Monday, January 4, 2021

1/21 Creation Corner Col.: Books, New Concepts, etc.

 Winter Reading: Creation Corner Column, January 2021.

"You can't save a place you don't love.  You can't love a place you don't know.  And you can't know a place you haven't learned."  Watershed theologian Ched Myers' paraphrasing Baba Dioum, a Senegalese environmentalist.

"Read. Think. Do. Repeat."  Phrase often used by The Christian Century.

"To pursue the ongoing clarification of thought":  phrase expressing the purpose of Friday Night Meetings among The Catholic Worker movement houses.

Climate Crisis and Environment Book Titles

American  Birds: A Literary Companion. edited by Andrew Rubenfeld and Terry Tempest Williams.

An Almost Zero Waste Life: Learning How to Embrace Less to Live More.  Megean Weldon.

Another End of the World is Possible: Living the Collapse (and Not Merely Surviving It). Pablo Servigne, Raphael Stevens and Gauthier Chapelle.

Better Business: How the B Corp Movement Is Rethinking Capitalism.  Christopher Marquis.  ("B" businesses meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose).

Birds: A Smithsonian Coloring Book, Rachel Curtis. available 3/2021.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.  Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Butterflies of North America: Titian Peale's Lost Manuscript.  American Museum of Natural History.

The Butterfly Isles: A Summer in Search of Our Emperors and Admirals.  Patrick Barkham.

Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do.  Marc Bekoff.

Cataclysms: An Environmental History of Humanity.  Laurent Testot

The Disappearance of Butterflies.  Josef H. Reichholf.

Earth From Above, Updated Edition.  Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

Earth Vote, Frank Lingo. Novel (read free excerpt at .

The Edible Ecosystem Solution: Growing Biodiversity in Your Backyard and Beyond.  Zack Loeks.

Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato.  Rebecca Earle.

Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers.  Jessica Roux. 

Foresters, Borders, and Bark Beetles: The Future of Europe's Last Primeval Forest.  Eunice  Blavascunas.

Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat.  Robert N. Spengler III.

The Future of Fallout, and Other Episodes in Radioactive World-Making.  Joseph Masco.

Future Sea: How to Rescue and Protect the World's Oceans.  Deborah Rowan Wright.

The Genesis Quest: The Geniuses and Eccentrics on a Journey to Uncover the Origin of Life on Earth.  Michael Marshall.

The Green Good News: Christ's Path to Sustainable and Joyful Life.  T. Wilson Dickinson.

Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit.  Alex Edmans.

A Guide to EU Environmental Law.  Josephine van Zeben and Arden Rowell.

Humanity's Last Stand: Confronting Global Catastrophe.  Mark Schuller.

Intervolution: Smart Bodies, Smart Things.  Mark C. Taylor.

Katrina: A History, 1915-2015.  Andy Horowitz.

Latin for Bird Lovers: Over 3,000 Bird Names Explored and Explained.  Roger Lederer and Carol Burt. 

Living Lightly on the Earth: Building an Ark for Prince Edward Island, 1974-76.

The Ministry for the Future (climate crisis, "cli-fi", fiction).  Kim Stanley Robinson.

National Parks Conservation Association: A Century of Impact.

The New Wilderness.  Diane Cook. ("cli-fi" novel).

The Next Great Migration: The Story of Movement on a Changing Planet.  Sonia Shah.

Oak Flat: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West.  Lauren Redness.

Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World.  The Dalai Lama and Franz Alt.

Planetary Mine: Territories of Extraction under Late Capitalism.  Martin Arboleda.

Refuge: America's Wildest Places.  Ian Shive. Photographs of America's National Wildlife Refuges.

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire.  Rebecca Henderson.

Resisting Throwaway Culture: How a Consistent Life Ethic Can Unite a Fractured People.  Charles C. Camosy.

Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale.  Adam Minter.

Seen: True Stories of Marginalized Trailblazers: Rachel Carson. Graphic Novel.  Birdie Willis and Rii Abrego.  Forthcoming.

A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You.  Sean B. Carroll.

Sex Robots and Vegan Meat: Adventures at the Frontier of Birth, Food, Sex, and Death.  Jenny Kleeman.

Stewardship of Eden: What Scripture Says About the Environment and Why It Matters.  Sandra L. Richter.

Tales From the Ant World.  Edward O. Wilson.

To Show Another Way: How to Learn, Heal, and Serve at a Time of Crisis on Planet Earth.  Susan S. Trout.

