Friday, December 18, 2009

Green Faith Article|%20Green%20Faith

Walk for the Climate

Article by Hamilton 350 Organizer Betsy Agar

December 11th-Some one hundred people braved sub-zero temperatures in Hamilton, Ontario on Friday night for a candlelit walk, drawing attention to the urgent need for real action on climate change.

Coinciding with the monthly James North Art Crawl, a diverse group of people (age five to eighty-five) carried a diverse group of candles (mason jars, tealights, beer mugs, scented candles, skip the battery ones, and a few camping lanterns) down James Street from York to Barton. The wind blew out the candles but not the message:

Hamiltonians want Canada to commit to real climate action policy during the ongoing Copenhagen negotiations. We want fair, ambitious, and binding targets to reverse our contributions to climate change.

The walk, organized by the Hamilton faction of the group, stopped off for a warm-up in Christ's Church Cathedral. Local KAIROS members and Hamilton Churches are also part of the campaign to draw attention to dangerous climate change, and on Sunday rang their bells 350 times.

Most recently, the Premiers of two of Canada's largest provinces publicly declared their opposition to our Prime Minister's lack of commitment. This is significant because our provinces can be our greatest Lobbyists, and can make many of their own decisions regarding energy and environment and economy.

We are with you, even if our Prime Minister is not!


The Kairos website reports over 150 churches committed to ringing their bells that day.
In Hamilton and area, St James Anglican in Dundas, MacNeill Baptist in Westdale and St Luke’s Anglican in Burlington, Appleby United Church in Burlington, East Plains United Church in Burlington, and Emmanuel United Church on the mountain in Hamilton.

Hamilton 350 Committee

The coalition of a dozen local community groups is part of a global movement campaigning for a reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to 350 parts per million – a level of the greenhouse gas which that leading climate scientists believe will avoid the worst impacts of global climate change. Atmospheric levels are currently at 387 parts per million and rising.

There are multiple other ways you can continue to make your voices heard. You can sign the Avaaz petition being delivered on Friday to Prime Minister Harper. Sign the petition, then forward it to everyone you know:

You call also phone a Member of Parliament. Call Parliament at 1-866-599-4999 now. Ask to be put through to a member of parliament in your area (or a leading government representative such as Ministers Prentice, Flaherty and Raitt) to demand action to help save Copenhagen. Calling an MP is easy; watch a Sierra Youth Coalition member call Parliament from Copenhagen.

Please let us know if you’d like to help with the work of the Hamilton 350 Committee. Just respond to this email.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Solar Energy For Faith Groups

Acutely conscious of the urgent need to address global warming, the Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation is making renewable energy its business by installing a 20 kW solar photovoltaic array on the rooftop of its church. The electricity produced will feed into Toronto’s power grid for a generous, long-term price, helping to protect the planet while generating a profit. The public is being offered the opportunity to invest in the solar system by purchasing debentures that will pay five per cent interest annually for 20 years. For more information on the terms and conditions of the debentures, go to

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Walk for the Climate

*A candlelight walk on James Street North*
starting from the City Centre at York and James in support of real
action on climate change
(Coinciding with the monthly James North Art Crawl)
*7pm- December 11th*
*Take action on climate change. Send a message to Copenhagen**

We must quickly lower the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases to no
more than 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Please join us in
Hamilton’s contribution to the world-wide actions taking place mid-way
through the negotiations in Copenhagen on a new global climate treaty.
Contact , Beatrice at 905 549 0900 for more information

Friday, December 4, 2009

Grow Green: your faith community and you

How do you build sustainability action amongst members of your faith community? This was the topic of a networking meeting this past November 17th put on by Greening Sacred Spaces at Stanley Street Baptist Church.
With four speakers presenting the audience heard much to think about.
The evening kicked of with Environment Hamilton's Brenda Johnson who due to her efforts helped a Hamilton school reduce their waste from 94 bags down to 4 per month, explained that getting the janitor in your institution on board ('convincing the custodian') means including him or her in decision making. She also pointed out the importance on getting the kids involved as that sense of 'ownership' is a catalyst for promoting action.
Johnson insists that you take small steps; "Pick one thing otherwise you get overwhelmed,"she says.
Creating partnerships, pairing up with an event already going on, encouraging groups that rent from the faith community to be part of the greening efforts were other helpful tidbits of advice she offered.

