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Aug 14, 2011
I recently wrote three articles for a most interesting project by the Open University (OU) in collaboration with the British Council called 'Belief in Dialogue'. To give some idea what they're on (they're due to be published next month, God willing):

Sustainability: what's faith got to do with it?

The challenge of climate change often grabs the headlines, but is only part of sustainability matters. Other issues such as loss of biodiversity, mass extinction, pollution, depletion of carbon-based energy sources (e.g. oil, gas; sometimes referred to as 'peak oil'), pressure on potable water supplies and mounting food insecurity are also important. Some say faith has nothing to do with sustainability; some say they can sometimes be competing forces; some say that if sustainability is to be achieved, faith should stay away; some say faiths are at the heart of sustainability. Who's right? Can the different opinions all be somewhat true? This article discusses sustainability and what role faith would have in it.

Faith and community responses to global poverty

Some say global poverty is decreasing. The UN's Millennium Development Goals 2011 report expects that by 2015, the global poverty rate will fall below 15%. Others say overemphasis on daily income (e.g. number of people living on less than one dollar a day) is quite a narrow means of measurement of poverty and thus poverty is not really decreasing. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the richest 5% of people receive one-third of total global income, as much as the poorest 80%. This seems most unjust.

Climate change, faith and the global common good

Some say the best way to achieve the global common good is a free market; some say a free market in practice rarely gives a level playing field. Climate scientists agree climate change is happening and increasingly certain the human factor is exacerbating matters. What might be a response from faiths? What impacts does this have on the global common good? At heart climate change is a global problem. However, the directly and worst affected people are mainly those who contributed least to the problem. Through no fault of their own, entire civilisations in low lying areas of the world could soon be lost to the ocean due to rising sea levels. This makes it a moral question for us all, where the moral duty to resolve these issues falls squarely on the world’s largest emitters.

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Posted: Aug 14, 2011 9:30am
Mar 3, 2011

Double checking some facts for a colleague (sharing with him something I'd learned from preliminary PhD research), realise it's even worse than I thought/ remembered:

Climate change cost calculations are *so* unequitable: the value of a statistical life is set at $250,000 plus 175 times per capita income then discounted to relevant year. This means an American death in '05 is valued at $1,525,928 while that of a Sub-Saharan African is valued at $4,380!

OMG!

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Posted: Mar 3, 2011 3:15pm
Feb 24, 2011

Sometimes dicussions about climate change can sound so abstract, or distant. A powerful reminder that it's actually (already) affecting real people in very real ways, it's good (well, it's bad, but good to know IYKWIM) to visit this site from time to time:

Worldview of Climate Change

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Posted: Feb 24, 2011 10:24am
Aug 7, 2010

Unless we realise and radically change the way in which we treat the environment we are heading towards unprecedented disaster from which no technology can protect us.... that was the premise of recent 'Islam & Environment' event organised by the Radical Middle Way. If you've missed the event, watch it here: 

Islam & Environment Question Time

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Posted: Aug 7, 2010 4:11am
Mar 28, 2010

The International Journal of Biological Sciences (IJB published a comparative analysis of blood and organ system data from trials with rats fed three main commercialized genetically modified (GM) maize (NK 603, MON 810, MON 863), which are present in food and feed in the world. NK 603 has been modified to be tolerant to the broad spectrum herbicide Roundup (so little with modification to withstand increased drought or delike!). MON 810 and MON 863 are engineered to synthesize two different Bt toxins used as insecticides. According to the scientists: "Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded."

Note GM companies have so far tried to suppress this kind of information (and/ or discourage others doing the necessary research) in an effort to push this 'money spinner' on us. I'm glad more of the health impacts are out now, even if for people of faith, 'playing God' (as GM is NOT similar to selective breeding, but in a test tube crossing species who would not mix in nature/ Creation!) should be a no-no, especially as perpetuated myths such as 'GM contributes to poverty alleviation' is nonsense (all it does is put food chain in hand of mega for-profit companies!).

Since critisism on the IPCC (OK, human errors weren't good, but by far do NOT undermine the scietific basis for climate change whatsoever, plus opposers should expose their funding sources... yes, Big Oil, and no this is not conspiracy... check the facts), some think it's fair season to critisize other UN reports as well, but bloggers and sceptics leaping all over a UN report that 'exaggerated' the link between meat and climate change are not revealing that the scientist challenging the figures has been funded by the livestock industry!

Also interesting news that the Green Party  (though not pleased with negative way it was put: 'Green Party drops bomb shell'... it wasn't the Green Party, it was the PEOPLE who voted for change!) has won a by-election so convincingly, so close to the general elections in the UK (expected 6 May '10).

