Cash for clunkers is over. Was it a good economic investment? A good environmental one?
How many roads must a man walk down without sidewalks, crosswalks, adequate lighting, or bike lanes, before he realizes that his quality of life depends on the built environment? How we build our cities, and especially how we build our streets, determines an awful lot about how we live together.
News stories out this week about the paradox (or irony--I always get confused) of stimulus funding for public transportation infrastructure projects, while local government budget shortfalls or short-sightedness is simultaneously leading to fare increases, service cuts, and job losses <http://t4america.org/transitcuts/>. Many local governments have obstinately refused to raise public support for operating costs of public … Continue reading Stimulus Funding for Public Transportation Takes the Concept of Paradox to a New Level
Money isn’t real--it is a social construction, a medium of exchange standing in for real goods and real services. In the current economic and financial crisis, our misplaced concreteness, was much worse than valuing and pursuing a secondary good over a primary good. In the pursuit of mere money, and the mistaken belief that money earns the right to make more money, we have not been pursuing a first or a second thing. We have been pursuing no thing.
So, you may be asking yourself, what does reduced calcification in modern Southern Ocean planktonic foraminifera have to with social justice? Oceans are getting more acidic, not due to global warming, but due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That's a problem for shell-forming organisms at the base of the ocean food chain.
Loving nature, it turns out, is not just an instinct but a virtue. We must actively create, and re-create, every generation, a culture that loves, and therefore tends and keeps, God's garden.
"We are raising a generation of young people whose primary experience with nature is virtual. Real nature is a full sensory experience, with frequent open-ended problem-solving opportunities and no off switch. We should all make outdoor play a priority for our children and ourselves."
Martin Marty's piece on evangelicals and creation care is a combination of head-patting approval, finger-wagging for being tardy, tut-tutting about our evangelical hang-ups, and instrumental use of our creation care efforts to goad mainliners into action. Nothing lights a fire under Episcopalians and Unitarians on social issues like saying "Look, even the evangelicals are on board with this issue!"
Does caring for the environment always come at the expense of jobs? Is creation care something that must be traded off against people care? My church is tackling that challenge because we care about the beautiful but broken South Atlanta neighborhood we call home.
"Living on the Streets" reviews the prospects for urban churches to play a significant role in urban revitalization....Churches can "1) grow community, 2) promote community service, 3) attract people to live downtown, 4) draw private investment, and 5) add beauty to the physical appearances of community...."