Denise Neutel of Meadowlands Christian Reformed Church talked about the need to stay relevant to the community, to keep connected, maintain communication, using websites, list serv and email.

Again, the message was to really allow and encourage people to "do their thing," developing, in this way, that sense of commitment necessary to sustain sustainability.

Next came a delightful presentation by Chandal Kilgour and Dave da Silva from Cathedral High School's eco team.

The team started up when a dynamic teacher addressed the students personally about getting involved with creation protection.

There's a buzz going around now and everyone wants to be a part of it. Why? Because it is relevant and meaningful. And it's fun. From putting on a fashion show using recycled clothing to growing herbs,planting a garden and showing eco-films, these activities are speared headed by the students themselves.

Jody Van Dorp from Redeemer College wrapped up the evening by talking about the importance of leading by extension, "living it out for them."

Being told "you should" is not something that sits well with Dorp nor for most people. Rather, it is modeling why we care that works better for motivating long lasting stewardship.

Dorp suggests that we "spread love of God through Nature" by getting people outside more. "This creates love of Nature, " she enthuses.

After all, if you don't know it, don't love it, why would you fight to protect it?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Impact of religions will have 'deeper roots' than Copenhagen


31st October, 2009

Archbishop speaks of the lasting impact of a religious movement to tackle climate change ahead of major summit of religious leaders

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has spoken out about the crucial role of the world's religions in tackling climate change ahead of a major summit of faith leaders.

Speaking at Lambeth Palace this week, the Archbishop said religions held the 'moral vision' and that ultimately their impact would have 'deeper roots' than anything achievable at the Copenhagen summit.

His comments come as leaders from nine of the world's major faiths - Baha'ism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Dhintoism and Sikhism - gather at a major summit in Windsor next week to announce commitments to tackling climate change.

Faith commitments

Among the practical measures being announced is a commitment by The Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania to plant 8.5 million trees, and by Sikhs to source sustainable fuel for India's Sikh gurdwaras, or temples, which cater for 30 million people every day.

Leaders will also announce a new Islamic eco label for goods and services, eco-tourism packages for pilgrimages (still the world's biggest tourism events) and the turning of Shabbat into an environmental celebration of avoiding consumption.

Biggest civil movement

The event, being organised by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), has been described as 'the biggest civil society movement on climate change in history,' by the UN.

Faith communities own between 7-8 per cent of the habitable land surface of the planet, run (or are involved in) half the world's schools and control more than 7 per cent of international financial investments.

UN Assistant Secretary-General Ola Kjorven said with more than 85 per cent of the world's population adhering to a religion the commitments made at the Windsor summit had the potential to be, 'the biggest mobilisation of people and communities that we have ever seen on this issue.'

Useful links

Full list of commitments being made
Windsor 2009 summit

Sunday, October 25, 2009

350 Hamilton

What a tremendous success! The faith community joined community groups in Hamilton to demonstrate their concerns about global climate change.
St James Anglican United Church rang their bells 350 times to summon people to action (in solidarity with 6 other Hamilton churches).
I held a GSS workshop at Christ Church in support of the 350 events; our volunteer screened The Power of Community at Centenary United.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Raffi: Kids for Saving the Earth -Promise Song

Kids for Saving Earth -Promise Song

Kids for saving earth: Promise Song

The Earth is my home.
I promise to keep it healthy and beautiful.
I will love the land, the air, the water and all living creatures.
I will be a defender of my planet.
United with friends. I will save the Earth.

