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New York's fracking debate and the peaceful quiet of renewables

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Any day now, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will decide about fracking in the state. You can’t go anywhere without someone talking about it: where we will get our energy, how will we get our energy, and what if we have to barter the future for the present.

You’d think all of this had to be decided by this afternoon!

Iona College program to further Thomas Berry's 'Great Work'

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Lisette Noisette is a talented young poet. One of her creations -- a personal act of contrition to Earth -- would make a beautiful opening prayer for upcoming Earth Day observances.

Please forgive me ... forgive me for scratching your dry skin and draining up your veins ... What am I going to do without you? If you die, I will no longer live.

Notre Dame conference takes multidisciplinary look at climate change

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Beginning Monday, the U.S.'s most prominent Catholic university has played host to a multidisciplinary conversation on a multifaceted, wide-impacting and highly complex problem — climate change.

Titled “Climate Change and the Common Good,” the three-day conference at the University of Notre Dame was the product of collaboration among more than 16 campus departments, centers and institutes. Together, they have gathered its scholars at McKenna Hall, along with numerous speakers from other institutes of higher education, policy advocacy and scientific research.

Pope Francis a 'Franciscan Jesuit' when it comes to environment

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While most of us are biding our time, waiting to see how Pope Francis tackles the toughest issues in the church -- the role of women; issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community; reform of the Curia; dealing with the sex abuse cover-up -- there seems little doubt that Francis will be an environmental pope.

Recent oil spills reinforce Keystone pipeline as a crude option

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In the days of the Canadian frontier, indigenous peoples and fur traders used liquid bitumen to seal their canoes.

With the advance of technology, however, the substance has become a lucrative boon for the oil industry. For the rest of us, it has all the makings of an ecological horror story. Bitumen is a viscous, low-grade petroleum. It is the chief ingredient in the dirty oil mix now being exported from the Alberta tar sands to the United States.

Safeguarding creation expected as major theme at Rio's World Youth Day

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When hundreds of thousands of young Catholics gather with Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro in the summer, reflections on safeguarding the environment will be part of the program.

Like earlier editions of World Youth Day, the July celebration in Rio de Janeiro will include morning catechetical sessions and afternoon cultural events.

Tracing the clues to Pope Francis' ecology

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With a name like Francis, it’s not hard for a pope to draw the attention of environmentalists.

It's even easier when the Francis in reference is Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology.

For some, the namesake indicated Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio would place respect and protection for creation as a central tenant of his papacy, following the footsteps of his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

A small stand against a Delaware vegetable ban

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I recently stayed overnight with some friends outside of Wilmington, Del., in a "deeded community." I asked them if they grew vegetables in the summer and they said, "No, it was part of the deed that no vegetables could be grown."

The development was built in the 1950s and numbers around 300 homes. They are all the same in structure, different in decoration and are required, by deed, to grow flowers in the front in the summer. "Some color" is required, while all vegetables are banned. 

United Nations creates World Water Day to address water crisis

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Indigenous people have always celebrated the four elements of earth, air, water and fire because of the life-giving gifts they bring to us. They ensure our very survival on this planet.

The Zoroastrian religion, a pre-Islamic, monotheistic faith founded by the prophet Zarathustra, in sixth-century B.C. Persia (now Iran) paid homage to the four elements by assigning an angel to each of them. The angel of water is named Anahita.

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In This Issue

July 4-17, 2014

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