Thursday, July 3, 2014

Creation Corner Column for July 2014: summer reading suggestions

For your consideration of summer reading, here are some suggestions; subjects include:

Beginner's Guides
Climate Change
Environmental Policy
Religion and the Environment
Resolution on Fracking of the Upper Susquehanna Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

BEGINNER'S GUIDES from include such titles as

Animal Behavior, by John A. Byers.
Planet Earth, by John Gribbin.
Climate Change, by Emily Boyd & Emma L. Tompkins.
Conservation, by Paul Jepson & Richard Ladle.
Oil, by Vaclav Smil.
Biodiversity, by John Spicer.
Energy, by Vaclav Smil.
Over 100 titles in a variety of subject areas.


 Alexander Wilson: The Scot Who Founded American Ornithology, by Edward H. Burtt Jr. and William E. Davis Jr.
Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl, by Anahareo, edited by Sophie McCall.The  Horse Lover: A Cowboy's Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs, by 

H. Alan Day with Lynn Wiese Sneyd; foreword by Sandra Day O'Connor.
Malthus: The Life and Legacies of an Untimely Prophet, by Robert Mayhew.

Napalm: An American Biography, by Robert M. Neer.

Nature's Oracle, by Ullica Segerstrale.  A biography of WD (Bill) Hamilton, the evolutionary biologist whose insight into the operation of kin selection at gene level suggested how altruism might have emerged from natural selection.
Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, by Bill McKibben.

Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America's Environment
, by Robert K. Musil.

The Sun's Heartbeat: And Other Stories From the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet, by Bob Berman.

Wilfred Thesiger: The Life of the Great Explorer, by Alexander Maitland.



Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent, by Gabrielle Walker.

Beacons: Stories For Our Not So Distant Future, edited by Gregory Norminton.  (21 original stories about climate change imagining our worst and best possible futures),

The Carbon Crunch: How We're Getting Climate Change Wrong---And How To Fix It, by Dieter Helm.

The City And The Coming Climate: Climate Change in the Places We Live, by Brian Stone.

The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World, by William D. Nordhaus.

Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment, a report by the US Global Change Research Program, 829 pgs., May 2014.

Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis, edited by John D. Steinbruner, Paul C. Stern and Jo L. Husbands.  available at

Climate Wars: The Fight  for Survival As The World Overheats, by Gwynne Dyer.

The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway.  Daedalus (journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences), Winter 2013.

The Future Is Not What It Used To Be: Climate Change and Energy Scarcity, by Jörg Friedrichs.

Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century, by Paddy Woodworth.

Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided, a report for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.  November 2012, 58 pgs., available at

Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau's Woods, by Richard B. Primack.

What We Know: The Reality, Risks and Response to Climate Change, a report by the Climate Science Panel of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  28 pgs. March 2014.

The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics, by Adrian Parr.


The Age of Ecology, by Joachim Radkau.

Buzz: Urban Beekeeping and the Power of the Bee, by Lisa Jean Moore & Mary Kosut.

Ecological Restoration, edited by Steven N. Handel.

A Field Guide To Your Own Back Yard: A Seasonal Guide to the Flora & Fauna of the Eastern U.S., by John Hanson Mitchell; Laurel Molk, illustrator.

Hope on Earth: A Conversation, by Paul R. Ehrlich and Michael Charles Tobias.

In Wildness Is The Preservation Of The World.  Eliot Porter, photographer; text by Henry David Thoreau.

Sonic Wonderland: A Scientific Odyssey of Sound, by Trevor Cox.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert (widely reviewed in 2014; see also her previous book: Field Notes from a Catastrophe).

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

Still the Same Hawk: Reflections on Nature and New York (city), edited by John Waldman.


101 Ways to Help Birds.  Laura Erickson.

Building a Green Economy: Perspectives from Ecological Economics, edited by Robert B. Richardson.

The Burning Answer: A User's Guide to the Solar Revolution,by Keith Barnham.

Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, by Timothy Mitchell.

Coming Clean: Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal, by Michael Brune.

Confronting the Blue Revolution: Industrial Aquaculture and Sustainability in the Global South, by Md Saidul Islam.

Environmental Policy Change in Emerging Market Democracies: Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America Compared, by Jale Tosun.

Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat, by Philip Lymbery.

Fueling Up: The Economic Implications of America's Oil and Gas Boom, by Trevor Houser and Shashank Mohan.

Growing Resistance: Canadian Farmers and the Politics of Genetically Modified Wheat, by Emily Eaton.

The Housing Bomb: Why Our Addiction to Houses is Destroying the Environment and Threatening Our Society, by M. Nils Peterson, Tarla Rai Peterson, and Jianguo Liu.

How to Save the Planet on a Student Budget, by Kate Aydin.

The Last Ocean: Antarctica's Ross Sea Project, Saving the Most Pristine Ecosystem on Earth, by John Weller.

Land, Stewardship, and Legitimacy: Endangered Species Policy in Canada and the United States, by Andrea Olive.

Leave No Trace: The Vanishing North American Wilderness.  Jim Wark, photographer; Roderick F. Nash, essays.

Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation, edited by Philip Cafaro and Eileen Crist.

The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail, by W. Jeffrey Bolster.

Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds, by Jim Sterba.

The Oil Curse, by Michael L. Ross.

The Race For What's Left, by Michael Klare.

Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: How Scarce Energy is Creating the New World Order, by Michael Klare.

Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future, by Richard Heinberg.

Solving Deer Problems: How to Keep Them Out of the Garden, Avoid Them on the Road, and Deal With Them Anywhere!, by Peter Loewer.

Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean, by Lisa-Ann Gershwin.

Ten Billion, by Stephen Emmott.

The Way To Bee: Meditation and the Art of Beekeeping, by Mark Magill.

Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia, by Thane Gustafson.

White Beech: The Rainforest Years, by Germaine Greer.

Wilderness and the American Mind, by Roderick Nash.


1493: How Europe's Discovery of the Americas Revolutionized Trade, Ecology and Life on Earth, by Charles C. Mann.

"A Rich Spot of Earth": Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello, by Peter J. Hatch.

Anticipatory History, edited by Caitlin DeSilvey, Simon Naylor & Colin Sackett.

Environmental Problems of the Greeks and Romans: Ecology in the Ancient Mediterranean (2nd ed.), by J. Donald Hughes.

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century, by Geoffrey Parker.

Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World, by Thomas Cahill.

Home Fires: How Americans Kept Warm in the Nineteenth Century, by Sean Patrick Adams.

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes, by Svante Pääbo.

The Oldest Living Things In The World, by Rachel Sussman, with essays by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Carl Zimmer.

Owning The Earth: The Transforming History Of Land Ownership, by Andro Linklater.

Palladius (Opus Agriculturae): The Work of Farming (translated from the Latin by John G. Fitch).

The Sea & Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, by Lincoln Paine.

Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination, by Joyce Appleby.

The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century, by William Rosen.

Walden's Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science, by Robert M. Thorson.

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond.


22 Ideas to Fix the World: Conversations with the World's Foremost Thinkers, edited by Piotr Dutkiewicz and Richard Sakwa.

3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan, by Richard J. Samuels.

The Axial Age and its Consequences, edited by Robert N. Bellah and Hans Joas.

Ethics of Liberation in The Age of Globalization and Exclusion, by Enrique Dussel.

The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate, by Robert D. Kaplan.

The Secret Within: Hermits, Recluses, and Spiritual Outsiders in Medieval England, by Wolfgang Riehle, translated by Charity Scott Stokes.


Christian Environmental Ethics, by Jim Martin-Schramm.

Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Grounds, edited by David Landis Barnhill and Roger S. Gottlieb.

Earth Habitat: Eco-Injustice and the Church's Response.  Dieter T. Hessel and Larry L. Rasmussen, editors.

Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key, by Larry L. Rasmussen.

Eco-Lutheranism, edited by Karla Bohmbach and Shauna Hannen.

God, Creation, and Climate Change.  Karen Bloomquist, editor.  Lutheran World Federation Studies, vol. 02, 2009, pgs. 33-46.

God's Earth Is Sacred:  Essays on Eco-Justice. National Council of Churches of Christ, USA.

Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community, by John Grim.

The Mark of the Sacred, by Jean-Pierre Dupuy (translated by Malcolm B. DeBevoise).

This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment, 2nd edition, edited by Roger S. Gottlieb. A "textbook" now with 40 new selections; 700 pages.

Sacred Ecology, third edition, by Fikret Berkes.

A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth's Ecology, by Benjamin M. Stewart.  Kindle version available.


Lutherans Call for Repeal of “Fracking Loopholes” - Press Release

Contact:       Chad W. Hershberger, Director of Communications
                    Phone:  (570) 713-5826               E-Mail:
The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Task Force Member
Phone:  (610) 420-6861 (cell)      E-Mail:
For Immediate Release:  June 26, 2014
Lutherans Call for Repeal of “Fracking Loopholes”
SELINSGROVE— On the recommendation of a bipartisan task group, the Upper Susquehanna Synod Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted on June 20, 2014, to call for all environmental and public health exemptions on shale gas and oil drilling and its related processes, known as the “Halliburton loopholes,” to be repealed and all processes related to shale gas and oil extraction and processing to be subject to the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), the Clean Air Act (1990) and Clean Water Act (1972). 
The task force was created as a result of action taken at the Synod’s 2012 assembly directing the group to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the justice issues surrounding the natural gas industry.  The resolution came as a result of two years’ worth of research, field work, and discussion by a diverse group of individuals, appointed by The Rev. Bishop Robert L. Driesen, representing opposing viewpoints on the issue of hydro-fracking.
“Our task force was made up of scientists, professors, pastors, teachers, and lay leaders in the church, as well as individuals who actually work in the shale gas industry or are supportive of it.  Some of us would like to see a total ban on fracking.  Others think it can be done safely with proper regulation.  The fact that we were able to come to the table and engage in civil, bipartisan moral deliberation about this issue and offer a recommendation for the larger church is very important,” said The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, member of the task force.  “At the very least we could agree that the loopholes created for the industry exempting it from the established laws protecting our water, air and public health are unjust and need to be repealed,” Schade said.
Schade noted that this task force provides a model to other religious bodies as well as civil society for bringing people together across ideological lines to engage in robust ethical debate about controversial issues and arrive at some consensus for the common good.
The task force also provided a report that offered guidelines for approaching shale gas and oil drilling based on biblical and Lutheran theological values, as well as materials and resources to help people understand and interpret the abundance of information about the shale gas and oil industry, pro and con, that continues to grow and change almost daily.  Those resources can be found at
A copy of the task force’s final report and resolutions will be sent to the Secretary of the US Department of Energy and the Director of the US Environmental Protection Agency, the PA Department of Environmental Protection, local elected officials, Governor Corbett, and other ELCA Synods within the Marcellus and Utica Shale region.

The Upper Susquehanna Synod, headquartered in Lewisburg, PA, is one of 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  The synod is made up of 130 congregations in Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Tioga and Union Counties.  For more information on the synod and its congregations, visit