United with friends. I promise to keep it.
United with friends. I will love the land.
United with friends. I'll be a defender.
I will save the Earth.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

eco churches of west hamilton walk!

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ECO WALK-October 18th

Members of the newly formed Eco Churches of West Hamilton (eco-WHAM) met yesterday in down town Dundas for a peaceful walk to raise awareness about the need for immediate action on climate change and global warming. The walk started at Christian Life Assembly,proceeded to St James Anglican Church onto St Augustine's RC church and ended at Knox Presbyterian. At each stop, prayers and messages of stewardship from each faith community's teachings were shared with the participant. Refreshments were served and people had a chance to read pamphlets and sign Kyoto Plus petitions and the Target 350 banner.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Words of Wisdom

Prayers of Meditation

Something new is upon us,
and yet nothing is ever new.

We are alive in a fearsome time,
and we have been given new things to fear.

We've been delivered huge blows but also
huge opportunities to reinforce or reinvent our will,
depending on where we look for honor and how we name our enemies.

The easiest thing is to think of returning the blows.
But there are other things we must think about as well, other dangers we face.

A careless way of sauntering across the earth and breaking open its treasures,
a terrible dependency on sucking out the world's best juices
for ourselves—these may also be our enemies.

The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.
small wonder - barbara kingsolver - 2002

I ended my GSS workshop with these words from Barbara Kingsolver at the Day of Encouragement event at Redeemer University College. It was the Christian Reformed Church's 50th Annual event, pulling in churches from across the nation.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ring Them Bells!

Gooooooo Hamilton! Who said our city was apathetic when it comes to climate change action? They're wrong. Read the article below by our Don Mclean of Environment Hamilton. Greening Sacred Spaces is proud of the hand we had in helping to mobilize Hamilton faith groups to action for the 24th October;World Climate Day of Action.
All through the planning of this day's events,we've had consistent faith representation-as many as seven leaders at a time. We're proud of you!

Bells of warning for planet


Oct 16, 2009
Large Medium Small Print This Article Tell a friend Church bells ringing across Hamilton Mountain this month are calling to more than the Christian faithful. They are warning us all of the growing climatic dangers that confront the world’s governments trying to construct a post-Kyoto agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The ringing is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24 — the day when Hamiltonians will gather in Gore Park to participate in a global day of action on climate change.

It’s one of over 1,700 actions taking place that day in 140 countries, and will include a 3 p. m. walk to the federal building at Bay and York to deliver a message to Canada’s climate treaty negotiators.

The bells of a half dozen Mountain Anglican churches will ring out 350 times in total to mark the safe level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere: 350 parts per million. Unfortunately, the level has already exceeded 385 and is climbing by two or three parts per million every year.

That puts us currently about 40 per cent higher than pre-industrial levels. The negative results are already painfully evident in extreme storm events and rapidly melting glaciers and polar ice caps that are disappearing far faster than expected. The two “100-year” storms that flooded over 7,000 Hamilton homes this summer appear to be one small part of a worsening global climatic crisis.

Last month, the United Nations reported that greenhouse gas emissions have been going up, not down. In the 1990s they increased by 1.1 per cent a year, but since 2000 the rate of increase has climbed to 3.5 percent annually — higher than even the worst-case scenario contemplated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that combines the efforts of climate scientists from every UN country.

The Oct. 24 events in Gore Park have a dozen sponsoring organizations, and include musical performances, displays and hands-on activities from noon to 3 p. m. There are also workshops, presentations and film showings starting at 1 p. m. in multiple downtown locations (register between noon and 1 o’clock in Gore Park at King and Hughson). The walk to the federal building starts at 3 p. m. See for full info.

The city has declared October to be climate change action month. Other activities include a high school environmental conference at Mohawk and an Oct. 18 “Eco-Walk” linking together four Dundas churches.

