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May 03, 2011

Creation Care News Hits

Lisa Jackson and solar power
I've found a few news hits lately on Christians and the environment, so I wanted to share them. First, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson attended a ribbon cutting today at a Washington, DC, church that just installed solar panels. The photo above shows the ceremony - and here's the caption from that photo on her Facebook page:

I spent the morning at a solar panel ribbon cutting ceremony with congregants of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington. They are a great example of how local organizations can make small changes to lead our country toward a clean energy future - and a demonstration of the types of relationships and projects we hope to build with EPA's recently announced Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Initiative.

Florida Avenue Baptist Church has some information up on their website about this solar installation. It's a 10-kilowatt system and is part of a Green Ministry project the church is working on. And here's a release about today's ceremony.

Next up is an editorial about mountaintop removal coal mining from Bill Leonard, a church history professor at Wake Forest University's Divinity School.

In "Vanishing Mountains," Leonard points out many religious reasons to stop mountaintop removal coal mining. He refers to several studies that...

...suggest that a dramatic symbol of the loss of American regional and religious identity is found in the environment. This clear and present danger has reached crisis proportions as forests disappear, streams and creeks are crammed with sludge, and mining continues to make the landscape bleak.

But in 21st century Appalachia perhaps the most sobering reality is the loss of the mountains themselves. Through MTR techniques, mountains formed over five million years ago have disappeared forever, their non-coal contents tossed into valleys, creek beds and hollows with devastating effect.

I enjoy this paragraph the most, though - Leonard hits it right on the head:

Some things are just plain wrong. And mountaintop removal (MTR) is just plain wrong. It may have approval from certain corporations; Congress, local municipalities and some mountain folk, but it is still just plain wrong. Indeed, MTR is fast becoming a ghastly symptom of what is wrong with America: an abiding loss of identity politically, economically, communally and spiritually.

Next up is an editorial on Creation Care from John Schol, Bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. In "The Christian Case for Environmentalism," Schol links Holy Week with the importance of caring for our environment:

The environment continues to remind us of the consequences of the selfish and short-sighted actions we often take against God's creation. Air and water pollution, deforestation and many other reminders threaten our own well being and the well being of other animals' habitats and survival. But Earth Day is also a community celebration of our planetary home and our commitment to caring better for it.

As always, if you find any good news hits about faith groups and the environment, let us know in the comments!

-- Heather Moyer

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