Who really benefits from oil and natural gas production? Are those benefits worth the risks?
The United States is experiencing an unprecedented oil and natural gas rush, but this rush is less about finding untapped reserves of these fossil fuels and more about getting those commodities to market before any more of its leaky bottom falls out. Overproduction because of fracking has contributed to a collapse in the price of a barrel of oil, which hit a low of $26 in February.
Caring for creation one skateboard at a time.
Bureo is a native Chilean word meaning “waves.”
A search online for sustainable skateboards, sunglasses, or bamboo utensil sets reveals Bureo—the company—in the top results. All their lines of gear are fun, extremely well-engineered, eco-friendly, and, again, fun. Exploring the site and the company’s young history rewards the curious with an inspirational narrative of an American success story played out on a global stage.
The Catholic tradition esteems communal stability over economic growth rates.
Pope Francis took major steps to offer some practical and spiritual sustenance to the idea of “integral development” that he promoted in his encyclical Laudato Si’. In August he placed his own mark on church tradition by instituting an eighth corporal and spiritual work of mercy, by adding care of our common home to a list of those acts of compassion and service expected of all Catholics.
Let your interior life be enriched by time spent outdoors.
On a recent trip through Yellowstone, I encountered a couple crouched next to a tall spruce tree, binoculars up and muttering to each other. Then they grew excited, both spotting something, the man going for his camera, the woman on her smart phone. “I’ve got it!” she finally exclaimed. “A mountain chickadee!” They high-fived, overflowing with giddiness.
U.S. Catholic readers say Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ has inspired them to care for their common home.
It’s been almost a year since the June 2015 publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home) and, in that time, Pope Francis’ call for all people to take “swift and unified global action” to address the crisis posed by environmental degradation has spread across the world.
Fracking has once again made the United States an energy exporter—but at what cost?
For the first time in decades the United States is approaching a level of energy independence considered impossible just a few years ago. The oil and natural gas “fracking” boom, coupled with an unusually warm winter and an Asian economic slowdown that has slaked the global thirst for oil, has translated into plunging oil prices. That means U.S. consumers have enjoyed home heating and gasoline prices at levels most thought they would never see again.
It is our practices—spiritual and otherwise—that will make a difference in the way we care for creation.
One night when I was 6 years old, while walking outdoors before bed, I gazed at the sky and found myself wrapped in the vast mantle of stars, the Milky Way. Standing in awe, my body felt both small and large. In that instant I felt God.
Now, years later, that memory restores me when I feel overwhelmed by the devastation of God’s creation or when spiritual questions overshadow me. What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose here? My answer is that I am stardust created in love by the divine mystery.
When Christ became human, he also became part of the vast body of the cosmos.
In our day concerns about ecology are rising. Climate change, pollution, and extinction of plant and animal species make us question harmful human treatment of the natural world.
Climate change impacts everyone, but some populations are more at risk.
Sylvia Hood Washington didn’t set out to be an advocate for climate justice. “I don’t want to be on this mission,” she says. “My kids are out of college and graduate school and it would be so easy to sit back and plan a vacation to Hawaii.” But her personal experience with climate change and her feeling of responsibility to her community, her family, and her faith made it impossible to turn away from the need she saw around her.
Giving up meat is good for the planet and the spirit.
Just before the United Nations (U.N.) Climate Conference in Paris, musician Paul McCartney wrote to British Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to push widespread implementation of Meat Free Monday in government buildings, schools, and universities. The Meat Free Monday campaign encourages people to commit to a vegetarian diet one day of the week—not necessarily Monday—in order to protect the planet. McCartney argued that by going meat free just one day a week, “U.N. member countries can reduce their carbon emissions up to 2 percent per year.”
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