Trees: Between Heaven and Earth.  Art Wolfe, Gregory MacNamee; Wade Davis, intro.

The Truth About Nature: Environmentalism in the Era of Post-truth Politics and Platform Capitalism.  Bram Buscher.

Vesper Flights.  Helen Macdonald.  Essays.

What Is a Bird?  An Exploration of Anatomy, Physiology, Behavior, and Ecology. edited by Tony D. Williams.

What Would Nature Do?  A Guide for Our Uncertain Times.  Ruth DeFries.

Work, Mate, Marry, Love: How Machines Shape Our Human Destiny.  Debora L. Spar.

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments.  Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

Pandemic Issues Books

Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology.  Graphic Novel (GN).

Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds. Ebola and the Ravages of History.  Paul Farmer.

More Deadly Than War: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War.  Kenneth C. Davis.

The Plague: How Trump Bungled America's Coronavirus Response.  Special issue publication from .

"Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents" (Obama administration).

The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics, or Itself.  Richard D. Wolff.

"Totally Under Control", 123 minute documentary, released Oct. 13, re: Trump administration response to Covid-19.

Viral BS: Medical Myths and Why We Fall for Them.  Seema Yasmin. 

Audio Titles

Humankind: A Hopeful History.  Roger Bregman.  Hachette Audio, 11.5 hours.

2021 Anniversaries

Sixty years since Dr. Jane Goodall arrived at Gombe National Park to study chimpanzees.  See the Jane Goodall Institute.

Hints for Further Reading

Book publishers often allow you to search by topic.  To take one example, Oxford University Press has listings categorized, and here is an example for each:

Environmental History
Make It a Green Peace: The Rise of Countercultural Environmentalism

Hydraulic Fracturing: Environmental Issues

The Environment and US
Navigating Environmental Attitudes

Environmental Politics
Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse

Ecology & Conservation
Green Equilibrium: The Vital Balance of Humans and Nature


Climate Grief refers to personal depression, anxiety, and mourning over a sense of loss due to climate change effects.

The Pyrocene Age, according to fire historian Stephen J. Pyne, is upon us, an era of wildfires that are bigger, fiercer, and deadlier.  Consider a lyric from an old spiritual song: "God gave Noah the rainbow sign, nor more water but the fire next time."


Mike Ochs finds common ground between religion and politics in his concern for the environment.

Politically he self-published the first "Greens Bibliography" of the English-language literature on the international Green Party movement (1989), the project for his Master of Liberal Arts in International Studies degree at Lock Haven (PA) University. He also helped plant the seeds for the Green Party of PA at that time, and remains a cyber-activist with it.

For a monthly newsletter of the ecumenical United Churches of Lycoming County (PA), he has written the "Creation Corner Column" since 1997.  It became a blog in 2011 at 

He received a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College in 1965.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

12/20 CCC: Quotes, Podcast, Intersectionality, Pandemic, Climate Action

                                         12/2020 Creation Corner Column

                 Quotations, Podcast, Pandemic Books, Intersectionality, Climate Crisis                                                                      Action, etc.

Opening Quote:  "Right there on page one, it explains that our job is to exercise careful dominion over the planet, which God has just made and found good.  It's literally job one.  We are failing to meet the first instruction laid down in Genesis." 

source:   Bill McKibben's article "Job One" in the November 2020 Sojourners magazine.  McKibben, a layman in the United Methodist Church, is an environmentalist, activist, and author of 17 books on ecology since 1989, and helps fight against fossil fuels through the grassroots campaign

The 350 mark of "parts per million" is what climate scientist Jim Hanson thinks is the upper boundary for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to maintain the ecological integrity of our civilization.  The 2019 global average atmosphere CO2 level was 409 parts per million (ppm).


How to Save a Planet (Gimlet).  Weekly chat by conservation strategist  Ayana Elizabeth Johnson with Gimlet Media co-founder Alex Blumberg.

Pandemic Book Titles

Constructing the Outbreak: Epidemics in Media and Collective Memory.  Katharine A. Foss.

Evolutionary Concepts in Immunology.  Robert Jack and Louis Du Pasquier.

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World.  Fareed Zakaria.

A World Out Of Reach: Dispatches from Life Under Lockdown.  Meghan O'Rourke.

On-line Video Series

Earth's Great Seasons.  BBC America.

