomplish.They sound like the rhetorical questions asked after an acid fest at Woodstock.

There are certainly people like McKibbon who get some sort of kick out of such high brow language, but most of us live in the daily grind and quit listening after something like that. If this stuff is going to be accessible to the people you think are in the dark, it needs to be communicated to without all the

Mr. Bill Mcgibbon's citation from Bhagavad Gita during the program "We have become God" was incorrect. On witnessing the explosion, Dr. Oppenheimer correctly cited the Gita, which says "Brighter than thousand suns".

In regard to his specific advice for how to lead our life by buying local and reduced driving,I find such advice leads to only superficial change and more smugness. People doing these things have a sense superiority. Instead we need a strong commitment to live our life of sharing with every citizen of the world. Our prayer sums up a wonderful philosophy that each of us can interpret to suit our own lives.

We live honestly the noble life of sacrifice and service, producing more than what we consume and giving more than what we take. We seek the Lord's grace to keep us on the path of virtue, courage and wisdom.

The image is the beginning of the growing season in our neighborhood garden, which is located at the end our street. Here various neighboring families grow vegetables for their families and to share with others. It is my sense that we are seeking to co-create with a just and sustainable culture that is in balance with the nature around us, while cultivating a vision of our new reality--a vision of God's promised and emerging wholeness, peace, grace, wellness, wisdom--Shalom.

Why are we still talking about global warming (excuse me, "climate change") when it has been thoroughly discredited and debunked?

As a young adult growing up in today's world, especially one blessed enough to grow up in an old farm house, (though I didn't think that while growing up of course!) nature has always been a huge part of my life, and I have grown up with data of our environmental impact my entire life, and only getting stronger as the years pass.

So, when confronted with that huge question every young person is asked - what do you want to be when you grow up? - the answer was obvious. Well, not quite, there was still the same debate most HS students have, but I eventually asked myself, what do I have a passion for?

Not satisfied with my own answer, I tried one more time. What do I have a passion for, that I could actually make a living off of? This I knew would be environmental sciences.

Now, I wish I could share some of my accomplishments of this, but my first day of classes in this major hasn't yet begun. Like most soon-to-be students I am excited to begun, and I hope I can make the world a better place. Unlike most students however, that desire isnt simply a nice-sounding goal, it is the entire purpose of my existence. I understand our insignificance, and I understand that most of our endeavors are are far from lasting, but this is as close as it gets.

I just hope that overall, my existence on this earth will be helpful, however insignificant it may be. My existence itself on this world is a gift, the least I can do is try to help it.

I have to agree with Mr. McKibben on the urgency concerning climate change. I read a few comments here pointing out some "contradictions" with what Bill was saying and his own actions ( flying around the world etc.). But there are always these contradictions. For me a contradiction was being in a professional job that had the purpose of conservation of the environment. Meanwhile, as I wrote purportedly meaningful reports and attended meetings with profound intent, the environment I was supposedly protecting was getting bulldozed at an ever increasing rate. So I made a shift to work that more directly, in my view, impacted environmental change. Nevertheless this has not diminished contradiction - the manufacture of this computer and the maintenance of the infrastructure that makes it useful -

I was once at a "pollution prevention" conference where all of the drinks were served in styrofoam cups, the meeting times prevented using public transportation to get to the conference and there was no system for encouraging car pooling. It may have been useful pointing these things out to conference organizers so that pollution prevention measures could be more integrated into the conference itself. But it probably would not have been useful to run calculations to attempt to determine whether those environmental impacts negated the value of having the conference in the first place. We have to pick our battles one could say.

The issue more to point is educating ourselves to what we as individuals can do differently that moves us all towards a different lifestyle. For me now it is pulling a floor out of a house before it gets bulldozed. Even if I can't save the other parts of the house or change the mind of the party responsible for wanting it bulldozed to begin with - just as there is a person now doing my old job of writing reports about what needs to be done to conserve land. That is their job. Mine is now to directly remove tons of materials from the waste stream. Both are needed.