Mike Nickerson is one of the featured speakers at the Oct. 24 action. The author of “Life, Money and Illusion: Living on Earth as If We Want to Stay,” is also speaking at a school, two churches and a Dundas town hall meeting that weekend.

Don McLean is a director of Environment Hamilton and a volunteer with CATCH (Citizens at City Hall). He teaches environmental studies.

The Community Columnist is a regular feature of the Mountain News. If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-523-5800 ext. 335 to discuss your idea.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Completed Energy Audit: A presentation

October 10th,2009

This Saturday (after a delicious breakfast), Melrose United Church along with GSS Hamilton invited faith group leaders to attend a presentation highlighting the results of the building's complete energy audit.

Participants learned about the auditing process, the cost and the benefits of having an energy audit for their own faith homes.

The audit was conducted by Green Venture with a partial grant from Faith and the Common Good.
About 25 people attended the event.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Emmanuel United BBQ

Saturday September 26th;
More faith communities should hold these kinds of events! Emmanuel United Church held a barbecue yesterday afternoon which despite the rain, was well attended. It was an opportunity for the faith group to show case resources and groups doing 'good work' in the community. I was there representing Environment Hamilton and of course Greening Sacred Spaces. Energy saving kits were given out as well as 'Eat local' maps and 'Passport to Hamilton' maps.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Indians add green touch to religious festivals

Date: 07-Sep-09
Country: INDIA

Few events can rival the ancient rituals and riotous color of India's religious festivals. This year, the months-long
celebration season is also becoming eco-friendly. Alarmed by the high levels of pollution caused by firecrackers, toxic
paints and idols made of non-recyclable material, schools, environmentalists and some states are encouraging "greener"

In Mumbai, where the 10-day festival for the elephant-headed Ganesha (the Hindu deity of prosperity) is underway with
giant, colored idols and noisy street parties, radio and TV stations are airing environmental messages and school
children are learning to make eco-friendly idols.

The statues, made of brightly painted plaster of Paris, are usually immersed in the sea or a lake after a lively
procession that can sometimes take half a day to navigate the choked streets, and which ultimately leaves dismembered
idols strewn along the shore.

But a growing number of Indians are opting for smaller clay idols which they immerse in water at home.

"An idol that doesn't dissolve in the sea is just a tragic end for something you have worshipped for so many days," said
Abhijit Karandikar, a creative director at an advertising agency. "More people are realizing they can be more
eco-friendly in our festivals. It's something that's in our control."

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

Monday, September 14, 2009

Can This!

September 14th 2009

St Augustine's Parish Centre, Dundas

Greening Sacred Spaces and The Hamilton Fruit Tree Project (projects of Environment Hamilton), along with Dundas Ontario in Transition (DO-iT) teamed up yesterday afternoon to offer a canning workshop. We learned how to preserve fresh pears. The kitchen was bristling with energy and much knowledge: we soon discovered that there are many ways to can!

We enjoyed ourselves immensely (all 19 of us) and look forward to the next workshop (St Paul's Anglican Church in Westdale).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Convincing The Custodian

Convincing the custodian to 'go green' is a problem for many faith groups with environmental teams.
How do you get the janitor to use natural products when he has been using bleach for 25 years?
What is the way to convince the care taker that her work load will be all that lighter if she got on board with recycling?
This was one of the themes that came up at a meeting with the leadership of 8 faith communities in Hamilton this pass month.
Another all time issue is that preaching to the converted aside, how do we encourage members of our faith groups to get with the picture and get green?

