Take a social justice roadtrip through the hills of Appalachia

By Father John Rausch| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment Social Justice

As a Glenmary priest, I’ve lived in Appalachia for 40 years. I’ve found that understanding social justice issues concerning the area and its people demands real-life experiences. Stereotypical images of shoeless kids with dirty faces and torn T-shirts live on beyond the passing of LIFE magazine from a half century ago. The story of Appalachia defies a single photo or story. For those serious about encountering the spirit of the mountains, I simply tell them, “Get in the van, and I’ll take you around.”


Catholic groups rally against climate change amid intense church debate

By David Gibson| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment

c. 2015 Religion News Service

(RNS) Catholic environmental groups from around the world on Wednesday (January 14) announced a new global network to battle climate change just as many Catholic conservatives are sharply criticizing Pope Francis’ campaign to put environmental protection high on the church’s agenda.


Cool it this Christmas

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment War and Peace
This holiday season, turn down the thermostat and give peace a chance.

The season of the prince of peace is upon us once again, yet the world seems aswirl with violence and despair. The Ebola virus has the nation on edge while it reaps a terrible harvest in West Africa. Another virus, this one of violence, is sweeping across the nations of the Middle East and throughout the Arab world. What has become of the Arab Spring? Only tiny Tunisia appears to have survived the tempest thrown up by efforts to tear down Arab tyrants and jump-start democracy in the region.


A hot mess in the Middle East

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment War and Peace
As tensions heat up in Iraq, one underlying cause of the conflict remains overlooked.

Is fracking the answer to our energy crisis?

By Dan Misleh| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment
Ending our reliance on fossil fuels might mean digging deeper to find alternative solutions to our global energy crisis.

Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.


Seven tips for moral eating

By Sue Stanton| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment

According to Catholic Rural Life, what we eat is a moral issue. How do we use an informed conscience to make moral eating decisions?

1. By placing an emphasis on eating and purchasing foods that are good for the planet.

2. By eating and purchasing foods that are good to grow and that benefit soil and water resources.

3. By focusing our purchasing decisions on the common good—what is good and just for farms, farmers, and their workers in terms of health and well being.

4. By asking questions about how food is grown, harvested, and kept safe for us to eat.


Family farmers: Living on the edge

By Lauren Caggiano| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment Faith and Science

The year 2009 was a particularly challenging one for independent farmers like Teri Rosendahl. With the global financial crisis in full swing, small family farms were hit hard, and Rosendahl and her husband, Peter, were forced to mortgage a lot of the equipment they used at Udder Valley Dairy in rural Spring Grove, Minnesota just to get by. But from small daily struggles to major financial obstacles, challenges had simply become a way of life on the small, family-owned dairy farm.


Is food security worth sacrificing food safety?

By Sue Stanton| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment Faith and Science

In the last half century, food eaters and food providers in the United States have prioritized food quantity, the “all-you-can-eat” model, over food quality, the freshness and nutritional value it has. But in the last decade, things have changed. More attention has been placed on the quality of food—specifically where it comes from and what is in it.


Food fight: The pros and cons of genetically modified food

By Sue Stanton| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment Faith and Science
Genetic modification has yielded major changes in the way we grow our food, but concerns are cropping up over whether a bigger harvest means a better—or safer—diet.

Tips for conserving water in your parish

By Christiana Z. Peppard, Ph.D.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment Parish Life

I grew up in the arid West: the land of prairie, tumbleweed, and newly-constructed subdivisions. I remember, as a kid, noticing the paradox between public concern about drought—and the fact that seemingly every house had a green, water-guzzling lawn. Later, I studied the intersections of human culture and ecology, especially with regard to fresh water. And now, in the 21st century, global fresh water scarcity is one of the major challenges facing humanity. What can we do about this serious situation?


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