I think I am going to send out my newsletter as I do each month to about 1,000 people. Because I heard this show this morning I may write a more convincing argument to my customers about the need for them to buy used materials, rather than new -that requires cutting down more trees whilst the salvageable wood otherwise goes to the landfill ( by train from Connecticut to Ohio !).

So can I demonstrate that Bill's effect on my next newsletter compensates for the electricity it took to broadcast your show or for Bill to drive ( or ,gasp, fly) to your studio ? Probably not. Bill has to make decisions about the impact of his actions just like I did sitting at my desk as an environmental analyst. If he waits for the contradictions to go away, it will be too late. I trust that Bill is making reasonable decisions as to when he uses an airplane or what kind of car he drives. Partly because it takes a great deal of focus ( read working 65 or more hours a week) for me to make these important decisions in my own life and the amount of effort for me to try to change Bill's decisions would likely have near zero results and diminish my own opportunities.

There is the old saying " everyone does their own job, everything gets done". Given the direction community and the environment are headed it looks like all of us need to change our personal habits. I know what I need to do ( although the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak). I do not necessarily know what Bill or anyone else needs to do. But I suspect Bill's changes have more to do with making decisions about when to fly or not than about whether to save windows or flooring.

Hopefully we are both making the right decisions because that is a start towards a sustainable community.As was indicated in the interview, those of us that have some "margin" left have more capacity and responsibility for making environmentally responsible choices. And if we are thinking that our "margin" is too small to allow us to make personal changes, it probably means we have not considered Bangladesh lately.

I enjoyed the interview w/Bill McKibben. He's done remarkable work, and his insightful comments sparked in me some ideas I'd like to share. I agree that our planet is on the verge of becoming something completely different from what we've known it to be. But I wonder if we get hung up by wanting desperately to cling to what we've known, rather than opening ourselves to the possibility that what our planet may become is something more beautiful, more meaningful, and more incredible than what we've ever known. The difficulty here is that this requires an immense amount of trust, both in God and in humanity. It's easy and tempting to view our impact on nature and the planet as largely negative, and to castigate ourselves for the 'mess' we've created. However, there is no separation between 'God' and humanity - each of us is an individual manifestation of the beauty and perfection of God, and therefore we're ultimately capable of not turning around or halting our current situation, but rather transcending it.

Was it Einstein who said that you can't solve a problem at the level of thinking that created it? I think our need to rationalize and understand things is slowing us down. In order to transcend our current situation we must allow ourselves to move to a higher level of thinking and understanding, one that does not rely on numbers, statistics, and a rational linear perception of time and reality. God and nature do not work in this way - humans are a part of nature, and if each of us is in our own way 'God,' we are capable of functioning at this higher level. We must accept that and open ourselves to help from sources we don't currently acknowledge or understand, and to shift our perception of time. I think technology is helping us to do this, and the young people (and old!) who immerse themselves in technology are perhaps the catalysts for this new way of interacting with the world.

The current thinking about Global Warming is based on the same type of thinking that creates separation - that is, that humanity is basically flawed, that in order to enter into 'heaven' we must first be punished and thereby redeemed for our sins. Is it possible that the 'mess' we have created is part of God's plan, or even just the next step in the evolution of our planet, and that our job at this time is not to limit ourselves with rational cause-and-effect thinking (i.e., the world as we know it is coming to an end - if we don't change our ways, we will fail the planet and ourselves), but to move to a higher level of thinking, one that is based on love and compassion (i.e., we do not have to be perfect and always do the right thing in a timely manner - we only have to accept and embrace the individual beauty and perfection that we each have.) The former way of thinking is easier because it's familiar and we understand it, we've been living and practicing it for the our entire history. The latter way is more difficult because it's largely just conceptual, not experiential. That is, it sounds great to be loving and compassionate, but how do we do that? It takes time and effort, right, we have to learn a set of challenging new skills. Easier to talk about recycling, reducing carbon footprints, local food production, etc. because it makes sense logically, but it leaves us feeling desperate and hopeless because it seems like we're 'running out of time.'

