Note: Items in this page are updated as information is received and as time permits. If the reader knows about new pubs/tools that should be announced in this page, please write to the Editor.
1. Suggestions for Prayer, Study, and Action
SUGGESTION FOR PRAYER
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Clean Energy Solutions: Ten Things You Can Do to Help Curb Global Warming
The choices we make and the products we buy test our commitment to maintain a healthy planet. When we burn fossil fuels—such as oil, coal, and natural gas—to run our cars and light our homes, we pump carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. This thickens the heat-trapping blanket that surrounds the planet, causing global warming. Choosing modern technology can reduce our use of fossil fuels and help protect the planet. These ten steps will help curb global warming, save you money, and create a safer environment for the future.
1. Drive Smart!
A well-tuned car with properly inflated tires burns less gasoline—cutting pollution and saving you money at the pump. If you have two cars, drive the one with better gas mileage whenever possible. Better yet, skip the drive and take public transit, walk, or bicycle when you can.
2. Buy Local and Organic
Did you know the average American meal travels more than 1,500 miles from the farm to your plate? Think of all the energy wasted and pollution added to the atmosphere—not to mention all the pesticides and chemicals used to grow most produce! So go to your local organic farmer to get your fruits and veggies.
3. Support clean, renewable energy.
Renewable energy solutions, such as wind and solar power, can reduce our reliance on coal-burning power plants, the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States. Call your local utility and sign up for renewable energy. If they don't offer it, ask them why not?
4. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
Especially those that burn the longest each day. Compact fluorescents produce the same amount of light as normal bulbs, but use about a quarter of the electricity and last ten times as long. Each switch you make helps clean the air today, curb global warming, and save you money on your electricity bill.
5. Saving energy at home is good for the environment and for your wallet.
Start with caulking and weather-stripping on doorways and windows. Then adjust your thermostat and start saving. For each degree you lower your thermostat in the winter, you can cut your energy bills by three percent. Finally, ask your utility company to do a free energy audit of your home to show you how to save even more money.
6. Become a smart water consumer.
Install low-flow showerheads and faucets and you'll use half the water without decreasing performance. Then turn your hot water heater down to 120°F and see hot-water costs go down by as much as 50 percent.
7. Buy energy-efficient electronics and appliances.
Replacing an old refrigerator or an air conditioner with an energy-efficient model will save you money on your electricity bill and cut global warming pollution. Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances or visit their website at www.energystar.gov to find the most energy-efficient products.
8. Plant a Tree, protect a forest.
Protecting forests is a big step on the road to curbing global warming. Trees "breathe in" carbon dioxide, but slash-and-burn farming practices, intensive livestock production, and logging have destroyed 90 percent of the native forests in the United States. And you can take action in your own backyard—planting shade trees around your house will absorb CO2, and slash your summer air-conditioning bills.
9. Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!
Producing new paper, glass, and metal products from recycled materials saves 70 to 90 percent of the energy and pollution, including CO2, that would result if the product came from virgin materials. Recycling a stack of newspapers only four feet high will save a good-sized tree. Please... buy recycled products!
10. Mount a local campaign against global warming.
Educate your community about how it can cut global warming pollution. Support measures at the national, state, and local level that:
Make automobiles go further on a gallon of gas;
Accelerate the use of clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind;
Increase energy efficiency and conservation; and
Preserve forests around the world.
Interested in helping your city become a "cool city"? It's easy! Click here for details and you'll be on your way to helping your city be Cool!
"Tracing Connections is for anyone who’s ever wondered how Systems Thinking can be effectively used to significantly and successfully transform education, business, public policy, and research. "In ten chapters, teachers, World Bank Executives, corporate consultants, researchers and college professors lead the reader through an amazing spectrum of applied System Thinking that leads to unexpected realizations and critical understanding.
"Our bodies are archives of sensory knowledge and laboratories in which to retool our senses and practices in response to changing circumstances. If global environmental changes continue at an unsettling pace, how will we make sense of the cascade of new normals, where the air, land, and water around us are no longer familiar?
"The book tackles this question by exploring situations in the recent past when state-driven megaprojects and regulatory and environmental changes forced people to cope with radical transformations in their work and home environments. The construction of dams, chemical plants, nuclear reactors, and military training grounds; new patterns in seasonal rains; and developments in animal husbandry altered the daily lives of ordinary people and essentially disrupted their embodied understandings of the world.
"This study offers a timely and prescient perspective on how humans make sense of the world in the face of rapid environmental, technological, and social change.
Report on the World Social Situation 2010: "Rethinking Poverty"
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), United Nations, 2010
"Rethinking Poverty, the 2010 issue of the Report on the World Social Situation (RWSS2010) seeks to contribute to rethinking poverty and its eradication. It affirms the urgent need for a strategic shift away from the market fundamentalist thinking, policies and practices of recent decades towards more sustainable development- and equity-oriented policies appropriate to national conditions and circumstances. Responsible development and counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies to foster productive investments and generate decent employment must be at the core of this effort.
