CD: A recent NASA study suggests that climate change may modify 40% the earth's surface from one biome (e.g. forest, savanna, tundra, etc.) to another.
ABC Religion and Ethics: The New Evangelicals: How Christians are rethinking Abortion and Gay marriage. Despite being published by the ABC, this piece (an extract from a new book) has its eyes on the US scene. How applicable are the trends it identifies elsewhere amongst evangelicals?
Guardian: More farmers needed. Feeding seven, eight, nine, ten billion without strip-mining the soil, using the atmosphere as a carbon dump, squeezing out biodiversity, depleting finite fuels or overloading rivers, lakes and oceans with nutrients requires more organic poly-cultural farming, which can often be more productive per unit of land overall than present industrial monocultural farming. However, it is less productive per unit of labour, meaning more people employed (again) in growing food, which probably means higher food prices and a greater share of incomes devoted to food. This in turn may help address obesity, though at the risk of increasing malnutrition associated with poverty. Hence, addressing inequality is also critical.
Peter preaches on the parable of the talents (Matthew 25.14-30). This passage is often used as a key plank in a justification of usury. There are elements in the narrative and context that suggest a very different reading. Peter highlights the key theological question lying behind this hermeneutical issue: which kind of God do we serve?
McKibben: On being hopefully naïve about getting corporate money out of US politics and why being cynical is hopeless.
Guardian: What have trees ever done for us?
NYT: My Guantánamo Nightmare. There are good reasons due process has come to be highly cherished in all civil societies.
Monbiot: The limits of vegetarianism, in which George changes his mind and shifts to ethical semi-vegetarianism. The Conversation publishes an even more provocative piece against ecological vegetarianism, and a very interesting discussion in the comments ensues.
SMH: Energy and water. In the 20thC, global energy use increased thirteen-fold and water use increased nine-fold. The two are related and any future has to consider our water habits, which might be less about having short showers than having cold ones, since energy production is one of the most water-intensive things we do (though conversely, where water is scarce, desalination is one of the most energy-intensive things we do).