I'm not suggesting that these practical steps are not important or even necessary. Perhaps the difference in thinking I'm suggesting is largely a matter of semantics, or focus. Right now we tend to see the negative aspects of what is going on in our world at this time and act as if we're trying to beat some perceptual time line in order to 'save the planet.' This is rather dramatic to say the least, and suggests that our current way of seeing and experiencing the world is the best and only way. If we instead give our attention and efforts to what is good and right about the environment, politics, religion, and humanity in general, and above all allow ourselves to trust (eek!) that despite all our failings we might be heading towards an even more wonderful future than what we've ever experienced or can even imagine, we might get there not necessarily 'faster,' but perhaps with more elegance, grace, and ease.

Fierce Healing

the falcon bagged, subdued,
its broken wing
its doom if not for
man kindness

blinded by a leather cap
that clamped fierce beak
terror greater than its pain, it trembled
awaiting killing stroke

cringing from the smell
of ether, unable to flee
it knew not the wing set
or stolen time

cap removed, wing stiff, it glared
falcon-suspicious
lifted as it could its shoulder
dragging a splint

confined in walls
it stabbed proffered nuggets
dipped still water in a bowl
not running, yet fresh

lulled by exhaustion
and the absence of imminent
warnings of danger
it slept

awoke in quiet — no hum, no buzz,
no twitter, screech or song
odd, unsettling respite
again it slept

days without hunting, yet
nourished, sheltered
it eyed the man who came
with soft words and food

lifting shoulder, strutting now
standing proud in silence
it eyed the man
and gathered strength

spread, lifted, lowered wings in stirring
glide across the room
alit upon his shoulder
beak sharp beside his eye

unmoving, but not unmoved
they waited, neither hunter nor prey
man understanding falcon’s silent
cry freedom

mjNordgren
Forest Grove
CHOICES

In an inconvenient corner of the world
elephants languished
beside their dying lake.

Long ago, before the drought,
they’d trumpeted joyously from its depths,
spouting fountains as they swam.
They’d wallowed in its muddy shore,
before the drought dragged on.

Now they milled, gently prodding
an infant conceived
when the lake shimmered vast.

Urgently they willed her to rise,
impelled by their need
to seek life-sustaining water.

She could not.

Finally, heads bowed,
they turned away
so the herd
would not perish from the earth.
She watched, silent.

One turned back
to lie down beside her infant.

"My heart is moved by all I can not save:
So much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those
who age after age, perversely
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world."
-Adrienne Rich

Today began as every day this summer has begun, with milking my daughter's cow. Except, this being Sunday, I rose a bit later than on week-days, and turned on "Speaking Of Faith" to hear the voice of my sometime neighbor, Bill McKibben. This caused me to delay the schedule of the cow a bit longer, as I was keenly interested in what Bill had to say. I have lived in our town somewhat longer than Bill; indeed, I have lived on earth somewhat longer than he, and each time I hear him speak, I realize how important it is for him to convey his message. But, too, so much of what he says I already knew. My family has lived in this little town for generations, and I grew up wandering the roadsides, meadows and woods, in constant wonder and delight at the natural world. I have Never been as fortunate economically as the students and young activists that rally to the cause of dealing with climate change as a new challenge. I am fortunate that local food, community, and conservation were part of normal life for me. I was obligated to weed the garden, shell the peas, go "down home" to my grandfather's to walk back up the hill with milk and eggs. "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" was a household standard. It saddens me that even here, in this little hill town, many children do not appreciate where their food comes from, the school garden notwithstanding. But we do make an effort here. we are out-maneuvered by TV and other media, as well as politicians and government officials, who seem bent on convincing us that we must return to overconsumption, preferably at Walmart, to "save the economy." But I am heartened as I walk out my back door with bucket in hand, greeted by the heady fragrance of white lillies that were a gift from a pre-schooler years ago. Tillie the patient Jersey moos softly to her calf, who will finish the milking when I have taken what I need for myself, and perhaps a couple of neighbors . Later, I will walk down the road to those neighbors, finding joy in the roadside beauty as I always have.

