Faith Communities Go Green

INVEST IN THE PLANET. WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Eco-Books

Find these books at your Public Library – if not available at your Library, support your local family owned bookstore.

Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth's Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis

Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth's Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis

by Michael Mann

In this sweeping work of science and history, the renowned climate scientist and author of The New Climate War shows us the conditions on Earth that allowed humans not only to exist but thrive, and how they are imperiled if we veer off course.

For the vast majority of its 4.54 billion years, Earth has proven it can manage just fine without human beings. Then came the first proto-humans, who emerged just a little more than 2 million years ago—a fleeting moment in geological time. What is it that made this benevolent moment of ours
possible? Ironically, it’s the very same thing that now threatens us—climate change. The drying of the tropics during the Pleistocene period created a niche for early hominids, who could hunt prey as forests gave way to savannahs in the African tropics. The sudden cooling episode known as the “Younger Dryas” 13,000 years ago, which occurred just as Earth was thawing out of the last Ice Age, spurred the development of agriculture in the fertile crescent. The “Little Ice Age” cooling of the 16th-19th centuries led to famines and pestilence for much of Europe, yet it was a boon for the Dutch, who were able to take advantage of stronger winds to shorten their ocean voyages.

The conditions that allowed humans to live on this earth are fragile, incredibly so. Climate variability has at times created new niches that humans or their ancestors could potentially exploit, and challenges that at times have spurred innovation. But there’s a relatively narrow envelope of climate
variability within which human civilization remains viable. And our survival depends on conditions remaining within that range.

In this book, renowned climate scientist Michael Mann will arm readers with the knowledge necessary to appreciate the gravity of the unfolding climate crisis, while emboldening them—and others–to act before it truly does become too late. (source: Amazon.com)

Food from the Radical Center:  Healing Our Land and Communities

Food from the Radical Center: Healing Our Land and Communities

by Gary Nabhan

“In Food from the Radical Center (2018), Gary Nabhan tells the stories of diverse communities who are getting their hands dirty and bringing back North America’s unique fare: bison, sturgeon, camas lilies, ancient grains, turkeys, and more. These efforts have united people from the left and right, rural and urban, faith-based and science-based, in game-changing collaborations. Their successes are extraordinary by any measure, whether economic, ecological, or social.” quoted from Amazon.com.

Nabhan is an Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author whose work has focused primarily on the interaction of biodiversity and cultural diversity of the arid binational Southwest. A first generation Lebanese-American raised in Gary, IN., he is considered a pioneer in the local food movement.

There is a Cincinnati Public Library copy. It can be ordered from Island Press, the leading publisher on environmental issues in the U.S., for $30. There are copies available on Better World Books (a B corp) and Abe Books (a subsidiary of Amazon) for about $10.

Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World by Katharine Hayhoe

Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World by Katharine Hayhoe

Called “one of the nation’s most effective communicators on climate change” by The New York Times, Katharine Hayhoe knows how to navigate all sides of the conversation on our changing planet. A Canadian climate scientist living in Texas, she negotiates distrust of data, indifference to imminent threats, and resistance to proposed solutions with ease. Over the past fifteen years, Hayhoe has found that the most important thing we can do to address climate change is talk about it—and she wants to teach you how.

In Saving Us, Hayhoe argues that facts are only one part of the equation when it comes to changing hearts and minds. We need to find shared values to connect our unique identities to collective action. This is not another doomsday narrative about a planet on fire. It is a multilayered look at science, faith, and human psychology, from an icon in her field—recently named chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy.

Drawing on interdisciplinary research and personal stories, Hayhoe shows that small conversations can have astonishing results. Saving Us leaves us with the tools to open a dialogue with your loved ones about how we all can play a role in pushing forward for change.

Braiding Sweetgrass: by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Braiding Sweetgrass: by Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

 

Faith for Earth: A Call for Action

Faith for Earth: A Call for Action

(free book you can download at https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/33991/FECA.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y)

Faith for Earth: A Call for Action – describes the essential, unshakeable reverence that all religions have for creation and nature, and introduces the world’s major life support systems. We hope the book will give you information and inspiration to learn more about our planet, to share your knowledge and commitment to care for it, and to become part of the flourishing global interfaith movement that is increasingly bringing people together to protect and sustain life on Earth.

In the last 60 years, more than 40% of the world’s civil wars have been linked to control over natural resources such as land, oil, and water. Climate change is on track to make this situation worse, with unprecedented new impacts on the functioning ecosystems we depend upon for survival, as well as on where people can live and grow food, build cities, practice their faith, and raise their children in peace and health. The security implications of climate change are being recognized at the highest levels, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres has put it at the heart of our conflict prevention agenda.  The Secretary-General announced in April 2020 that “the global crisis we are facing today due to COVID19 pandemic is the gravest challenge since the establishment of the UN 75 years ago,” but it also remains an irrefutable fact that climate change continues to be one of the most systemic environmental threats that humankind has ever faced.

We are in a race against time that will require political will, innovation, inclusion, tolerance, values and ethics, financing and partnerships. We are calling on everyone—countries, cities, the private sector, individuals, and faith-based organizations—to strengthen their actions to mitigate climate change, restore ecosystems, and protect the health of the planet without delay. The world has the scientific understanding, the technological capacity, and the financial means to do this. We need to trust our abilities and act accordingly.

Our challenge is not that we do not know what to do—it is how quickly we can do it. The problem is massive, and such large and complex challenges will require transformational thinking, integration, and big movements. But it will also require progress on myriad smaller and manageable scales. We need faith-based organizations to be part of the global accountability and monitoring system to achieve the sustainable development goals, and we need a common ethical system of values no matter what religion we believe.

As we begin this century’s third decade, the new edition — produced through a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and the Parliament of the World’s Religions Climate Action Program — offers an introduction to the magnitude of the task we now face and to the faith communities that are becoming a force for the global environmental future. It is time, as never before, to call on our faith, our values, our religious teachings and traditions – on Faith for Earth. And it is time for action.

This book was first published at the beginning of the twenty-first century. A joint project of the United Nations Environment Programme and the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment, it was titled Earth and Faith: A Book of Reflection for Action.

 

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul: Celtic Wisdom for Reawakening to What Our Souls Know and Healing the World by John Philip Newell

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul: Celtic Wisdom for Reawakening to What Our Souls Know and Healing the World by John Philip Newell

A leading spiritual teacher reveals how Celtic spirituality—listening to the sacred around us and inside of us—can help us heal the earth, overcome our conflicts, and reconnect with ourselves.

John Philip Newell shares the long, hidden tradition of Celtic Christianity, explaining how this earth-based spirituality can help us rediscover the natural rhythms of life and deepen our spiritual connection with God, with each other, and with the earth. Newell introduces some of Celtic Christianity’s leading practitioners, both saints and pioneers of faith, whose timeless wisdom is more necessary than ever, including:

Pelagius, who shows us how to look beyond sin to affirm our sacredness as part of all God’s creation, and courageously stand up for our principles in the face of oppression.

Brigid of Kildare, who illuminates the interrelationship of all things and reminds us of the power of the sacred feminine to overcome those seeking to control us.

John Muir, who encourages us to see the holiness and beauty of wilderness and what we must do to protect these gifts.

Teilhard de Chardin, who inspires us to see how science, faith, and our future tell one universal story that begins with sacredness.

By embracing the wisdom of Celtic Christianity, we can learn how to listen to the sacred and see the divine in all of creation and within each of us. Human beings are inherently spiritual creatures who intuitively see the sacred in nature and within one another, but our cultures—and at times even our faiths—have made us forget what each of us already know deep in our souls but have learned to suppress. Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul offers a new spiritual foundation for our lives, once centered on encouragement, guidance, and hope for creating a better world.

Under the Sky We Make: How to Be Human in a Warming World by Kimberly Nicholas, Ph.D.

Under the Sky We Make: How to Be Human in a Warming World by Kimberly Nicholas, Ph.D.

After speaking to the international public for close to fifteen years about sustainability, climate scientist Dr. Nicholas realized that concerned people were getting the wrong message about the climate crisis. Yes, companies and governments are hugely responsible for the mess we’re in. But individuals CAN effect real, significant, and lasting change to solve this problem. Nicholas explores finding purpose in a warming world, combining her scientific expertise and her lived, personal experience in a way that seems fresh and deeply urgent: Agonizing over the climate costs of visiting loved ones overseas, how to find low-carbon love on Tinder, and even exploring her complicated family legacy involving supermarket turkeys.

