Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Religion & Science; Climate; the Outdoors; Energy Justice

Religion & Science:  If you are seeking to know "that the most fundamental scientific truths in contemporary physics and biology are analogous to and fully compatible with the most profound spiritual truths in all the great religious traditions of the world", see Rebirth of the Sacred: Science, Religion and the New Environmental Ethos by Robert Nadeau (Oxford U.P.).  He posits a science/religion dialogue can serve as the basis of an environmental ethos, that, in turn, can give rise to a movement of religious environmentalism.

Climate:  "U.S. roasts in hottest year on record by landslide" was the recent local newspaper headline in a look-back at 2012.  "34,008" was the number of "new daily high temperature records set at weather stations in the U.S. in 2012" according to TIME magazine (Jan. 21, 2013, p. 9).

For an historical context of the strategies used by climate change deniers, see The Inquisition of Climate Science by James Lawrence Powell (Columbia U.P.).

To read why a politically conservative atmospheric scientist accepts the broad climate change science consensus on global warming, and how to distinguish human-caused change from normal atmospheric variation, see What We Know About Climate Change by Kerry Emanuel (MIT Press).

The Outdoors:  To understand something of which we have historically lost (a specific American landscape, the public garden cemetery), and how recovering its themes ("an ethic of communal care, with a sense of beauty and repose related directly to an acknowledgment of mortality and limitation") may help us re-think our approach to ecological crises, see Arcadian America: The Death and Life of an Environmental Tradition by Aaron Sachs (Yale U.P.).

As a post-script to an earlier column highlighting the benefit of nature-immersion, consider what Edith Cobb (1895-1977) proposed in her Ecology of Imagination in Childhood, that, after reviewing the biographies of 300 "geniuses", one common thread was present: intense experiences of the natural world in childhood.  Contact with nature spurs creativity.

And for the person seeking a greater dose of "vitamin G" (Green exercise) comes this recommended title: Outdoor Fitness: Step Out of the Gym into the Best Shape of Your Life by Tina Vindum.

Energy Justice: Finally, for a rather complete analysis of various issues (energy, environmental, corporate, educational, community, etc.) see .