A reaction to "The Moral Math of Climate Change": While today's headlines are predominantly concerned with economic growth, or the lack thereof, I find it refreshing (and sorely needed) that your show raises deeper issues --climate change, how we relate to each other, what we believe in-- that we should ultimately be concerned about. These deeper issues are fundamentally more important to our existence than how the Dow Jones is doing. I wish more people paid attention to these issues and ACTED on them to make the world a more just and equal place.

I don't see how global warming is any kind of faith based or theological issue. It is based soley on scienctific Theory.Conservation and stewardship of the land are extremely important, as well as alternative fuel. A global movement to recriut converts makes it seem like some kind of political amimal.
It sounds to me like some sort of agenda driven thing. With man made emissions only accounting for a fration of a percent of warming you have to ask yourself what corporate interest stands to gain from this "movement".

I was extremely disappointed today to learn that, according to SOF, Global Warming is a matter of faith! No matter which side you sit on, politically or scientifically on Global Climate Change to put it as an issue of faith takes it out of a standard debate and moves it to belief (which certainly does aid the cause for change!!). In some odd sense I don't think that's far off for many 'scientific theories' but please, have you run out of 'real faith issues' that you need to go to what appeared completely political? If you've truly run out of ideas, authors and religious traditions to explore perhaps SOF has run its course, sorry to say.

I just finished listening to the important message of Bill McKibbon regarding global climate change and a thought came to me at the very end of the program. Bill mentioned in closing that this struggle to reverse climate change was exciting because the whole world is involved. My thought was this. How can we as a global community continue fighting wars (eg, Afghanistan) when our planet DEMANDS that we cease fighting and work together to address the destruction of the earth's destruction? It seems to me that any global effort to address climate change, world poverty, natural disasters, etc. will fail as long as we continue to obsess on war. Perhaps we should work to convince terrorists and the Pentagon alike to focus energy on saving the planet instead of killing each other.

PHYSICS & THEOLOGY Your August 5th guest Robert McKibben said about the negotiated resolution of the global warming issue: “The real negotiation underway is between human beings on the one hand and physics and chemistry on the other.” If this is so, we should listen to a Physicist, not Mr. McKibben, who may have attended Harvard, but did not obtain a physics doctorate any other advanced science degree then or since. Robert Laughlin is not only a real physicist, but is on the faculty of Stanford University (a fairly comparable institution to Harvard) and Nobel prize winner in physics. His recent article at www.theamericanscholar.org/what-the-earth-knows/ advises that the there is not anything substantial humans can bring to the global warming negotiating table and that we should relax and let the laws of physics work it out. Laughlin says excess carbon in the atmosphere happens all the time, if you look back in geological history. Anything t hat humans do to mitigate it will be a waste of effort and resources. Governments and citizens delude themselves when they think they can make a difference. McKibben was correct to make a biblical reference to Job – but he got the message exactly backward. God’s message to man was to stay humble. McKibbon says: “. . . for the first time in human history we're no longer in the position Job's in.” What hubris to think that Man is greater now than God’s creation! Forget the physics issues raised in your broadcast: You missed a perfect opportunity to examine the theological assumptions behind your guest’s opinions and those of the global warming alarmists.

Dear Krista - Regarding your program this morning with Bill McKibben of Middlebury College... I must say that I disagree with most of what I heard but the one thing I wanted to comment about was when Bill cited the last three chapters of Job as evidence of man's arrogance in tryng to undue what God himself has done. You opined, and he did not contradict, that as evidence of our duty to nature. Maybe we do have such a duty. But you both missed the point of those three chapters and the following concluding chapter (42), which is the discovery/enlightment/internal recognition of a loving God as master of the universe. Those chapters point to God, not to nature. Nature gives evidence of God. But God is to be worshipped and obeyed, not nature. I am not saying that you personally do it - I have no way to know - but many environmental activists seem to have environmentalism as their religion and worship the creation instead of the Creator, and you r Sunday program smacked of that very thing. Bill's point about the world coming together as a community as a way to preserve the earth is valid. But the world needs to unite around God, not nature, or the effort will surely fail. Thanks for your time. Barry Kasprow Middlebury College '67

We have formed a group in Lexington, Massachusetts called the Lexington InterFaith Environmental Action team. Our group asks the question, "How can we live our faith in a way that is best for the earth and our community?"