"The Report makes a compelling case for rethinking poverty and poverty-reduction efforts, saying that over-reliance on market forces and economic liberalization have led to neglect of nationally designed and developmentally-oriented strategies, to the detriment of the world’s poor. The most important lesson is that governments need to play a developmental role, integrating economic and social policies that support inclusive output and employment growth, while attacking inequality and promoting justice."
"Sustainability, by Stuart W. Rose, describes the massive changes happening in the world, an example of a sustainable housing project, and a vision of what sustainable living will be. An architect and developer of what many consider the most sustainable housing development in the U.S., Rose introduces the exciting, ever-changing world of sustainability, a way of life that includes creating homes and communities with materials that do no harm to, and take nothing away from, the earth's resources. He reveals how sustainable living goes beyond being ecologically and financially friendly, while saving on utility bills, and leads to a different, yet more joyful quality of life. Also fascinating is the author's recounting of architectural developments leading to his innovations, such as Garden Atriums evolving from a design created 2,500 years ago. Rose has created a book that is as much an adventure as it is encouragement for everyone desiring to live a sustainable and more fulfilling life. In this comprehensive book, readers will learn about:
A detailed picture of the global transformation that's happening;
Architectural designs from ancient China adapted for use today;
The role of currencies and governance in sustainable living;
Living sustainably in a way that's more satisfying that today's lifestyle;
Debunking the myths around alleged difficulties of sustainable living."
"The aim of this book is to provide a representation of research
findings in an accessible form for practitioners within the public,
business and the wider community sectors. We hope readers
will delve deeper into the academic papers listed at the end of
each chapter. There is much more available on our website and
we invite readers to contact our lead authors for our most recent
work. General comments can be directed to
"This book does not pretend to cover all aspects of sustainability.
It leaves out many great ideas, experiments and successes. It
does not address biophysical science, for example in climate
change, biodiversity, soils, land and urban ecosystems; that is a
feature of the work of New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes.
Instead our research has focused on supporting New Zealand’s
and international capacity for sustainable development. We
believe that capacity has now, in C.S. Lewis’s words, begun to
hatch. We hope the insights within this book will continue to
help individuals, organisations and communities to transition
from the potential of the egg to the flight of the bird."
"Worldwatch's flagship publication, State of the World, has educated a broad audience of students, journalists, policymakers, and concerned citizens about trends in sustainable development for a quarter century. The book has been published in 36 languages, and over the years it has authoritatively assessed issues ranging from population, energy, and agriculture to materials use, health, and trade policy. Topics are covered from a global perspective, with an emphasis on innovation and problem-solving. State of the World is recognized as a classic of environmental literature, having attracted luminaries from Kofi Annan to Mikhail Gorbachev to write forewords for the book. News media, policymakers, and NGOs worldwide cite the book for its cutting-edge analysis, reliability, and careful documentation of its arguments, all marshaled to speed the global transition to a sustainable world."
For the PelicanWeb's book review of State of the World 2010, click here.
The Three Ds: Democracy, Divinity, and Drama
By Bruce A. Burton, Castleton State College, Vermont Published by Synerg Ebooks, 2010
"When we account for the thousands of years of written and institutional woman-hating right up to Democracy’s current struggle with religious despotisms, it is historically evident that where the genders shared equally, such as in the production of food, as in Neolithic societies in the Near East and America-where women domesticated and cultivated and men watered crops- Democracies flourished and Universal Peace prevailed. THE 3 DS was written, therefore, in response to the historical and to today’s continuing religious violence against women, and as an answer to Aristotle’s Iron Age negative view of women which continues to influence so many of our University and College graduates in religion, literature, drama, and philosophy today – and as a statement of confidence that Democracy based on Gender Balance will prevail against the current challenge of international terrorism in the name of religion and pave the way, for what can only be after these many thousands of years, a more humane future for the human family."
Gaia in Turmoil: Climate Change, Biodepletion, and Earth Ethics in an Age of Crisis
Edited by Eileen Crist and H. Bruce Rinker, MIT Press, November 2009
"Gaian theory, which holds that Earth's physical and biological processes are inextricably bound to form a self-regulating system, is more relevant than ever in light of increasing concerns about global climate change. The Gaian paradigm of Earth as a living system, first articulated by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the 1970s, has inspired a burgeoning body of researchers working across disciplines that range from physics and biology to philosophy and politics. Gaia in Turmoil reflects this disciplinary richness and intellectual diversity, with contributions (including essays by both Lovelock and Margulis) that approach the topic from a wide variety of perspectives, discussing not only Gaian science but also global environmental problems and Gaian ethics and education.
"Contributors focus first on the science of Gaia, considering such topics as the workings of the biosphere, the planet's water supply, and evolution; then discuss Gaian perspectives on global environmental change, including biodiversity destruction and global warming; and finally explore the influence of Gaia on environmental policy, ethics, politics, technology, economics, and education. Gaia in Turmoil breaks new ground by focusing on global ecological problems from the perspectives of Gaian science and knowledge, focusing especially on the challenges of climate change and biodiversity destruction."