Cooperation for the Paris Climate Agreement

The "We Are Still In" coalition supports the Agreement.  The "Climate Action 100+" partnership includes more than 500 investors helping to move the largest greenhouse gas emitters to take meaningful, measurable action on climate change.  

A New Kind of Environmentalism:  The Intersectional Environmentalist (IE)

The interconnected intersections of our identity (class, race, gender, etc.) as they apply to systems of disadvantage (or privilege) become, for example, a link between social and environmental justice that can result in "environmentalists for Black Lives Matter."


2020 was the the 35th anniversary of the International Coastal Cleanup.
December 2, 1970, fifty years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency was established.
December 28th is the 47th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.


"We need a revolution of compassion for the planet and all its inhabitants...(T)his beautiful planet is our only home...(T)he earth's future is our future."  The Dalai Lama's Call to Action on the Climate Crisis.

"Inspired by faith, committed to action" is the motto of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), that will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021.  Among its goals are leveraging investor power to catalyze social change and to press for bolder corporate action to address the global climate crisis.  Look to its web site for your church's participation.

"The welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all."  Helen Keller

"In the woods, we return to reason and faith."  Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Mike Ochs finds common ground between religion and politics in his concern for the environment.

Politically he self-published the first "Greens Bibliography" of the English-language literature on the international Green Party movement (1989), the project for his Master of Liberal Arts in International Studies degree at Lock Haven (PA) University. He also helped plant the seeds for the Green Party of PA at that time, and remains a cyber-activist with it.

For a monthly newsletter of the ecumenical United Churches of Lycoming County (PA), he has written the "Creation Corner Column" since 1997.  It became a blog in 2011 at 

He received a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College in 1965.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

CCC, 11/20: Quotes, Pandemic and Climate resources, Audio books, etc.

                               Creation Corner Column, November 2020

              Quotations, Pandemic and Climate Crisis titles, Audio Books, etc.

Opening Quotation

"Our worst response would be to plunge even more deeply into feverish consumerism"  Pope Francis, writing about a postpandemic world in his third papal encyclical, a letter addressed to Catholics, published Oct. 4.  Quote from Time magazine, Oct. 19, 2020, p. 8.  Note that Oct. 4 is the feast day of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. 

The social teachings document is entitled "Fratelli Tutti" (Brothers All); it follows his 2015 landmark environmental encyclical "Laudato Sii" (Praised Be), and the first major mission statement of his papacy, the 2013 "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel).

These documents also are critical of the "just war" theory, the nuclear arms race, the death penalty, and they urge all Catholics to divest from armament makers and fossil fuel companies. 

Religious Titles on Pandemic Issues

Coronaspection: World Religious Leaders Reflect on Covid-19.  Alon Goshen-Gottstein.

God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and Its Aftermath.  N.T. Wright.

Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical Reflections in a Time of Loss, Grief, and Uncertainty.  Walter Brueggemann.

We Shall Be Changed: Questions for the Post-Pandemic Church.  Mark D. W. Edington, editor.

Secular Books on Pandemics, Epidemics, etc.

Air Mail: Letters of Politics, Pandemics, and Place.  Amy Irvine.

American Contagions: Epidemics and the Law, from Smallpox to COVID-19.  John Fabian Witt.

Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement.  Jonathan M. Berman.

The Pull of the Stars: A Novel.  Emma Donoghue.  Re: 1918 global flu epidemic.

Quarantine: East European Jewish Immigration and the New York City Epidemic of 1892.  Howard Markel.

Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19.  Edited by Colleen H. Flood, Vanessa Macdonnell, Jane Philpott, Sophie Theriault, and Sridhar Venkatapuram.

When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America Since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed.  Howard Markel.

Books on Climate Crisis, the Environment, etc.

The Fragile Earth: Writing from The New Yorker on Climate Change.  Edited by David Remnick and Henry Finder, with an afterword by Elizabeth Kolbert.

An Introduction to Christian Environmentalism: Ecology, Virtue and Ethics.  Kathryn D. Blanchard and Kevin J. O'Brien.  This book examines seven contemporary environmental challenges through the lens of classical Christian virtues: for other creatures prudently
...develop new energy sources courageously
...choose our food temperately
...manage toxic pollution justly
...respond to climate change faithfully
...consider humanity's future hopefully
...engage lovingly in advocacy for God's earth

The Most Radical Thing You Can Do: The Best Political Essays from Orion Magazine (People and Nature).  Essays by Rebecca Solnit, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Bill McKibben, Paul Kingsnorth, Glenis Redmond, Terry Tempest Williams, Winona La Duke and others.  With a foreword by Gretel Ehrlich.

Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World.  John Freeman.

Vital Signs: The Environmental Trends That Are Shaping Our Future book series.  Worldwatch Institute.


The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization.  Roland Ennos

Earth Keeper:  Reflections on the American Land.  N. Scott Momaday.

The Human Cosmos: A Secret History of the Stars.  Jo Marchant, read by the author.

The Language of Butterflies.  Wendy Williams; read by Angela Brazil.

Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World.  His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Franz Alt.

Under the Open Skies: Finding Peace and Health Through Nature.  Markus and Frida Torgeby, translated by Christian Gullette; read by Steven Jay Cohen.

Closing Quotations

"If there is one thing we can learn from the gathering storm of zoonotic disease and the impending destruction of the natural world, it's that the harbinger of the end times is not God, but man."  John Merrick, an editor at Verso Books, on the way pestilence and pandemics have called into question the steady march of human progress, quoted in The Christian Century (10/7/2020), originating in the Boston Review of September 4).

"There is a fundamental shift taking place now, from 'What is business doing to the climate?' to 'What is climate doing to business?"  Joel Makower, chair and executive editor of GreenBiz Group. from the Sierra Magazine of May/June 2019, p. 19.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

10/'20 CCC: Books, TIME's important people, etc.

 10/'20 CCC: Books, TIME's important people, etc.

Climate Crisis and other Environmental Issues Books

The Age of Hiroshima.  Michael D. Gordin and G. John Ikenberry, editors.

Animal Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution.  Alexander Pschera, translated from the German by Elisabeth Lauffer; foreword by Martin Wikelski.

Animal Languages.  Eva Meijer, translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson.

As Far as the Eye Can See: Reflections of an Appalachian Trail Hiker.  David Brill.

The Citizen's Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths That Hinder Progress.  Mark Jaccard.

Climate Courage: How Tracking Climate Change Can  Build Community, Transform the Economy, and Bridge the Political Divide in America.  Andreas Karelas.

Elsewhere: A Journey into Our Age of Islands.  Alastair Bonnett.

The Environmental History of the Civil War.  Judkin Browning and Timothy Silver.

The Food Sharing Revolution:  How Start-Ups, Pop-Ups, and Co-Ops Are Changing The Way We Eat.  Michael Carolan.

The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behaviors, Health, and Happiness.  Emily Anthes.

Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities.  Vaclav Smil.

How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything.  Mike Berners-Lee.

Impersonating Animals: Rhetoric, Ecofeminism, and Animal Rights Law.  S. Marek Muller.

The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools.  Gennifer E. Gaddis.

Land of Wondrous Cold: The Race to Discover Antarctica and Unlock the Secrets of Its Ice.  Gillen D'Arcy Wood.

Lead For The Planet.  Five Practices For Confronting Climate Change.  Rae Andre.

Migrations: A Novel.  Charlotte McConaghy (re: Arctic terns and climate).

Nightingales in Berlin: Searching for the Perfect Sound.  David Rothenberg.

Solved: How the World's Great Cities Are Fixing The Climate Crisis.  David Miller; foreword by Bill McKibben.

The Story of CO-2: Big Ideas For A Small Molecule.  Geoffrey A. Ozin and Mireille F. Ghoussoub.

The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here.  Hope Jahren.  This highly-acclaimed scientist is especially good bringing quantitative data to the issues, and provides "an environmental catechism."

Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World's Food System.  Raj Patel.

Superman's Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What WE THE PEOPLE Can Do About It.  Erin Brockovich.  Note that her Resources list suggests these national organizations working to help communities clean up their water: Americans Against Fracking; American Rivers; Citizens Concerned About Chloramines; Clean Water Action; The Clean Water Fund; Earth Justice; Environmental Working Group; Environment America; Environmental Integrity Project; Food and Water Watch; The Union of Concerned Scientists; National Association of Clean Water Agencies; The National Wildlife Federation; Waterkeeper Alliance.

Tales From the Ant World.  E.O. Wilson.

Talking Animals.  Joni Murphy novel re: a city in climate collapse.

Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know.  Ronald Bailey and Marian L. Tupy.

Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings.  Valerie Trouet.

Unnatural Companions: Rethinking Our Love of Pets in an Age of Wildlife Extinction.  Peter Christie.

Vesper Flights.  Helen Macdonald (40 nature essays).

Waste: One Woman's Fight Against America's Dirty Secret.  Coleman Flowers (founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice).

What Can I Do?  My Path from Climate Despair to Action.  Jane Fonda.  With the help of Annie Leonard of Greenpeace USA, Fonda narrates her journey to "Fire Drill Fridays" and the many issues that are threats to the integrity of our environment.

What I Stand On: The Collected Essays of Wendell Berry, 1969-2017.  Wendell Berry.

When Animals Speak: Toward an Interspecies Democracy.  Eva Meijer.

Why Trust Science?  Naomi Oreskes.

Why Vegan?  Eating Ethically.  Peter Singer.

Wilted: Pathogens, Chemicals, and the Fragile Future of the Strawberry Industry.  Julie Guthman.

Epidemic, Pandemic, etc. Books

COVID-19: The Pandemic That Never Should Have Happened, and How to Stop the Next One.  Debora Mackenzie.

Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of COVID-19.  Rob Wallace.

Death in Venice.  Thomas Mann 1912 novella, cholera epidemic.

The Epidemic: A Collision of Power, Privilege and Public Health.  David DeKok (re: 1903 typhoid epidemic at Cornell University and Ithaca NY).

Epidemics and Society: Frank M. Snowden.

Plague Years: A Doctor's Journey through the AIDS Crisis.  Ross A. Slotten, M.D.

Plagues and Peoples.  William McNeill.

Poisoned Nation: Pollution, Greed, and the Rise of Deadly Epidemics.  Loretta Schwartz-Nobel.

Television Series

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series on "The New Environmentalists" profiles grassroots activists awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea. A Film by Ken Burns.


From TIME Magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People in the World" double issue of October 5 and 12, are these various icons, leaders, titans and pioneers in the fields of the environment and responders to COVID-19, etc.


David Hill, Protecting Indigenous Sovereignty 
Nemonte Nenquimo, Defending the Amazon
Anne Hidalgo, Urban Climate Visionary
Cecilia Martinez, Advocating for Environmental Justice


Amy O'Sullivan, Frontline Hero
Ady Barkan, Healthcare Warrior
Anthony Fauci, Public Servant
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, The World's Doctor
Bonnie Castillo, Protecting Nurses
Ursula von der Leyen, Prescient Powerhouse
Tsai Ing-wen, Resolute Leader
Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, Ebola Fighter
Zhong Nanshan, Voice of Clarity
Tunji Funsho, Ending Polio
Claire Babineaux Fontenut, Food-bank Hero
Shi Zhengli, Tracking the Virus
Zhang Yongzhen, COVID-19 genome mapper
Ravindra Gupta, Hope for a HIV Cure
Lauren Gardner, Democratizing Pandemic Data
Camilla Rothe, Raising the Alarm


Mike Ochs finds common ground between religion and politics in his concern for the environment.

Politically he self-published the first "Greens Bibliography" of the English-language literature on the international Green Party movement (1989), the project for his Master of Liberal Arts in International Studies degree at Lock Haven (PA) University. He also helped plant the seeds for the Green Party of PA at that time, and remains a cyber-activist with it.

For a monthly newsletter of the ecumenical United Churches of Lycoming County (PA), he has written the "Creation Corner Column" since 1997.  It became a blog in 2011 at 

He received a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College in 1965.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

CCC 9/20: Christian Ecological Action History; Webinars, Pandemic Lit., etc


                                      Creation Corner Column, September 2020

                 Christian Ecological Action History; Webinars; Pandemic Lit., etc.

Christian Ecological Action History:

"The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; Thou shalt not destroy the earth nor despoil the life thereon."   The Eleventh Commandment Fellowship, 1970s era, noted in "A Brief History of Christian Ecological Action" by Frederick W. Kruger, in the summer 2020 issue of The Mountain Vision published by Christians for the Mountains in West Virginia.

For this summer story on the history of Christian Ecological Action site, go to pgs. 14-15.


New from the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN)

Creation Defenders at EEN ( have produced a six-part webinar series on these topics:

1. Energy Solutions For A Healthy Tomorrow: How Your Church Can Lead The Way.
2. Defend Life: How Is Climate Change Hurting Your Children?
3. What Is God's Creation Telling Us?  Climate Science 101.
4. Young Evangelicals Leading The Way: Meet 3 Young Christians Taking Climate Action.
5. How To Protect Your Family, Community, And God's Creation: Harnessing Natural Resources For A Healthy Tomorrow.
6. Our Greatest Moral Challenge: Biblical Perspectives On The Climate Crisis.

for the Evangelical Environmental Network Creation Care webinar site, go to


Covid Pandemic Literature (fiction and non-fiction)

1666: Plague, War and Hellfire.  Rebecca Rideal.