You can look forward to a workshop that will be examining these concerns and giving you ideas and ways to tackle them.
In November (the date is still to be decided upon) we will be holding a workshop at Stanley St Baptist Church in Hamilton.
This is of course an interfaith event and all are welcome so please check in again for an update.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Camp Kids Learn about Energy Conservation

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

On Tuesday, August 18th, Environment Hamilton went to visit with the St. Augustine's youth camp in Dundas.
Student interns Jordan Bowman and Alessandra Gage led an interactive presentation about saving energy and helping the environment, in addition to running some activities and a seed planting session where children were able to plant local vegetables and herbs at the Church. Campers learned about how to save energy in their everyday lives and why it's important to eat locally grown produce. After the presentation and activities, everyone left with Passport to Hamilton maps, Fox 40 whistles, and energy saving night lights.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Celebration of Local Foods

Eating locally produced food is an act of stewardship. That's the message attendees heard (and ate) at Greening Sacred Spaces Hamilton's 'Celebration of local food' brunch that took place at St James Anglican church last weekend.

A project of Environment Hamilton and Faith &the Common Good, the event was a reminder of the call to protect and honour the Earth and the bounty which it produces-a call that resounds across all faiths and religions world wide. The relationship between food and the sacred is recognized in many philosophies.
"Currently, our eating practices cause environmental degradation, destroy habit and livelihood and cause untold suffering to animals. Water, air and land are polluted because of the way we do business as usual," said Rebecca Birtch one of the key organizers of the event.

Today, in a time where the decisions we make about how we relate to and treat the Earth and the life on it will impact directly and inexorably the future well being of our planet, eating locally produced food is a significant step in the right direction.

Over pancakes, sausages, muffins and blueberries participants were made aware of the hunger that resides in the very heart of our community and the measures that are being taken by some local groups to help alleviate a worsening situation.

Bill Wilcox of West Highland Baptist Church demonstrated that growing a beautiful vegetable garden on church grounds and giving the produce to the hungry is a good use of space and he challenged others to do the same.
Karen Burson spoke eloquently about the need for healthy food for children to grow properly; Environment Hamilton's eat local project is involved with building effective and equitable food systems through institutional purchasing.

Tapestry Bistro's Sam Robertson impressed upon listeners Hamilton's amazing amount of resources already in place for procuring locally grown food.

"We must get to a level of green house gases that provides safety for our planet," spokesman Don Mclean of Environment Hamilton reiterated, wrapping up the event.

Mclean's invitation for participants to join the world-wide 'Day of climate action' on October 24th (an event that is part of the campaign to get levels of carbon in the atmosphere down to a safe level of 350 parts per millions) was also a call to action to all attendees.

For more information about the campaign and Hamilton's involvement please call Environment Hamilton at 905 549 0900.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Breakfast of Local Foods Celebration

Greening Sacred Spaces Hamilton and St James Anglican Church


A Celebration of Local Food

Join as for a tasty brunch of locally produced foods. Local food consumption is a vital form of stewardship and creation care. Learn how you can make eating locally a part of your everyday lifestyle from seasoned speakers in the movement. This is an opportunity for members of the Hamilton and area faith groups to network together and to share in the bounty of our community.

Speakers: Don Mclean and Karen Burson of Environment Hamilton; Don will talk about getting to a level of greenhouse gases that provides safety for our planet and how that connects to what we eat. Karen will talk about building effective, equitable local food systems through various forms of institutional purchasing. Also chef Sam Robertson of Tapestry Bistro will speak about resources in Hamilton that allow you to eat locally. Bill Wilcox of West Highland Baptist church will be talking about growing food on church grounds to feed the hungry.

When: The morning of Saturday August 8th 2009

Where: St James Anglican Church, 137 Melville St, Dundas

Time: 10-12am

cost: $12 per person

To order tickets email Beatrice or call Environment Hamilton at 905 549 0900

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Worship Without Your Car


(Jul 18, 2009)

Going to church? Leave the car at home

Prizes are being offered to Hamilton churches with the most congregants who walk, cycle, take the bus or carpool to worship this weekend.

As part of its Greening Sacred Places Hamilton program, Environment Hamilton is partnering with Faith and the Common Good to urge faith communities to participate in the July 17 to 19 Worship Without Your Car: Get to Your Faith Centre A Greener Way initiative, supported by the Trillium Foundation.

