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UN seeks decade of 'sustainable energy for all'

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In June, the United Nations officially deemed 2014 the beginning of a “Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.”

The initiative, first announced in 2012, seeks to catalyze advocacy and action toward making universal access to renewable energy a global priority, at a time when 1.3 billion people lack electricity and 2.6 billion in developing countries use biomass in cooking and heating.

Faith communities are dumping their fossil fuel investments

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Worried about global warming, a growing number of churches and other faith groups are divesting their holdings in fossil fuel companies, which release large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

"The warning in Scripture that 'the wages of sin is death' could not be more literally true than it is in the case of fossil fuels," said Serene Jones, president of New York's Union Theological Seminary, whose board voted in June to divest its $108.4 million endowment from fossil fuel companies.

Earth Mama sings in the key of 'green'

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Science reasons that composting your potato peelings, coffee grounds and grass clippings will, over time, lead to new earth for the growth of new flowers and vegetables. If that fact doesn’t serve as enough of a motivator to engage in earth-renewing behavior, Earth Mama advises a song might help imprint it on your heart.

“Yesterday’s salad. This morning’s oatmeal. A rotten moldy peach. Might not seem so great to you, but it could be some organism’s feast,” sings the eco-activist and educator in her song “Let it Rot.”

Preview: 'Excuse me, excuse me - you are not listening to me'

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I learn so much from my sister, Carol. She teaches me about being in the moment and listening. Carol, who was born with Down syndrome, has limited communication skills. If she is in a group and feels left out and "can't get a word in edgeways," as my mother used to say, she taps me on the shoulder and says, "Excuse me, excuse me. You are not listening to me."

In the last few weeks, there were a number of times when people and events relating to the environment tapped me on the shoulder insistently with "Excuse me, excuse me. You are not listening to me."

Fr. Thomas Berry's memory continues to bloom

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It happens every first of June. The apple tree outside the library window at Green Mountain Monastery in Greensboro, Vt., bursts forth with blossoms.

The blooms have maintained their timely schedule for the past five years, beginning the day 94-year-old Fr. Thomas Berry died. Srs. Gail Worcelo and Bernadette Bostwick recently discussed the phenomenon in a blog on the monastery’s website.

Environmental concerns flood Laos dam project on biodiverse Mekong River

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Laos has agreed to open a discussion with neighboring countries on the Don Sahong dam, but stopped short of saying it would delay construction on the controversial project.

In agreeing to the prior consultation, Laos is allowing input from the farmers and fishermen who depend on the Mekong River for their livelihood. It would also provide time for neighboring countries and opponents of the project to conduct a more comprehensive environmental impact study.

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In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

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