Extracted (review)

Extracted. How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet.
Ugo Bardi. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.

Many people have heard of “peak oil,” and are concerned that finite fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas cannot support our economy indefinitely. But what about metals, like copper, gold, platinum, aluminum, and others? Isn’t there a finite supply of those in the earth’s crust as well? Do we have to worry about “running out” of metals?

Well, actually we do, although it’s more complicated than the phrase “running out” implies. This is the topic of Ugo Bardi’s clearly written and quite interesting book on minerals and how humans extract them. Continue reading

Posted in Ecological Economics, Limits to Growth | 2 Comments

Drilling Down (review)

Drilling Down. The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma.
Joseph A. Tainter and Tadeusz W. Patzek. Springer, 2011.

Remember the Gulf oil spill in 2011? This catastrophic and deadly failure has now begun to fade from the public memory, but oil continues to be an increasingly complex issue in our society and the world.

To get oil, we now have to contend with “terrorists” abroad (ISIL), chaotic countries (Libya, Nigeria), and autocratic regimes with culture straight out of the Middle Ages (Saudi Arabia). The price of oil is permanently too expensive, unless the economy collapses (as in 2008–2009), and as may be happening now. Environmental damage is rife. Besides the Gulf oil spill, we have fracking (earthquakes, water contamination), the Alberta tar sands (which have done immense damage) and climate change. It’s not just that the situation is bad, but that the depth and complexity of our situation is breathtaking. Continue reading

Posted in Ecological Economics, Limits to Growth | 1 Comment

Are We Scared Yet?

The economy in Colorado is doing well. Population is growing, driving up housing prices. Fracking, livestock, and debt are providing jobs. Unfortunately, these are the very factors which are devastating the planet.

Several months ago, Russian researchers reported a giant sinkhole in Siberia, on the Yamal peninsula. It was apparently caused by a huge and spontaneous release of methane from the permafrost, caused by the unusually warm summers in this Arctic region (about 5 degrees Celsius warmer than normal). Methane is a vital issue because it’s a very important greenhouse gas, right next to carbon dioxide, and its importance is typically underestimated.

Let’s put this in perspective: the permafrost is melting. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Politics, or the lack thereof, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 5 Comments

The Ebionite Christian Church, part 2

Jesus and Nicodemus (H. O. Tanner)

What role would an Ebionite Christian Church play — why would anyone want to form one at all? The main reason is to provide a place for ethical vegetarianism in Christianity. The Ebionites, whatever else you may say about them, believed that vegetarianism was part of the gospel message. When Epiphanius asks an unnamed fourth-century Ebionite why they abstain from meat, when meat-eating is in the Bible, the Ebionite responds, “Christ revealed it to me.” Continue reading

Posted in Christianity, Ebionites, Religion and spirituality, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 11 Comments

The Ebionite Christian Church

Jesus and Nicodemus (H. O. Tanner)

A reader of this blog recently asked, “When are we going to form the ECC (Ebionite Christian Church)? Or maybe EUC, Ebionite Universal Church?” Many vegetarians and vegans who come from the Christian tradition find that there isn’t really a Christian church, group, or denomination, which it makes sense to join. So why not form our own? Here are my thoughts.

Continue reading

Posted in Christianity, Ebionites, Religion and spirituality, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 9 Comments

Vegans at the local Climate Rally

“You vegans seem to be pretty well organized!” This is what one of the leaders of the Denver climate march said to Kate and me as we marched down the 16th Street Mall today. I had to smile. Basically, my “organizational efforts” consisted mostly in bringing just four signs. Each of the four had “Meat’s Not Green” on one side, and “Less Meat = Less Heat” on the other. Kate, however, also had a considerable role in this; she had just given a short talk to the crowd about veganism, livestock agriculture, and climate change. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Politics, or the lack thereof, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 1 Comment

Review of Disciples by Norm Phelps

Norm Phelps, noted animal activist and author, has written the following review of Disciples, which is posted on the Amazon web site.

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Keith Akers’ earlier book on the origins of Christianity, The Lost Religion of Jesus: Simple Living and Nonviolence in Early Christianity (Lantern Books, 2000) was a pioneering work of original scholarship that opened up new vistas in two fields: the ongoing search for the historical Jesus and the history of vegetarianism. Continue reading

Posted in "Disciples" | 2 Comments

Review of Disciples by Judy Carman

Judy Carman, author of Peace to All Beings, has written a review of Disciples which appeared in the summer 2014 issue of American Vegan, the publication of The American Vegan Society.  Here’s what she has to say. Continue reading

Posted in "Disciples" | 5 Comments

Radicalization

What does "respect" mean?

The recently-concluded Denver event “Hoofin It” (August 17-20th) featured a different hoofed animal each day at different restaurants for customers to eat. The meat is from “responsibly raised hoofed animals,” and it was a benefit for the Colorado Food Guild, and tickets were not cheap: $60 for dinner for one person. The theme of the event was “respect your dinner.”

Had this been just another event of the “happy meat” people, vegans would have greeted this news with yawns and the ritualistic rolling of the eyes. But this event had an unexpected feature; the key sponsor was The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Climate change, Politics, or the lack thereof, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 2 Comments

“Day of Action” for Rabbits

The “Day of Action” on August 17 to protest Whole Foods’ decision to sell rabbit meat is quickly gathering force. VegNews Daily has an article, “Campaign Targeting Whole Foods: Stop Selling Rabbit Meat”; and Animals 24-7 asks, “Are skinned and dismembered rabbits ‘Whole Foods’?” We’ll be at Whole Foods in Boulder, 2905 S. Pearl St. from 12:30 pm – 2 pm, with the Denver Vegans (among numerous other local groups).  If you want to make your own sign, there are instructions and signs to download here. Come on down! Or, if you can’t make it, sign the online petition here.

UPDATE August 28: PETA has now joined the protest against the sale of rabbit meat by Whole Foods. Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 8 Comments