Finally, interesting that someone took the time to compare amounts of food presented on paintings of the 'Last Supper' and found that over a thousand years the meals have gone 'super size', it seems gradually some have forgotten what Prophet Jesus PBUH stood for and advocated: simplicity and modesty.

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Posted: Mar 28, 2010 2:49am
Mar 1, 2010

At Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED2010), Bill Gates unveiled his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for "miracles" to avoid planetary catastrophe. Though it's good to know our place (that we are guardians of God's Creation, not the boss), I believe proposing 'miracles' as a solution for climate change is kind of absolving ourselves from our responsibility. Who burned and still continues to burn all these fossil fuels? Surely not God, but us. So as the Quran reminds us: Verily, never will God change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves (Quran 13:11), we should talk and walk a more sustainable lifestyle, then pray for miracles.

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Posted: Mar 1, 2010 4:31am
Feb 28, 2010

In the UK it's been quite chilly in the past two months (chillier than winters for a while)... but does that mean that it's been colder everywhere and thus 'confirmation' that climate change (limate chaos) is 'over'... I wish! According to temperature data published by the National Climatic Data Center of the US Dept of Commerce worldwide the global combined land and ocean surface temperature anomaly for January 2010 was 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average, resulting in the fourth warmest January since records began in 1880. A map on UK Met Office website shows that while Northern Europe has had a colder than average winter, the rest of the world has been warmer than average.  Last year 2009 was the fifth-warmest year on the global record. The Met Office predicts that overall 2010 will be very warm globally, perhaps the warmest ever recorded.

And PLEASE don't think 'it's an environmentalists'/ Government plot to raise taxes'... why would environmentalists pay unnecessary taxes? Why would Governments unnecessarily want to rub citizens up the wrong way? YES, taxes may need to be raised, but that's to tackle the issue and best way for us all to avoid this is to avoid contributing to climate change problem as little as possible in the first place! As people of faith, with like the examples of our Prophets.... God willing.

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Posted: Feb 28, 2010 9:27am

 

 
 
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Rianne ten Veen
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Solihull, United Kingdom
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Feb
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Message to the President, and to the Congress:It\\\'s very simple. We can aim for a UNIVERSAL Standard of $15 an hour Minimum Wage for ALL - that would be {frugally} a living wage these days. One should not have to be employed, and on government assista...
Jan
28
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\\r\\n   & nbsp;   &n bsp;  Leonard Peltier ( LPDOC ) :\\r\\n        & nbsp;    Remembering Pete Seeger\\r\\n\\r\\n & nbsp;   &n bsp;   &nb sp;&nb...
Jan
26
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\\nThis is my Message that I send every week or so, to the President, my Representative, and my two Senators. {And in this instance, to the Vice President also.} \\r\\nThe Majority of the people of this country, approve that the President {and Vice Presi...
Jan
23
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\\nWe declare that no man nor nation nor race have a greater right than others to enjoy the fruits of their work, as the ecological sphere is our common condition of life http://www.beat s4change.org/aims.htm Nous déclarons qu\\\'auc...
Jan
21
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\\r\\n   & nbsp;  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Honored & Remembered\\r\\n\\r\\n&nb sp;    i\\\'m sharing this link to quotes and images of MLK\\r\\n  &nbs p;   to inspire \\r\\n\\r\\n  & nbsp; &n...
Jan
18
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I feel Care2 members should KNOW about the \\\"work from home\\\" ads, RECRUITING \\\"MULES\\\" TO CARRY OUT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES. Just like the Drug Cartels do... A person who was recruited unwittingly by one of these ads, was given in a seattleweekly.com arti...
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\\nEvery week or every other week, I send a Message to the President and to my Representative and Senators. This is the text of my latest:\\r\\nI have just sent the following message to President Obama; and I believe all Congresspersons need to hear it a...
Jan
5
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\\nThis is a more-or-less weekly message I send to the President and to my Legislators. The following is the version of it I sent to Governor Inslee.\\r\\nThis is to notify you of a message I have just sent to the President and members of Congress. Since...
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\\nThis is a very simple video report One man with a radiation detectorhttp://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=LcQLxT49ZP0 7 mins...\\r\\n[This link was sent to me by a friend...]\\n
Jan
3
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\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\nJess e Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet - Taylor Clark - The Atlantic Society & Culture  (tags: Spam, spammers, scammers, cons, fraud, creditcardfraud, care2spam, darkweb, deepweb, tor, silkroad, RBN, FCC, buyerbeware, work...