In her astonishing book Under the Sky We Make, Nicholas does for climate science what Michael Pollan did more than a decade ago for the food on our plate: offering a hopeful, clear-eyed, and somehow also hilarious guide to effecting real change, starting in our own lives. Saving ourselves from climate apocalypse will require radical shifts within each of us, to effect real change in our society and culture. But it can be done. It requires, Dr. Nicholas argues, belief in our own agency and value, alongside a deep understanding that no one will ever hand us power–we’re going to have to seize it for ourselves.

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it’s clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents of change for this planet, they are too often missing from the proverbial table. More than a problem of bias, it’s a dynamic that sets us up for failure. To change everything, we need everyone.

All We Can Save illuminates the expertise and insights of dozens of diverse women leading on climate in the United States—scientists, journalists, farmers, lawyers, teachers, activists, innovators, wonks, and designers, across generations, geographies, and race—and aims to advance a more representative, nuanced, and solution-oriented public conversation on the climate crisis. These women offer a spectrum of ideas and insights for how we can rapidly, radically reshape society.

Intermixing essays with poetry and art, this book is both a balm and a guide for knowing and holding what has been done to the world, while bolstering our resolve never to give up on one another or our collective future. We must summon truth, courage, and solutions to turn away from the brink and toward life-giving possibility. Curated by two climate leaders, the book is a collection and celebration of visionaries who are leading us on a path toward all we can save.

Think Indigenous: Native American Spirituality for a Modern World by Doug Good Feather

Think Indigenous: Native American Spirituality for a Modern World by Doug Good Feather

A guide to integrating indigenous thinking into modern life for a more interconnected and spiritual relationship with our fellow beings, Mother Earth, and the natural ways of the universe.

With each generation, we have drifted further and further away from our ability to recognize and connect with the source of our original design. In this modern world, we spend our attention in ways that benefit the powers that be, and not ourselves or the earth. This book’s intention is not to teach you to “be Native American,” but instead to use the indigenous culture of the Lakota to help you connect with your own indigenous roots and help you remember your ancestral knowing that all beings are divinely connected.

Thinking indigenously centers around three concepts:
1) The way of the seven generations–conscious living
2) The way of the buffalo–mindful consumption
3) The way of the village–collective impact
Author Doug Good Feather, with Doug Pineda, shares the knowledge that has been handed down through his Lakota elders to help you connect with your purpose in life, personal power, and place in this interconnected web with Spirit, Mother Earth, and humanity as a whole.

 

Becoming Rooted: One Hundred Days of Reconnecting with Sacred Earth by Randy Woodley

Becoming Rooted: One Hundred Days of Reconnecting with Sacred Earth by Randy Woodley

What does it mean to become rooted in the land? How can we become better relatives to our greatest teacher, the Earth? Becoming Rooted invites us to live out a deeply spiritual relationship with the whole community of creation and with Creator.

Through meditations and ideas for reflection and action, Randy Woodley, an activist, author, scholar, and Cherokee descendant, recognized by the Keetoowah Band, guides us on a one-hundred-day journey to reconnect with the Earth. Woodley invites us to come away from the American dream–otherwise known as an Indigenous nightmare–and get in touch with the water, land, plants, and creatures around us, with the people who lived on that land for thousands of years prior to Europeans’ arrival, and with ourselves. In walking toward the harmony way, we honor balance, wholeness, and connection.

Creation is always teaching us. Our task is to look, and to listen, and to live well. She is teaching us now.

Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change by Sherri Mitchell

Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change by Sherri Mitchell

Ancient Indigenous wisdom lights the way toward a contemporary path for everyone seeking a more loving and balanced world

Drawing from ancestral knowledge, as well as her experience as an attorney and activist, Sherri Mitchell addresses some of the most crucial issues of our day—including indigenous land rights, environmental justice, and our collective human survival. Sharing the gifts she has received from the elders of her tribe, the Penobscot Nation, she asks us to look deeply into the illusions we have labeled as truth and which separate us from our higher mind and from one another. Sacred Instructions explains how our traditional stories set the framework for our belief systems and urges us to decolonize our language and our stories. It reveals how the removal of women from our stories has impacted our thinking and disrupted the natural balance within our communities.

For all those who seek to create change, this book lays out an ancient world view and set of cultural values that provide a way of life that is balanced and humane, that can heal Mother Earth, and that will preserve our communities for future generations.