Earth Initiative

Earth Initiative: National Action

· Earth Initiative · ,

Dakota Access Pipeline Project

My great-grandmother became known as Pearl, as her Sioux birth name was forgotten. Her legend in my family suggests that her patient endurance—despite the traumas of her life during the Western expansion—was similar to the Earth’s great offering of itself. The Earth has offered a great quantity of petroleum, transformed from her earliest life forms, to allow for our great industrial age.

Read more

Earth Initiative: Global Action

· Earth Initiative · ,

New Zealand and the ‘Climate Angels’

“It’s different when you arrest an angel.” That’s what I thought when in May 2016 I saw the Climate Angels being carried away by police at the blockade of the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, Australia. Protestors are often dismissed and ignored, and their messages even more so. Even this message, which should strike so desperately close to home: that Australians will lose much that they love (including the great barrier reef) to climate change unless the vast majority of coal reserves are kept in the ground.

Read more

Sangha Reflections: On Earth Medicine

· Earth Initiative, Reflections · ,

Increasingly these days I notice how a play of light, a sound, a smell can send me back in time. I live in the same town I grew up in. During Ango this spring I was struck, during one of these moments when the feeling was particularly intense, by the realization that this place is, in a very real way, a part of me.

Read more
Photo by Tambako The Jaguar

The Most Amazing Challenge

· Earth Initiative · ,

by Paul Hawken

The evening before I gave the commencement speech, I threw the original away. That night, at a dinner given for those receiving honorary degrees, I got the distinct impression that some of the trustees and officials were not happy about my being the commencement speaker. I was introduced as Paul “Hawker,” and someone read a desultory bio. I had a crisis of confidence and wondered if I should even be there. I decided that my mandate was to talk to the eight hundred young people who were graduating the next day, not to try to please the bishops and faculty and alumni.

Read more
Photo by Bureau of Land Management

An American Land Ethic

· Earth Initiative · ,

by N. Scott Momaday

One night a strange thing happened. I had written the greater part of The Way to Rainy Mountain—all of it, in fact, except the epilogue. I had set down the last of the old Kiowa tales, and I had composed both the historical and the autobiographical commentaries for it. I had the sense of being out of breath, of having said what it was in me to say on that subject. The manuscript lay before me in the bright light, small, to be sure, but complete; or nearly so. I had written the second of the two poems in which that book is framed. I had uttered the last word, as it were. And yet a whole, penultimate piece was missing. I began once again to write:

Read more
Photo by Shinji Hoffman

Orchard Revival

· Earth Initiative, Essays · ,

by Linda Shinji Hoffman

An apple tree was concerned
about a late frost and losing its gifts
that would help feed a poor family.

Can’t the clouds be generous with what falls from them?
Can’t the sun ration itself with precision?

Read more

A Daring Compassion

· Earth Initiative, Editorial, Essays · ,

by Suzanne Taikyo Gilman, Mountain Record Editor

The news on environmental activism rarely makes headlines, despite some prominent demonstrations and the groundswell of change they can lead to. Occasionally there are clashes or even violence against those who continue working, courageously, to protect and defend. Communities are torn apart, resources are depleted, our human greed and destruction takes its toll. I feel anger, a familiar despair. When facing these feelings of discouragement, or simply not knowing what to do, how is it that being on the path and having a spiritual practice can sustain us?

Read more

What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other

· Earth Initiative, Reviews · ,

Media Review
What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice

By Wen Stephenson
Beacon Press, 2015

what we re fighting for now is each otherWen Stephenson shines a bright light on the emerging climate-justice movement in his new book What We’re Fighting for Now is Each Other. He weaves together the stories and voices of people who, having grasped the reality of climate change and its implications, are coming together in action. He integrates his passionate personal journey with quotes drawn from his conversations with more than a hundred people involved in the struggle for climate justice.

Read more

Earth Initiative: Regional Action

· Earth Initiative

Pollinator Habitats

When we suffer, struggle, thirst, falter or fail, many of us look to nature to ground ourselves. And though dramatic landscapes can deliver the solace we seek, it is the intimacy created by deep attention that heals. Today I find that intimacy as I release the roots of a young service- berry from a cramped container. I am adding this plant to a community of nectar-rich plants at the edge of my yard, and tracking how this created habitat will impact populations of pollinators in my area.

Read more

Earth Initiative: National Action

· Earth Initiative

Case Summary: Juliana v. United States

Twenty-one teenagers from ten states and the Yankton Sioux Tribe, along with an adult acting on behalf of future generations, have cleared an important hurdle in their novel lawsuit against the United States government for contributing to climate change.

Read more