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The costs of a cost-benefit analysis on fracking


I have been writing about hydraulic fracking for more than a year now.

Several of my commentaries calling for a ban on fracking have been published and utilized in public advocacy efforts. Last year when I spoke at a faith-based meeting at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, all of my materials were taken by campus representatives of many faith-based colleges and universities. This was especially true of the interest level of evangelical Protestant colleges, who took many of my stickers calling for a ban on fracking. 

Climate change: the elephant in our living room


Why does it take an enormous tragedy like Hurricane Sandy to drive home the reality of climate change? The late Fr. Thomas Berry, cultural historian and geologian, predicted this might be the case.

People would have to suffer before realizing that exploiting the earth brings terrible consequences. We would have to become hungry, wet, cold; our homes under water or on fire; and at last count, 110 of us dead in New York and New Jersey before connecting these miseries to our unsustainable "mysticism of progress" and our fixated preoccupation with fossil fuels.

Persistent U.S.-to-Vatican GMO advocacy reflects moral deafness


I have been trying for three years to secure a meeting with the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See in Rome. Last year, I got close and met with the political officer, Kim Pendleton. She was brand new and questioned me about food security issues.

This year, I succeeded in securing a meeting with Ambassador Miguel Diaz. I was happy to meet with him because he taught at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn., and I had been to the campus many times in the past and knew several professors quite well.

World hunger and the Obama administration's priorities


I recently attended in Rome the annual two-week meetings of the Committee on World Food Security (Oct. 8-22) at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The Committee on World Food Security was set up in 1974 as an intergovernmental body to serve as a forum for review of food security policies, and in 2009, underwent a reform process to ensure that the voices of other stakeholders were heard in the global debate on food security and nutrition.

Pope says farm co-ops can protect values while feeding people


Farm co-ops can provide the world with an "alternative vision" to government or international agriculture policies that place too much emphasis on profits, protecting certain markets or employing new technology that could prove dangerous, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The pope made his comments in a message marking Tuesday's celebration of World Food Day, a commemoration sponsored by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to highlight the global fight against hunger and the need to help farmers and farm workers.

Church's new doctor inspires woman's voice


Devi Mathieu was traveling in Minnesota on Sunday, the day Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed Hildegard of Bingen as a doctor of the church.

Had she been at home in Sebastopol, Calif., Mathieu would have mixed up a batch of cinnamon-nutmeg cookies based on one of Hildegard's own recipes. Then she would have organized a special gathering of friends to celebrate the music of her favorite saint, an earth mystic, Benedictine abbess, wisdom teacher, "Sybil of the Rhine," author, healer and spiritual conscience for the patriarchy of her time.


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In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


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