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Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Global Warming Controversy

There is no doubt that global warming is occurring. Melting polar sea
ice and glaciers worldwide proves that. There is controversy as to
how big a role human activities play in that. The IPCC report is the
most believable and authoritative assessment available; also the most credible by any objective standards. It concludes that human activities almost certainly are the major factor behind the warming.

It is a serious issue for at least two billion people worldwide, but not
this year, or next. The really serious effects are 20 years away.
These effects will be flooding of low lying regions, more hurricane
damage, more floods and droughts, and much suffering due to heat

For people who live in north America and not on the west coast,
the shit will really hit the fan when you can no longer afford your
air conditioning bills. The rising costs of energy meets the larger
need for energy, for air conditioning.

Although I regard global warming as a serious problem, I think that other environmental problems are more serious and immediate. I'm referring to deforestation, and pollution of our waters, air, and soils. These have already greatly impacted the natural world, and will be more serious in the future. Many species of plants and animals are on their way to extinction. Of course humans would also benefit from cleaner air and water.

However, the things that could be done to reduce global warming are, in many cases, the same things that could be done to reduce pollution and deforestation.



Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hijacking a Word

I would like to hijack a word, like the gays have done. The word "gay" has pretty much lost the former meaning, and is almost exclusively used to mean homosexual. There are other words that have been given new alternate meanings in our time, such as "special" and "black".

The word I want is "church". I don't want to take it over completely, just to reduce the strong ties to Christianity.

Here are the 3 meanings that Webster's Online gives for "church":

1. A group of Christians; any group professing Christian doctrine or belief; "the church is debating the issue of women priests".

2. A place for public (especially Christian) worship; "the church was empty".

3. A service conducted in a church; "don't be late for church".

The MSN online dictionary gives 6 definitions. The one that is most appropriate for us is: "2. religion's followers as group: all the followers of a religion, especially the Christian religion, considered collectively". (You can see the other definitions here: Notice that they say "especially the Christian religion", implying that the word church could apply to us if we are a religion.

The Church of Earth is supposed to be like a religion or church in several ways, but not in all ways. We are not Christian, and we don't have fixed beliefs except for a reliance on experience and science. But we want to provide most of the benefits that churches have provided in the past, especially before there was much science. So I want to bring the word and concept of Church into the scientific age.

Also, we are not exclusive. A person may retain their religion, and still be one of us. We are a social and political organization.

I don't really know how to do this except to keep stubbornly pushing. If a few thousand people would join us we might have a shot. I'm not in a big hurry.

The Unitarian church has done this, but we can't use their method. They started out as a Protestant Christian church, and then very gradually gave up the Christian part. It took them a very long time. I may not be in a hurry, but I don't want to wait as long as it took them! However, they can be an example to us. If we create an organization that works, and lasts, we can emulate them in respect to the word "church".



Friday, August 3, 2007

New Cards

Input from several people led to this redesign of the card. The artwork is by Danny Cain. Beverley suggested that we reverse the slogans, and several people agreed with her, so we did that.

So far, I'm the only one using these cards. I carry them with me most of the time, and if I find myself in a conversation with someone who is concerned about the future of the biosphere, I will give them one. I expect in the future that many people will use them, with different titles. My hope is that they will use the cards in a similar way as I do. This will be a way of recruiting new local members.

I think we can be quite flexible about titles. Some possibilities are: organizer, recruiter, speaker, .....