And We Came Outside and Saw the Stars Again.  Ilan Stavans, editor.

Cholera: The Victorian Plague.  Amanda J. Thomas.

The Covid-19 Catastrophe: What's Gone Wrong and How to Stop It Happening Again.  Richard Horton.

The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire.  Kyle Harper.

Intimations: Six Essays.  Zadie Smith.

Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate.  William F. Ruddiman.

Wuhan Diary. Dispatches From a Quarantined City.  Fang Fang.


Climate Change Reading (see prior columns for other entries)

Desert Notebooks: A Roadmap for the End of Time.  Ben Ehrenreich.


Inspiring Quotations

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise."  Aldo Leopold.


The following from the work of Scott Russell Sanders:

"Justice to future generations requires us to pass along the beauty of Earth undiminished."

"There is no such thing as 'sustainable growth.'  There is only sustainable use."

"Only by caring for particular places, in every watershed, can we take care of the planet.  Every place needs people who will dig in, keep watch, explore the terrain, learn the animals and plants, and take responsibility for the welfare of their home ground."

"Loyalty to place arises from our need to be at home on the Earth.  We marry ourselves to the creation by knowing and cherishing a particular place..."

"Global corporations, wielding resources that dwarf those of all but a few nations, pursue growth as feverishly as bacteria multiplying in a Petri dish.  Nearly all politicians, regardless of party or nationality, call for perpetual economic expansion---a vote-winning refrain, for it promises us to deliver more and more of everything we crave, or have been coaxed and bamboozled into craving."

Among the books of Scott Russell Sanders are:  The Way of Imagination; Essays (2020); Earth Works (2012); and A Conservationist Manifesto (2009).  


From James Gustave Speth (b. 1942):  

"I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change.  I thought that with thirty years of good science, we could address those problems.

But I was wrong.  The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy....And to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation.  And we scientists don't know how to do that."


Headline "Rich Americans spew more carbon pollution at home than poor" story by Associated Press Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Williamsport (PA) Sun-Gazette, July 22, 2020, p. A-10.


Quotations raised up by the Arbor Day Foundation:

"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than one seeks."  John Muir
"In nature, nothing exists alone."  Rachel Carson.
"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn."  Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein.


Mike Ochs finds common ground between religion and politics in his concern for the environment.

Politically he self-published the first "Greens Bibliography" of the English-language literature on the international Green Party movement (1989), the project for his Master of Liberal Arts in International Studies degree at Lock Haven (PA) University. He also helped plant the seeds for the Green Party of PA at that time, and remains a cyber-activist with it.

For a monthly newsletter of the ecumenical United Churches of Lycoming County (PA), he has written the "Creation Corner Column" since 1997.  It became a blog in 2011 at 

He received a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College in 1965.

Monday, August 3, 2020

8/20 CCC: Pandemic & Climate Issues, and General Reading

                             Creation Corner Column for August 2020

                           Pandemic & Climate Issue, and General Reading

Pandemic Issues

"Coronavirus infections require what Japan calls the three Cs: confined spaces, crowded places, and close contact."  (source:  Heather Mac Donald's article in the May/June 2020 issue of Imprimis: a publication of Hillsdale College).

The three Ws advice for avoiding the virus:  Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance.


Oxfam America is calling for "The People's Vaccine: Available to All, In every country, free of charge."  Their petition reads as follows:

"To deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to all will require unprecedented global cooperation.  That means ripping up the rule book that gives exclusive rights to pharmaceutical corporations and guarantees their huge profits.  I am joining in the public outcry calling on US pharmaceutical companies to make all COVID-19 vaccines and treatments a global public good by:

...Committing not to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

...Cooperating with governments to make all COVID-19 vaccines and treatments free to all who need them, here and around the world.

...Forgoing monopoly control over all COVID-19 vaccines and treatments to allow for worldwide, low-cost production to meet the unprecedented demand.

...Committing to support fair global distribution based on need, not price or nationality.


Books re: the Pandemic (also see prior monthly columns)

Pandemic: Tracking Contagions From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond.  Sonia Shah.

