April 2013 Archives

Reflecting on a Year of Involvement in Dallas Interfaith Power and Light

April 14, 2013

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A year ago I began a personal journey that I had long wished to start: a journey of integration, practice, cooperation, and learning, all in the name of playing a small part to unite the strands of science and faith on the "common ground of stewardship of life", to paraphrase E.O. Wilson [1]. In the uncaring and inefficient sprawl of Dallas, I set out to find those who share my belief that sustainable living would only be achieved when individuals and society re-connect with the divine, with the highest potential of human nature. From many such personal journeys, Dallas Interfaith Power & Light has been organically emerging as a moral and practical social space for addressing the great challenge of our times, climate change.

Bahá'í Devotional Program on Humanity's Relationship with Nature

April 10, 2013

In a letter dated 2 March 2013, to the Bahá'ís of Iran, the Universal House of Justice wrote:

"… the principle of the oneness of humankind, as proclaimed by Bahá'u'lláh, asks not merely for cooperation among people and nations. It calls for a complete reconceptualization of the relationships that sustain society. The deepening environmental crisis, driven by a system that condones the pillage of natural resources to satisfy an insatiable thirst for more, suggests how entirely inadequate is the present conception of humanity's relationship with nature…"

This of course begs the question, what should humanity's relationship with nature be? We explored this to some extent in the devotions for the Feast of Dominion in February. Now we ask you to continue that exploration here, with the Feast of Glory, by considering how the Glory of God is revealed through, and yet extends far beyond, Nature, which is also called Creation and Existence, and how our relationship to this Creation must be one of humility and moderation.

Opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline

April 4, 2013

In December 2011, I wondered if the opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline project was truly just, given that Americans do not have the same kind of reaction to actual oil spills in places like Brazil and Nigeria, as to the potential for spills in the United States. Since then, I have learned more about the climate impact of tar sands (which admittedly is still not entirely clear),and given more consideration to the justice and ethics. Thus while I still hold to the main points of my previous blog post – we need to focus on reducing energy consumption, and Americans should be equally concerned about ecological impacts of oil production / transport outside the United States – I am now firmly opposed to the construction of this pipeline, and have signed onto Interfaith Power & Light's letter-writing campaign against the pipeline.

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