We started by looking for common ground among the many faith communities here in Lexington and for ways that each faith community could take action to reduce our carbon footprint. Over 500 people in town have signed our Interfaith Environmental Declaration and Pledge.

We have also looked at the inter-relationship between our energy consumption and our food production and the root causes of hunger. We have started an interfaith garden here in town just across from the Lexington Battle Green to help educate ourselves and our communities on the links between food and our environment.

We now have 14 faith communities participating in growing healthy produce for our hungry neighbors. We give all the produce grown at the garden to a local food pantry and other hunger relief organizations.

We have a wide range of faith communities supporting this effort, including both Catholic churches, both Unitarian Universalist churches, both Jewish Temples, an Islamic Center, a Hindu temple, Grace Chapel (a large evangelical church), a Greek Orthodox church as well as several other Protestant churches.

We are building relationships among faith communities, we are growing healthy food for those in need, and we are reducing our carbon footprint. There is reason for hope as we are growing community once again.

Take a look at our website for more information. http://interfaithgarden.org

This spring I read about the mass genocide of monarch butterflies in their over-wintering forests in Mexico. Global warming and deforestation contributed to cold rain that washed them away or froze them to death (along with local humans, one should add). I have a 2,000 square foot native plant garden focusing on monarchs--milkweed, liatris, goldenrod, joe-pye weed. I wrote an article for a regional paper on the topic. I bring in monarch eggs and raise them until they are adult butterflies. It's estimated that by 2050 the monarch migration in North America may no longer exists due to suburbanization and chemical farming that destroys milkweed stands in the U.S., and the loss of suitable winter habitat due to climate change and deforestation. It is one thing, one species, but the act of it reverberates back through the garden in the plants I buy, in the seeds let loose in the air come fall, and the other species of insects and birds that benefit year round. http://www.prairiefirenewspaper.com/2010/07/monarch-butterflies-the-last...

I was listening with interest to the recent broadcast of Bill McKibben talking about moral issues regarding climate change. However, I was quite taken aback and completely distracted from his overall message when, in describing the mind-numbing experience of visiting a typical grocery store, McKibben said: "You visit the stations of the cross around the perimeter of the supermarket."

I found his metaphor insulting, inflammatory and very anti-Catholic. How does it help a listener to consider McKibben's viewpoints about supermarket shopping when McKibbin compares stopping at, say, the produce section, to the nailing of Jesus to the cross? Talk about an extreme and odd overstatement. This bizarre quote was so personally offensive to me that I have spent more time dwelling on it over the past few days than I have on thinking about McKibbin's message about climate change. Perhaps Mr. McKibben should consider the moral issues of insulting countless religious-minded people when he is simply trying to make the argument that it is healthier and more community-spirited to shop at a farmer's market than at a grocery store. Why is there a need on his part to offend?

I also found it quite ironic that McKibben's odd and unnecessary turn of phrase was made on a show named "Speaking of Faith."

A group of us here in Milwaukee are building an intentional community based on yoga principles, urban organic gardening, and sustainability. We are determined to live out social, racial, and ecological justice in every choice and action, and see how far we can go in carrying out yoga principles of nonviolence, truth, nonmaterialism, etc. Our group is of varying faiths and nonfaiths so far. I've belonged to Friends for 10 years, and have been attending a UCC for the past 10 years.

I think that all conversations on climatic changes are highly important now. And I'm glad that this topic is not neglected. Thanks a lot for sharing the info here.

Human responsibility in a changing natural world sure it is not the point of discussion .....

BUT the point:

Can human or human math or physics... create or design 'Nature ...Universe' ?

apples