The Pull of the Stars.  Emma Donoghue (novel of the flu epidemic of 1918).


Connecting the  World Virus Pandemic to the Planetary Climate Crisis

"The current moment is demonstrating just how far away we are from being able to come together to solve a planetary crisis.  The pandemic is a test, and we're failing it.  If the federal government reacts to the greatest public health crisis in a century with half measures, what could possibly convince it to react sufficiently to climate change?  If governors won't demand their citizens wear masks to save lives, will they be willing to get people to reduce their carbon footprints?  If so many authoritarian and authoritarian-adjacent governments react to a pandemic with denial, what can we expect as the climate crisis worsens?"   Harry Cheadle in, reprinted as "Viewpoint" in The Week magazine of July 10/July 17, 2020, p. 14.

Recommended Reading re: Climate Crisis

1.  "One Last Chance: The Defining Year for the Planet" double issue cover story of TIME magazine, July 20, July 27, 2020.

Features include
This is the year, by Justin Worland
America's four-year plan, by Jeffrey Kluger
How to Save the Oceans, by Aryn Baker
Q & A with activist Vanessa Nakate, by Angelina Jolie
XR ("Extinction Rebellion") comes of age, by Ciara Nugent
Equalizing the environment, by Justin Worland
The meat trap, by Emily Barone
The Paris plan, by Vivienne Walt 

and Viewpoints by
Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
Stacey Abrams
Mark Ruffalo and Rahwa Ghirmatzion
Sebastian Kurz
Greta Thunberg
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
The Dalai Lama
Oliver Jeffers

2.  Blll McKibben's book review of Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency by Mark Lynas, may be found as "130 Degrees" in The New York Review of Books for August 20, 2020, pgs. 8 and 10.

3.  Elizabeth Kolbert's article profiling James Hansen, entitled "The Catastrophist: A climate expert's unheeded warnings" in The New Yorker of July 27, special "Voices of American Dissent: An Archival Issue", reprinted from June 29, 2009.

4.  "Care for Creation" is the cover story theme of the August 2020 issue of Living Lutheran magazine.  Eight articles include

"A call to heal creation" lead piece of 5 pages.
"Congregations go green."
"A sustainable campus."
"Stewards of creation:family farm sustainability."
"An innovative approach: Climate commitment fund bolsters ELCA World Hunger."
"The spirituality of natural burials."
"A most precious resource" re: water in Senegal.
"Highly recommended" books on creation care.

Global Weirding Books (see former monthly columns for more).

Lead for the Planet: Five Practices for Confronting Climate Change.  Rae Andre. (forthcoming),

Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency.  Mark Lynas (2020).

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. Mark Lynas (2007).

Books on Nuclear Environmental Holocaust, on occasion of the 75th anniversary of August 6-9, 1945, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

See the four books reviewed by Jessica T. Mathews article "The New Nuclear Threat" in The New York Review of Books for August 20, 2020, pgs. 19-21.  (Note bottom line: "A nuclear war cannot  be won and must never be fought.")

General Reading

50 Things to See in the Sky.  Sarah Barker.

100 Parks, 5000 Ideas.  Joe Yogerst.

America's Best Day Hikes.  Derek Dellinger.

The Animal's Companion: People and Their Pets, a 26,000-Year Love Story.  Jacky Collis Harvey.

Around the World in 80 Trees.  Jonathan Drori; illustrated by Lucille Clerc.

Atlas Obscura: Second Edition.  Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton.

Audubon's Birds of America Giant Coloring Book.

Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist: Your Guide to Listening.  Donald Kroodsma.  With links to to audio clips.

Bird Songs: 250 North American birds in song.  Les Beletsky.  Includes audio recording of each.

A Cloud a Day.  Gavin Pretor-Pinney.

Greenwood: A Novel.  Michael Christie (forthcoming re: environmental stewardship).

Feeding the People:  The Politics of the Potato.  Rebecca Earle.

Flora: A Botanical Pop-Up Book.  Nicole Yen et al.  For ages 5 and up.

The Hidden World of the Fox.  Adele Brand.

Indoor Jungle: The Leaf Supply Guide to Creating Your Indoor Jungle.  Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan.

Inside Animal Hearts and Minds.  Belinda Recio.

The Little Books of Bird Songs.  Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham (with 12 push-button audio recordings---choose Backyard or Woodland Bird Songs).  For children and their families.