For further information, phone Environment Hamilton at 905-549-0900 or e-mail

Friday, July 17, 2009

Worship Without Your Car

Church crowd urged to bike this weekend
Environment Hamilton urges faith communities to leave cars at home

Gord Bowes, News Staff, Hamilton Mountain News, Jul 17, 2009

Everyone heading to their place of worship this weekend is being asked to go green.

Faith groups across the city are being asked to encourage their congregations to pedal, walk, bus or car pool as part of Greening Sacred Spaces, an effort to get faith groups in the city to move toward sustainability.

Prizes will be awarded for the group with the highest percentage of participants during the July 17-19 Worship Without Your Car: Get To Your Faith Centre A Greener Way initiative, a joint project of Faith and the Common Good and Environment Hamilton.

“This is one of the ways we felt would be fun to get faith groups involved,” says Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko, Greening Sacred Spaces project facilitator.

“We’re just trying to find ways to encourage people to leave the car at home.”

Ms. Ekoko says she had heard about the idea being implemented in other cities and thought it could work locally.

It also makes for a good prelude to the Pedal for the Planet initiative, a cross-country environmental awareness tour which will stop at Fifty Point Conservation Area on Aug. 31.

As of Monday, 12 faith communities had signed up, including Church of the Resurrection, Barton Stone Church United and Emmanuel United Church, Meadowlands Fellowship Christian Reformed and Bethany Gospel Chapel.

“I was hoping to just have five, so I’m quite happy people are getting on to this,” says Ms. Ekoko.

She says she already considers the initiative a success by having more than one dozen faith communities signed up, but an even bigger success would be to get 20 per cent of a congregation to use an alternate means of transportation this weekend.

[Caption: Stephen Murray, pastor at Church of the Resurrection, is encouraging his congregation to take part in this weekend’s “Worship without your car” event organized by Environment Hamilton and Faith and the Common Good. Rev. Murray rides about 15 kilometres each day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Worship Without Your Car

Worship Without Your Car: Get To Your Faith Centre A Greener Way

Traveling green is an important way we can be stewards of our planet.
Over the weekend of July 17th, 18th and 19th, Greening Sacred Spaces Hamilton invites people of all faiths to travel to worship that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on foot, by bike, by public transit or carpool.
Faith groups will be competing against each other for a chance to win a prize for their place of worship.

The groups with the highest percentage of participants get the prizes.

A joint project of Faith & the Common Good and Environment Hamilton with generous support of the Trillium Foundation.

Worship without your car event is supported by the City of Hamilton Alternative Transportation.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Climate Action For the People of Faith

As noted on the Faith page at 350 website ( Click on PEOPLE and click on Faith), "350 represents more than just a scientific benchmark for a safe climate – there are also deeply moral and spiritual reasons for getting the world back below 350 ppm CO2. Social justice, creation care, stewardship, earth community, beloved community – there are many ways we can name and express our moral and spiritual perspectives on this issue. We invite people of all faiths and all traditions to join with us action for 350."
All it takes to get started is to attend Environment Hamilton's meeting on Monday July 13. In particular, you'll learn about ideas your faith group can use between now and Oct. 24 to inspire the participation of its members. You may even wish to share a few ideas of your own.

The location of the meeting is the boardroom of Environment Hamilton at 1130 Barton Street East, Suite 207. That's located across the street from the Centre Mall near Ottawa Street (just east of the Beer Store - but on the other side of the street). It's a two storey fairly new red brick building with adjacent parking lot, also accessible by the HSR's Barton 2 service.

We truly look forward to meeting you on Mon., July 13 at 7:00 p.m.

Check out this page at

The Sound of 350 from 350 Faith on Vimeo.

Friday, June 19, 2009

James Lovelock: Climate change could cut world population to 1 billion.

What is it with Preeminent Thinkers and intensely bleak public lectures? Two weeks ago Earth Institute economist Jeffrey Sachs, in an address at the Asia Society in New York, argued that climate change cannot be averted without massive use of unproven carbon-capture and sequestration technology and that China will provide little to no political help in curbing emissions.

