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In Abu Dhabi, Ramadan a time for fasting and food waste awareness

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Monday marked the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Traditionally a time of fasting, prayer and introspection for Muslims worldwide, the month has an added focus this year in one Arab nation, where they have connected the religious period with the theme from World Environment Day 2013 — “reduce your foodprint.”

Aging amid seeding and the seasons

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As I age, I want to notice what I think I have already seen. As the planet ages, I want us all to notice what we think we have already seen. Otherwise, we go to seed without seeding.

I once saw the deep-blue wine berries of fall differently than I had seen them before. Often considered a weed, they are blousy and fat, dominating and unplanted. They look like those shelves in antique stores where blue glasses and vases and pitchers cling together for color.

On fragility, from caution to courage

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Fragile is a word that keeps following me around.

In a recent evaluation, one of my members said that my congregation is delightfully fragile. He meant tender, not fixed; he meant open, not closed; he meant safe for vulnerability. It was a compliment, not a complaint.

Then at a conference on developing a new spiritual narrative for the 21st century, it resurfaced: “We live in a fragile universe, which some say has only five more years to fix itself.” I thought that hyperbolic, but then again no one has ever accused me of not excelling at denial. 

Obama set to unveil climate plan

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Speaking on the steps of Georgetown University’s Old North building, President Barack Obama will unveil Tuesday his plan for reducing carbon pollution and combatting climate change.

Much anticipated since Obama made climate change a central tenant of his second-term victory speech and second inaugural address, the plan works toward his 2009 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Canada tar sands issues show how important Keystone XL pipeline conversation is

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It is unclear whether President Barack Obama's Tuesday speech on climate change at Georgetown University will include any references to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Recent major flooding in and around Calgary and near Fort McMurray in Alberta, the site of the tar sands extraction, makes it imperative he do so.

Bamboo coffins help curb deforestation in India

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Constructing coffins out of bamboo could be one way to curb rampant deforestation in northeastern India, according to a youth group in Mizoram that has launched a movement to develop eco-friendly methods of burial for the state’s Christians.

The idea, proposed by the Young Mizo Association, has been lauded by the state’s minister of environment and forests, H. Rohluna. Some 98 percent of the state’s population is Christian, many of whom use expensive teak and sal trees for coffins because of their durability and high density.

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In This Issue

April 11-24, 2014

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