The Meaning of Birds.  Simon Barnes.

Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science.  Alan Levinovitz (a professor of religion).

A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year.  edited by Jane McMorland Hunter.

Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live.  Rob dunn.

Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond.  Alexandra Horowitz.

Poems About Trees.  Edited by Harry Thomas.

Scenic Science of the National Parks.  Emily Hoff and Maygen Keller.

Superlative: The Biology of Extremes.  Matthew D. LaPlante.

Vintage Wildflowers Puzzle.

Where in the World?  Global Dream Destinations.  Edited by Monaco Books.

A Wild Child's Guide to Endangered Animals.  Millie Marotta.  For ages 8 and up.

Wonders of the World.  By the editors of Lonely Planet.


"Adopt the pace of nature.  Her secret is patience."  Ralph Waldo Emerson.

"A truly good book is something as natural, and as unexpectedly and unaccountably fair and perfect, as a wild flower."  Henry David Thoreau.

"One tree is like another tree, but not too much.  One tulip is like the next tulip, but not altogether.  More or less like people---a general outline, then the stunning individual strokes."  Mary Oliver, from her book Upstream:Selected Essays.

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."  Ansel Adams

"The sky isn't the limit---the sky has no limit."


Mike Ochs finds common ground between religion and politics in his concern for the environment.

Politically he self-published the first "Greens Bibliography" of the English-language literature on the international Green Party movement (1989), the project for his Master of Liberal Arts in International Studies degree at Lock Haven (PA) University. He also helped plant the seeds for the Green Party of PA at that time, and remains a cyber-activist with it.

For a monthly newsletter of the ecumenical United Churches of Lycoming County (PA), he has written the "Creation Corner Column" since 1997.  It became a blog in 2011 at 

He received a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College in 1965

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

July CCC: Pandemic and Climate Crisis resources

Creation Corner Column for July 2020: Pandemic and Climate Crisis resources

Reading Lists on "Navigating the Threat of Pandemic", "Care in Uncertain Times", "Environmentalism and Climate Change", etc. (14 in all) from

Pandemic Book Resources

The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Mankind for 500,000 years.  Sonia Shah.

A Journal of the Plague Year.  Daniel Defoe (1722).

Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History. Catharine Arnold.

Pandemic! Covid-19 Shakes the World.  Slavoj Zizek.

Plague Years: A Doctor's Journey through the AIDS Crisis.  Ross A. Slotten, M.D.

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic.  David Quammen.

Understanding Coronavirus.  Raul Rabadan.

Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases.  Paul A. Offit.

Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical Reflections in a Time of Loss, Grief, and Uncertainty.  Walter Brueggmann.

Climate Crisis Books

Common Sense for the 21st Century: Only Nonviolent Rebellion Can Now Stop Climate Breakdown and Social Collapse.  Roger Hallam.

Disaster By Choice: How Our Actions turn Natural Hazards into Catastrophes.  Ilan Kelman.

The Green New Deal and Beyond.  Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can.  Stan Cox; foreword by Noam Chomsky.

How Everything Can Collapse: A Manual for our Times.  Pablo Sevigne and Raphael Stevens.

Irreplaceable: The Fight to Save Our Wild Places.  Julian Hoffman.

Learning To Die: Wisdom in the Age of Climate Crisis.   Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky.

The Library of Ice: Readings from a Cold Climate.  Nancy Campbell.

Nature's Broken Clocks: Reimagining Time in the Face of the Environmental Crisis.  Paul Huebener.

Oilcraft: The Myths of Scarcity and Security That Haunt U.S. Energy Policy.  Robert Vitalis.

Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration---and Why It's Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives.  Danny Dorling.

Through Post-Atomic Eyes.  Claudette Lauzon and John O"Brian, editors.

Uncertain Harvest: The Future of Food on a Warming Planet.  Ian Mosby, Sarah Rotz, and Evan D.G. Fraser.

Vexed: Ethics Beyond Political Tribes.  James Mumford (environment is one subject).

Of Note

During the recent Global Catholic Climate Movement, a Living Chapel was unveiled at the Botanical Garden of Rome.  Its formal unveiling via streaming video was scheduled for June 5, U.N. World Environment Day.

It will eventually have a permanent home in Assisi, Italy, the birthplace of St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology.

Construction was done with assistance from students and faculty from the Pennsylvania College of Technology, based in Williamsport PA.  

This Creation Corner Column also originates from Williamsport.