The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Nestling for the Planet

The April issue of Sojourners magazine takes on climate change denial. One challenge is that the truth is hard to face -- but, as scientist Sasha Adkins describes from personal experience, one strategy is to draw inspiration from the comforts of home.

The question that I am most often asked when I talk about my Ph.D. research on the impacts of pollution has nothing to do with my methodology or my data. It is, "How do you live with this knowledge? Where do you find your hope?" It's a good question. My research results on the impact of plastics on human health and the environment are often quite demoralizing to hear. More than once when I am presenting them, an audience member has literally started to cry.

I took a year off from my environmental studies program to search for the answer to that very question, to find hope -- but this time, instead of turning to peer-reviewed journals for answers, I turned to my cats. I asked them if they would be willing to try living without fossil-fuel heat for the winter.

+Continue Reading

How To Talk With Climate Change Skeptics

The reasons for raising doubts about the human causes of global warming, explains Skeptical Science's John Cook, are often political rather than scientific.
+Continue Reading

The Discipline of Fasting

Since our fast began this past Monday, I've been re-reading one of the classic books on spirituality by my friend Richard Foster,
+Continue Reading

Afghanistan Weekly Digest: Taliban. Kill Team. Photos.

[Editors' note: As part of Sojourners campaign to end the war in Afghanistan, we will run a weekly Afghanistan news digest to educate our readers about the latest news
+Continue Reading

Fasting in Unity

"How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
+Continue Reading

The Real March Madness

At the end of Roland Joffé's exquisite film, The Mission, a brief exchange between a Portuguese ambassador and a papal emissary sums up the tension between globalization (the movie's subject matter) and a worldvi
+Continue Reading

A Duty to Love in a Time of War

When President Obama addressed the American people and the world on the military operations in Libya, he spoke of a responsibility to act.
+Continue Reading

Theology That Matters

When I was in high school as part of my participation in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, I had to write what was called an "extended essay" -- basically an essay of the (then) extreme
+Continue Reading

The Top 10 Stories of March 30, 2011

Quote of the day.
"Apparently that language [in the ruling] was either misunderstood or ignored, but what I said was the further implementation [of the collective-bargaining bill] was enjoined. That is now what I want to make crystal clear." - Dane County WI Judge Maryann Sumi, who issued an injunction to prevent the state's' controversial collective-bargaining bill from becoming law, issued a second order Tuesday to stop the state from violating her original ruling.
(Christian Science Monitor)

1. Senate hearing on Muslim civil rights.
"Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he convened Tuesday's hearing because of rising Islamophobia, manifested by Quran burnings, hate speech and restrictions on mosque construction."
(Religion News Service)

2. Food journalist writes on fasting.
"I stopped eating on Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention to Congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs for the poor and hungry."
(Mark Bittman, New York Times)

3. U.S. may arm Libyan rebels.
"At the end of a conference on Libya in London, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said for the first time that she believed arming rebel groups was legal under UN security council resolution 1973, passed two weeks ago, which also provided the legal justification for air strikes."
(Guardian)

4. Gaddafi troops [uch back rebels.
"Troops loyal to longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have capitalised on an apparent slowdown in the frequency of coalition air strikes in the east and have pushed back opposition rebels, taking the strategic oil town of Ras Lanuf."
(Al Jazeera)

5. Setbacks in Japanese reactor crisis.
"Setbacks mounted Wednesday in the crisis over Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear facility, with nearby seawater testing at its highest radiation levels yet and the president of the plant operator checking into a hospital with hypertension."
(Los Angeles Times/AP)

6. Government shutdown looms.
"With a government shutdown deadline just days away, House Speaker John A. Boehner faces a fateful choice over whether to abandon conservative Republicans to reach a final deal on 2011 spending."
(Chicago Tribune)

7. Supreme Court hears Wal-Mart discrimination case.
"The Supreme Court appeared closely divided on Tuesday during arguments over the theory put forth by the plaintiffs in an enormous sex discrimination class-action case against Wal-Mart."
(New York Times)

8. Canadian campaign heats up.
"[Prime Minister] Stephen Harper has ramped up his election pitch for a majority government, warning in a Winnipeg speech there is no way he can hold power if he wins a minority of seats."
(Globe and Mail)

9. Ivory Coast tipping toward civil war.
"Ivory Coast tipped further toward civil war Tuesday as soldiers loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the former prime minister and banker, continued their fight against the strongman Laurent Gbagbo."
(New York Times)

10. Arctic sea coverage lowest in decades.
"Sea ice coverage in the Arctic shrank to one of its lowest levels in decades this winter -- more bad news for polar bears that need it to survive."
(McClatchy/Anchorage Daily News)

+Continue Reading

Rediscovering Values for Lent: Exposing Darkness

[Editors' note: During the season of Lent we will be posting excerpts from the Rediscovering Values Lenten Study Guide. We invite you to study God's word with us through these posts.]
+Continue Reading