On Monday night at Seattle’s Town Hall, British scientist James Lovelock gave a prediction of the effects of climate change that was even more dire. Efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions are just fine, he said. They just won’t amount to much.

“Our main task, should the earth continue to heat, is to adapt and learn how to survive,” he said. “We’re unlikely to become extinct by global heating, but we may be cut back to one billion people or less.”

That’s approximately a seventh the world’s current population.

Lovelock, who turns 90 next month, made his name in the early 1970s by putting forth the Gaia Hypothesis that the Earth’s physical and biological processes are self-regulating and sustaining, not sentient but in some sense a cohesive “being.” I’m not up-to-speed on Gaia’s complex influence on the scientific establishment, but it’s been ridiculed and dismissed as more metaphysics than science, yet also influential among biologists and ecologists.

In more recent books—The Revenge of Gaia and The Vanishing Face of Gaia—Lovelock has turned his attention to “global heating,” his preferred term because “warming” sounds too benign. He alluded to what Gaia has to say about global heating, though he never really spelled it out.

“The Earth does not just accept climate change passively,” he said. “It responds to what we’re doing to it, and that response is far more frightening than what we’re doing.”

Despite the futility of trying to avoid all of the effects of global heating, Lovelock recommended a few measures. He said nuclear and solar thermal power were the only sensible clean energy responses, and that the U.S. might learn from France about safe handling and disposal of nuclear waste. That rankled a number of audience members who pointed out the problem-riddled waste handling project at the Hanford Nuclear Site in eastern Washington.

Lovelock also seemed open to trying a number of geoengineering climate fixes. One man asked him about injecting aerosols into the upper atmosphere to reflect solar heat away from the Earth.

Lovelock compared such approaches to dialysis for failing kidneys. “It will buy you time, but it’s not a cure,” he said. “Then again, if your kidneys fail, you never refuse dialysis.”

Jonathan Hiskes is a Grist staff writer.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Food and Water for Our Planet

Westdale United Church,May 24th- A small but eager group attended the Food And Water For Our Planet event Sunday evening. We learned how to use faith grounds to feed the hungry and construct our own rain barrels.

Westdale United Church has been running a vegetable garden since 1992. The produce goes directly to Wesley Centre Kitchen to feed the hungry.
Coordinators, Loueen Madill and her son Stephen gave a presentation followed by a tour of the garden (tomatoes and green peppers).
Writer and environmentalist, Sean Burak demonstrated how to construct our own rain barrels. Sean is passionate about water conservation and is generous about donating his time to give workshops on rain barrel making. He donated this one to the Westdale Untied Church community. He also sells excellent ready made rain barrels.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Crieff Hills Church Secretary Event

Tuesday 12th, May-
Marina Fensham of Central Presbyterian Church and owner of thinkGiraffe Environmental Designinvited me to speak about the Greening Sacred Spaces program to an audience of 20 church secretaries. It was a very good idea since many secretaries are the ones who know theins and outs of running the church-they buy the cleaning products, the know who does what etc.
The presentation was warmly received and the participants said they learned a lot. So did I!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Greening Sacred Spaces Launch

On Monday April 20th, Environment Hamilton launched Greening Sacred Spaces, a joint project between Environment Hamilton and Faith and the Common Good, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.The launch took place at the Anshe Temple Shalom.

Greening Sacred Spaces is a practical program developed by Faith & the Common Good to assist faith communities in taking concrete actions to create a more sustainable and energy efficient place of worship and to educate members of the community about ecological issues.

In celebration of Earth Day, we 'cleaned up' our act and had a demonstration of cleaning products that are safe for planet Earth. Participants were invited to make their own cleaning products from simple, harmless ingredients you can find around the kitchen.

Participants numbered a solid 30 representing Hamilton area Faith groups.