What is open-sustainability? "Open-sustainability is an approach that applies information-centric techniques to solve challenges related to sustainable development. It leverages an integrated solution approach, combining the Framework for Integrated Sustainable Development (FISDev) tool with a five phase sustainability governance framework, both of which are open-source tools freely accessible and collaboratively developed. They work in concert to enable commercial business models for sustainability and Social media business models around online advertising and e-learning. A corporate organization for open-sustainability.com exists to provide these service, but works in coordination with other organizations providing the same services."
"Dr. Haghighatjoo is a leading proponent of human rights and women’s rights in Iran. Dr. Haghighatjoo served in the Iranian Parliament from 2000-2004 and was the first to resign when the anti-reform Guardian Council banned more than 2000 reformist candidates from the 7th Parliamentary election. She was president of the Student Movement Caucus and a deputy of the Mosharekat Caucus in the 6th Parliament as well as a member of the political bureau of the Mosharekat party in Iran. More recently, Dr. Haghighatjoo has held several academic posts in the United States: Assistant Professor In-Resident at the University of Connecticut, Fellow in the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Haghighatjoo earned her Ph.D. in Counseling from Tarbiat Moalem University, served as a Professor at the National University of Iran, and authored Search for Truth (2002). She has served as Vice President of the Psychology and Counseling Organization in Iran. She was honored as a Young Global Leader Nominee 2005 by the World Economic Forum."
It should be noted that Islamic female leadership in religious matters is nothing new.
The following poem, attributed to Sufi saint Rabia al-Adawiyya, dates back to the 8th century CE.
In my soul there is a temple,
A shrine, a mosque, a church
Where I kneel.
Prayer should bring us
To an altar
Where no walls or names exist.
In my soul there is a temple,
A shrine, a mosque, a church
That dissolve, that
Dissolve in God.
Sufi saint Rabia al-Adawiyya
Basra, Iraq, ca. 717-801 CE
The World Survey on the Role of Women in Development is the flagship publication of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. The theme for the World Survey in 2009 is "Women’s control over economic resources and access to financial resources, including microfinance."
Point of contact: UN Division for the Advancement of Women, email@example.com.
Human Development Report 2010
"Rethinking Human Development"
From the UNDP HDR 2010 web page:
"Human development is about putting people at the centre of development. It is about people realizing their potential, increasing their choices and enjoying the freedom to lead lives they value. Since 1990, annual Human Development Reports have explored challenges including poverty, gender, democracy, human rights, cultural liberty, globalization, water scarcity, climate change, and mobility.
"The 2010 report will seek to articulate an agenda for change to underpin a New Human Development Deal that can significantly advance development thinking and policies. It will incorporate thinking from academia and the policy world as well as new research to be commissioned or undertaken by the Human Development Report Office. It will place significant emphasis on the knowledge that comes from developing countries and regions, in particular that garnered through the national and regional human development reports. This emphasis reflects the belief that placing people at the center of development also implies putting people at the center of the generation of knowledge about development, and that this is best achieved by understanding how communities and local actors understand the practice of development."
The Great Transition Initiative, by the Tellus Institute, may offer the most comprehensive/integrated scenarios of the sustainable development process at the regional and global levels. The reader is invited to explore these links:
The Millennium Village Simulation (MV Sim), developed by the Columbia University's Center for New Media Teaching & Learning (CCNMTL) and the Columbia Earth Institute, is very appealing because it supports learning about pursuing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) under conditions of extreme poverty in Africa.
According to the MV Sim web site, "the MV Sim (short for Millennium Village Simulation) was created as a teaching tool to help students appreciate the complexity of meeting the MDGs in a rural African setting, and to experience the interdisciplinary nature of sustainable development. The MV Sim does not strive to be a perfect replica of a real village; indeed, many of Africa's challenges (such as HIV/AIDS) are not present in the simulation. Instead, the MV Sim purposefully incorporates only a select set of issues to make it a manageable educational tool that models challenges cutting across the disciplines of agronomy, public health, environmental science, and economics."
The tool is freely accessible on the web, and an excellent tutorial is available and embedded below. Just click on the arrow to get started. While taking the tutorial, clicking on the four outgoing arrows (next to last in the bottom tool bar) switches to full screen mode.
Click here to register and give it a try. The simulation entails making periodic decisions about work and consumption of basic necessities by a poor familiy. After the family succeeds in sustainable living, the simulation allows for participation in sustainability decisions for the entire village. During a given simulation run, the user is given periodic reports on sustainability status for the family and village based on previous decisions, including graphs of the decisions made over time. Help text is available at each step. In addition, links are provided to access maps and other online sources of sustainable development information.
7. Visualizations of the Sustainable Development Process
An interactive world atlas with country statistics related to sustainable development. Globalis aims to create an understanding for similarities and differences in human societies, as well as how we influence life on the planet. Click on the map to visit the Globalis interactive map: