Category: BeFriending Creation

QEW’s quarterly newsletter

  • Community Choice Aggregation: Pennsylvania Boroughs are Ready for 100%

    Join a webinar sponsored by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Environmental Justice Collaborative on Community Choice Aggregation on January 18th, 7pm Eastern. Presenters from the CCA for PA team will provide an overview of CCA, introduce participants to local leaders from the five boroughs that have already signed an MOU, and explain…

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  • Attention to True Climate Stewardship: Worship at Vanguard

    by Lina Blount On November 15th, I sat in a wooden folding chair on a grassy corner outside the Pennsylvania headquarters of the investment company Vanguard. I was surrounded by dozens of others, all of us in worshipful, contemplative silence. We had taken Quaker meeting for worship out of our…

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  • To Kneel and Kiss the Ground

    by Keith Runyan, Incoming General Secretary at Quaker Earthcare Witness In the fall of 2019, just after founding my podcast, A Future on Waxen Wings, I was invited to be a keynote panelist for the College Park Quarterly Meeting with Mica Estrada,…

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  • Steering committee members and staff at march to end fossil fuels

    No Faith in Fossil Fuels

    by Miche McCall On the second day of Rosh Hashana, the faith hub at the March to End Fossil Fuels was full of celebrations of Life on Earth. Last September, 75,000 people poured into the streets of New York City to call for our leaders to protect our communities and…

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  • DIVEST

    Climate and Money:  A Guide to Fossil Fuel Divestment & Reinvestment

    Created by Friend Jennie Ratcliffe and members of the Earthcare Witness Committee of Durham (NC) Friends Meeting. This guide provides resources on the what and why of divestment, which banks or funds to divest from, how to go about divesting, and how to reinvest in a more livable whole earth…

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  • Earth Awareness, Earth Activism

      This is an excerpt from QEW’s Earthcare for Friends: A Study Guide for Individuals and Faith Communities. You can find this curriculum, as well as our Earthcare for children curriculum for your First Day or Sunday School at QuakerEarthcare.org/Resources. Written by Bill Cahalan and Ruah Swennerfelt…

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  • Young Friends for a Fossil-Free Future

    All photos by Sebastian DiMino With the local temperatures soaring to 96 degrees during the Friends General Conference Gathering and the global average temperatures breaking records, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) gathered an intergenerational group of Friends from across the country in an action against JP Morgan Chase and Vanguard.

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  • Cold-Climate Horticulture and a Freed Bee

    Photo by Kathy Barnhart A Year as a Quaker Voluntary Service Fellow By Elsa Hoover I just finished as a Quaker Voluntary Service Fellow in Minneapolis Through QVS, I worked at the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, aka “The Hort”. To say I did not know what I was getting…

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  • The 2023 Farm Bill: Advocate for a Just and Faithful Bill

    Every five years, Congress takes up a massive piece of legislation called the Farm Bill. Right now, the 2023 Farm Bill has an expected budget of $1.5 trillion, which determines how food is grown, what food is grown, and who can afford it. The bill wields immense power in shaping…

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  • A Living Economy for a Livable Earth

    By Pamela Haines Most of us are intimidated by economics, made to feel too ignorant to understand, question, or challenge its system. But, just as we do with peace, we can step boldly into that arena with our faith and values intact, daring to imagine a living economy for a…

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  • The Sacred Depths of Nature

    Both Ancient and Modern Traditions Are Held Together by Mary Coelho We are invited to continually seek to discern the ways in which we are alienated, often without conscious awareness, from the sacred nature of the natural world. Considering two unexpected sources helps us become more aware of our…

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  • Front Cover of Smarter Planet or Wiser Earth?

    Smarter Planet or Wiser Earth?

    New Quaker Institute for the Future (QIF) Book on Human Ecology and Artificial Intelligence Current breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI) need to be evaluated holistically as part of serious, systematic threats to our human ecology. These threats are intimately related to the economic, political, military, technological, and ethical flaws…

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  • Big tree in front of blue sky and green grass

    Looking Past the Great Dying to the Next Great Living

    by Allen McGrew. Six months before I joined Quaker Earthcare Witness Steering Committee, I was stricken by a nasty infection that got into my blood and precipitated a near-fatal cascade of platelet death, septic shock, that plunged my blood pressure to 35/50, overwhelmed my kidneys, and induced a heart attack…

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  • Navy ship

    Conscientious Objection, Conscientious Protection

    by Jennie M. Ratcliffe. There are multiple interconnections between conscientious objection to militarism and what we can call the conscientious protection of all life on Earth. Conscientious objection, both to war-making and to militarism that seeks to maintain and assert our so-called national security or “interests,” has long been advocated…

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  • Purple brain image

    ChatGPT: AI Writes 600 Words on Human Survival

    by ChatGPT. We asked ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, to “give us a 600 word article that answers this question: will humans survive the climate crisis?” This is what it wrote: The climate crisis, also known as global warming, is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity today. The…

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  • Incentives for Green Energy:  Practical Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act

    by Liz Robinson. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), people in the US finally have the tools necessary to rapidly decarbonize our lives and help accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. The law provides $369 billion dollars for climate action and clean energy, and is…

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  • Moving Money Publicly to Move Vanguard

    by Eileen Flanagan. In response to right-wing pressure, Vanguard, one of the world’s biggest investors in fossil fuels-, announced in December 2022 that it was backing away from one its few public climate commitments, the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. This was disappointing for Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), which…

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  • Show your support for BeFriending Creation

    Support BeFriending Creation

    Contribute to the Campaign We did it! Thanks to everyone who gave this April! We had a goal of raising $4,000 this month to support the creation, printing, and distribution of our newsletter, BeFriending Creation, which reaches thousands of friends and hundreds of meetings each quarter. Help create…

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  • Flipping the Narrative to Earth Regeneration

    by Sheree Cammer. On a train trip back east last year, my cousin and his wife introduced me to the Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve in Fremont, Indiana. Bill “Three Paws” Elias drove our tour in a pickup truck. I had the best seat: front seat passenger. The herd was placidly…

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  • Ode to a Coast Live Oak

    by Carl Grant. Bark of alligator skin, moss laden Your strong, contorted arms spread wide What faith you have in dropping Your children to the earth Where brother squirrel buries some To grow up down the road And of others makes a feast. Bark…

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  • What We’re Reading (And Listening To)

    We asked our QEW network about their favorite books, podcasts, and media from 2022. Here’s what they said. Multiple Friends recommended The Nutmeg’s Curse by Amitav Ghosh about abusing nature’s bounty and colonization, and also Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm by Isabella Tree. Pamela shared, “I loved Healing Grounds:…

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  • New Jersey Meetings Organize To Stop Export of LNG From Gibbstown

    by Ruth Darlington. When Priscilla Adams and Maria Esche learned about the plans of New Fortress Energy to export Pennsylvania fracked gas from a terminal in Gibbstown, NJ, they took notice, and then they took action. It all started when organizers at Food & Water Watch (FWW) asked Medford Friends…

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  • How to Host a Climate Potluck

    by Pamela Haines. As I was pondering how to release more energy for addressing climate and environmental justice issues in our Quaker meeting, I had the idea of setting up an informal gathering where we could hear what others were doing and support each other to take a next step.

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  • Holding Space for Ecological Grief

    by Hayley Hathaway. In fall 2022, QEW launched its first 10-week course on ecological grief. The course came after organizing two popular online workshops on the topic: over 200 Friends registered from across North America. At these workshops, Friends shared about feeling alone with their emotions of dread, fear, and…

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  • orange sunset with profile of a flock of birds flying above

    Waking Up

    by Nan Fawcett. Imagine a future where we are all heard, where we all listen to each other, not only to our human siblings but to everything, the large and small inhabitants of our home planet, listening to everyone’s voice. Imagine a life where we are…

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  • Taking Collective Action with Third Act

    by Kathy Barnhart. At the beginning of each Meeting for Business at Strawberry Creek Meeting in Berkeley, California, a committee responds to one of the Advices and Queries in our Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice. Last month our Communications Committee responded to the advices and queries on “Harmony with…

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  • The UN’s COP27
: Where Are We Now?

    by Shelley Tanenbaum. After 27 United Nations Climate Conferences, and even earlier conferences and agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Rio Earth Summit (1992), why are we so far behind in dealing with climate (and biodiversity and desertification)? That is the question that hovered over Quaker Earthcare…

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  • Green grass on the left with a strip of dirt in the center and then black charred ground on the right

    Regeneration: A Matter of Life and Breath

    by Tom Small. Breath is what unites us. It unites us with the “other.” With all of creation. Breath is the rhythm, the flow of life itself. Call it Ch’i. Or ruah. Or spiritus. Or rta. The universal breath, life force, or rhythmic pattern of all being. When we interrupt…

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  • TIme for healing is now: Support the truth and healing commission on US Indian boarding schools with image of lines of native american children and logo at bottom right

    Minute on Native American Boarding School Healing

    Southeastern Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, meeting as Winter Interim Business Meeting, approves adding a line item to the budget for a recurring annual donation to the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition of a minimum of $300.00 with the hope of increasing that amount in…

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  • Minute of Support for Indigenous People

    The North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends repudiates the Doctrines of Discovery: the religious basis for European colonization around the world. We acknowledge and regret Friends’ role in the ensuing genocide, land theft, and forced assimilation of the peoples indigenous to this continent, including Friends’ role…

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  • The Legacy of Quaker Boarding Schools for Native Americans: On the Debts We Owe the Past and the Ghosts of Our Becoming

    by Allen McGrew. Convinced Friends may wonder why they should accept responsibility for the abuses of Quaker boarding schools that received native Americans over a century ago. If so, they might also ask whether they can claim the heritage of John Woolman, George Fox, Margaret Fell or other historical Friends.

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  • Family Planning Helps the Planet

    by Susan F. Newcomer. Addressing population growth in human terms, not as the bugbear “overpopulation,” necessitates addressing sexuality and childbearing, two particularly sensitive topics. Over the years, Quakers have addressed “episodes of sexual activity” as “sacred, as an expression of a couple’s love for each other” and addressed contraception by…

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  • World Population Reaches 8 Billion

    by Stan Becker, Tom Cameron, Dick Grossman, Roy Treadway. As ecological disasters of all kinds threaten our planet-—disasters worsened by increasing population—the number of humans on the Earth reached 8 billion in November, according to the United Nations Population Division. This marks the continuation of the very rapid growth of…

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  • Inspiring the World to Come Together Along the Blue Ridge

    Introducing the Friends Wilderness Center & the China Folk House Retreat by Kimberly Benson. About 300 million years ago, the Earth demonstrated that unity is physically possible. Laurasia and Gondwana merged, forming a world with one continent and one ocean. The convergence uplifted the Central Pangean Mountains, raising the depths…

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  • Prioritizing Environmental Justice as We Transition Into A Green Economy

    by Jus Tavcar. With the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August, a significant amount of funding has been issued for developing green technologies that are set to advance the U.S. economy. We join with the rest of the environmental community in celebrating this monumental legislation, which…

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  • Faces of 11 people with green background

    Quaker Earthcare Witness in 2022

    This year, the effects of climate change and ecological collapse have been more than evident. Starting in June, torrential rains flooded Pakistan, with many areas still under water leaving tens of millions at risk. In September, Hurricane Fiona devastated Cuba and Puerto Rico (with Puerto Rico still recovering from Hurricane…

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  • Worship with Attention to Climate Finance

    Quakers Join Across Continents to Call on Vanguard to Stop Funding Dirty Fossil Fuel Projects On Friday, October 7, 150 Quakers gathered in-person and virtually to “worship in action” at strategic locations to call on Vanguard, one of the world’s largest investment companies, to make better on its commitment to…

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  • Cityscape as seen through a broken, rusty fence

    Moving Corporate America Toward a Sustainable Economy

    By David Ciscel. How do we get to a livable and sustainable world, starting from the economy that we are living in? That is an incredibly difficult job for many reasons. But one issue rises above the many others. The key institution in the modern global economy is the large,…

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  • Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation

    Oil, gas and coal are the root cause of the climate crisis and despite the destructive reality of fossil fuels, as well as the constant warnings of the scientific community, there is no binding mechanism to limit their production. The Paris Agreement, important as it is, does not reference fossil…

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  • Screenshot from PBS documentary, “How Americans Can Change Their Mindset about Wasting Food.”

    New Jersey Friends Take Action At Home

    Caption: Screenshot from PBS documentary, “How Americans Can Change Their Mindset about Wasting Food.” by Alice Andrews and Laird Holby. The idea for Medford Meeting’s Earth Day workshop “Green Your Life: Where to Start” came from a member of our Climate Change Group who, only too aware of the bad…

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  • Power Shift Network logo, teal lettering with three entwined triangles

    The Climate Justice Movement Must Be Anti-War: Notes from Antiwar Organizers

    by Jasmine Butler, Power Shift Network.  Power Shift Network is an intergenerational network of organizations and campaigns that center the diverse young people most impacted by the climate crisis. They generously let QEW reprint this article. No matter your specific organizational or ideological affiliation, anyone who cares about…

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  • Hands digging in dirt with plants and roots visible

    Simplicity and Right Relationship

    by Bill Cahalan. I agree with Wendell Berry, who wrote in his 1977 book, The Unsettling of America, that the United States is an unsettled country. We, not only in North America but in all the industrial world, are disconnected from our natural sources. So most of us only vaguely…

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  • Following Spirit, Despite Fear: Remembering John Woolman in the Vanguard Campaign

    by Eileen Flanagan. On October 7, Delaware Valley Quakers and other members of Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) will gather on a suburban street in front of a large white home with black shutters and a manicured lawn. One of us will be designated to assure the waiting police that…

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  • A Native American Land Reparation Pledge

    by Gail Melix and Lewis Randa. Reparations to Indigenous Peoples can take many forms. Through our work with Massachusetts’ Peace Abbey, we have developed one action that might work well for others, the Native Land Reparation Pledge (NLRP). The pledge states one’s intention to donate 1% of the sale price…

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  • City photo by Lerone Pieters-Unsplash

    Cause & Effect

    By Christopher Haines. Rhyme and Reason There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children. She didn’t know what to do. But try as she would…

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  • Flying fighter jet with blue sky background

    Military Jets & Environmental Restoration

    By Katherine van Wormer. An issue of immediate concern to the Madison (WI) Friends is government’s selection of our airport as home for the notorious F-35 fighter planes. The Madison Friends’ Minute begins: As Quakers, we seek to remove the circumstances that foster war, based on…

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  • Photo by Kathy Barnhart. She writes, “Chinese Houses, California Poppies, Lupines, Tidy Tips amidst the oak trees make such a wonderful palette. This area in Shell Ridge Open Space Preserve [CA] is tended by a large group of volunteers, encouraging native flowers and plants and weeding out invasives. What a gift they have given to all!”

    Spring is Here: Time to Plant Native Plants

    By Jim Kessler. Native plants are adapted to the local area and its climate. Unfortunately, many of our beautiful non-native garden flowers provide little or no food for honeybees, native pollinators, songbirds, and other wildlife. Non-native plants have the potential to become invasive species, weeds that spread rapidly…

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  • FWCC Asks: What’s Happening in Spirit-Led Climate Action Among Quakers?

    Epistle from Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas (FWCC). To all Friends Everywhere: On Saturday, 19th day of the 3rd month, a Consultation was held by FWCC entitled: Spirit-Led Climate Action Among Quakers: What’s Happening? This Zoom event was attended by approximately 40…

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  • Kipuka Refuge Photo by Yumi

    Rainforest Restoration in Hawaii

    By Yumi Teresa Radtke Kawano. Editor’s Note: Yumi invited the Quaker Earthcare Witness Steering Committee on a virtual tour of her home in April, and I had the opportunity for a longer tour and conversation a few weeks before. I invite you to imagine you are there with…

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  • Earth at night with light visible more from the Northern half of the hemisphere

    The North-South Divide

    By Brad Stocker. Context is everything. Context shapes the meaning of our words and thoughts. Recently I attended a workshop called “What’s Missing (and Needed) Post COP26?” hosted by the Quaker United Nations Office and the Quaker Council for European Affairs. During this event, the “North” and the…

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  • Moral Standards for Asset Managers?

    By GreenFaith. Religious leaders spanning diverse faiths and continents, representing over half a billion people globally, are making an unprecedented demand this spring on the leaders of large asset managers such as BlackRock and Vanguard. The demand is for these companies to recognize the universal moral values that…

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  • FCNL logo Friends Committee on National Legislation

    Climate Doomism Calls On Us To Act, Not Despair

    By Rosalie Ruetz. As with any divisive issue, there are numerous perspectives on climate change. One that has gained traction in recent years is “climate doomism,” the belief that, short of a miracle, nothing we do can prevent us from reaching a cataclysmic tipping point for the environment…

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  • Drawing of car with large smoke cloud coming out of exhaust with red line drawn through it

    No More Idling

    By Wayne Michaud. As a member of Sacramento Friends Meeting’s Eco-Spirituality Committee and as executive director of a non-profit that advocates for and educates about transportation efficiency, I would like to reach out to Friends on an issue I have been passionate about for 15 years: vehicle idling. …

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  • Quaker Earthcare Witness News & Updates

    by Shelley Tanenbaum. Quaker Earthcare Witness’ primary goal is to nurture a spiritual transformation in our relationship with the living world. Our efforts include projects, events, and other resources, all aimed at reaching a wider circle of Friends and like-minded individuals and organizations. Over the past two pandemic years, we…

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  • Protecting the Last Hope Wildlife Corridor

    by Carol Bradley. One need only look down from a plane, or check out the satellite view of any Crown land forest in Nova Scotia to see just how much clearcutting is going on. Total massacre. Logging roads growing like a cancer across the province. – The Stop Spraying and…

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  • Book Review of Paul Hawken’s Regeneration: Ending The Climate Crisis in One Generation

    by Ruah Swennerfelt. Degeneration of land, water, forests, biodiversity, and human health are causes of climate change. And climate change is yet another cause of poverty. Turning this vicious circle to a virtuous one is crucial to addressing the climate crisis. In 1998, my husband Louis and I represented Quaker…

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  • Mind the Gap: Quaker Engagement at COP26

    by Frank Granshaw and Annette Carter. Our recent trip to Glasgow, Scotland for the UN climate conference for 2021 (COP26) involved a lot of travel by train. We had constant reminders to “Mind the gap when alighting the carriage.” This phrase felt very much in line with the genteel friendliness…

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  • Vanguard Customers Have an Important Role to Play, so Don’t Move Your Money (Yet)!

    by Eileen Flanagan. As soon as Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) announced that we had joined the international campaign to pressure Vanguard to become a climate leader, we started hearing from Quakers and others who were Vanguard customers that they were eager to move their money to funds that are…

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  • Green EQAT Logo Earth Quaker Action Team

    Earth Quaker Action Team Takes on Vanguard

    by Jonathan Ogle. The world’s biggest asset managers have a big problem. Companies such as BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street manage trillions of dollars of investment on behalf of millions of investors. Even while they sign commitments to make their own office operations carbon neutral, they have been investing hundreds…

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  • Recognizing a Human Right to a Healthy Environment

    by Lindsey Fielder Cook. Recognition of a human right to a healthy environment can have, in the words of the UN Special Rapporteur, “life-changing potential.” The 2010 UN recognition of water and sanitation as a human right led to significantly improved access to clean water and sanitation…

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  • Midwifery

    by Pamela Haines. A regular high point in my week is being in touch with a handful of young climate activists. Through a young man who stayed in our spare room while doing student fossil fuel divestment work and then went on to be one of the founders of the…

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  • Witnessing the Sacred Depth of Nature

    by Mary Conrow Coelho. There are remarkable discoveries now offered to Quaker Earthcare Witness that can greatly strengthen its work and witness. One evening in the early 1990s, a small group gathered to listen to a talk in a video series describing the changes in worldview brought by discoveries in…

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  • Candles placed on floor to create the numbers 1.5 degrees celsius

    Keep 1.5° Alive The U.N. Climate Change Conference

    by Hayley Hathaway. “For those that have eyes to see. For those that have ears to listen. For those that have a heart to feel. 1.5 is what we need to survive. 2 degrees is a death sentence for the people of Antigua &…

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  • River with sign labeling Miskwaagamiiwizaaga'igan-ziibi Red Lake River

    Red Lake Treaty Camp: At The Crossroads

    How do you ask a community to be the last to sacrifice their land to support the dying fossil fuel industry? by Shelley Tanenbaum. In September I had the privilege of spending about a week on the frontline at Red Lake Treaty Camp, a spiritual and ceremonial…

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  • Cove with water and kelp, trees in background

    North America the Beautiful: 30×30 Conservation Efforts

    by Joseph Cotham. The United States and Canada have committed to the conservation of 30% of the land and waters of the United States by 2030. The U.S.’ 30×30 initiative has evolved into the America the Beautiful campaign, a national call to action that is noteworthy for its goal and…

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  • Two people standing in front of building with signs. One says "Stop Fossil Fuels." The other says, "Solidarity with the US Hunger Strike"

    Canadian ClimateFast

    by Lyn Adamson. I’m the co-chair of Canada’s ClimateFast, a volunteer-based non-profit dedicated to building strong, informed public pressure to take urgent, substantial and just action on climate change. Our group fasted on the first full day of COP26, November 1, outside of the U.S. Consulate in Toronto as…

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  • Finding Your Family—In the Forest

    BOOK REVIEW by Tom Small. Suzanne Simard, in her first book, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, has a story to tell. She tells it very well, with a keen sense of the dramatic. And she plays many roles. Foremost, she’s the mystery-story detective. She follows…

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  • Wooden sign with green paint: We must protect what little old growth remains" with a picture of a tree and a heart painted on

    Fairy Creek Blockade

    by Hayley Connors-Keith. Content warning: police violence and sexual abuse On August 21, my partner and I went to the Fairy Creek Watershed on Vancouver Island in British Columbia to support the land defenders on the frontlines and protect the last 2% of old-growth forests.

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  • Light shining through trees

    Opening to Our Direct Connection with the Divine

    by Marcelle Martin. When I was in my mid-twenties, my graduate school program was not meeting my great longing to understand the nature of reality. I began to seek inwardly. Yearning to know what life was about, I paid attention to my inner experience in a new way. I would…

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  • Quilt with wind mills and trees and sun

    Loving Earth Project: Climate Crisis Textile Art for COP26

    A series of exhibitions of textile art was on display in a variety of venues in and around Glasgow during COP26, including at the city’s Quaker meetinghouse. Made by people and communities in many parts of the world, the Loving Earth Project depicts places, people, and things that the artists…

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  • Black and Indigenous people holding sunflower and corn wearing masks. One person is holding sign "Keep it in the ground! No 'Net Zero'". Across the top is "It Takes Roots Frontline Delegation COP26 Glasgow, Scotland"

    Frontline Communities & Workers Demand Real Climate Solutions, ‘No Net Zero’ and an End to Fossil-Fuels at COP26

    It Takes Roots is a multiracial, multicultural, intergenerational alliance of alliances representing over 200 organizations and affiliates in over 50 states, provinces, territories and Native lands on Turtle Island (known as North America). It is led by women, gender non-conforming people, people of color, Black and Indigenous Peoples. This November,…

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  • Path with green grass and trees with light coming from behind the trees

    From the Clerk’s Table

    by Mary Jo Klingel, Clerk. “Art thou in the Darkness? Mind it not, for if thou dost it will feed thee more. But stand still, and act not, and wait in patience, Till Light arises out of Darkness and leads thee.” – James Naylor I know that…

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  • Bird over field

    A Vision From Our Divine Source

    by Jennie Ratcliffe. Any and all of us who’ve held a vision of transformation grounded in what really sustains us—remembering that we don’t live by bread alone, but by the divine All That Is, that bread is sacred too, and there is no ultimate separation between them—are being called to…

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  • Red sycamore buds with green background

    Homecoming

    by Mey Hasbrook. Stirring, sap rises into burgeoning buds whose edges unfurl, like fingers opening in friendship. Leaves reach between gaps, become mounds. Earth caresses every curve, sings across seasons: Awaken Love! Open wholly! Embrace Beauty! From slumber, undulate in…

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  • Climate Change 2021 IPCC Report with colorful image of lines that create Earth's country's borders superimposed over bright background

    Human-Caused Climate Change is “Unequivocal”

    by Shelley Tanenbaum. If the catchword for 2020 was “unprecedented,” then 2021 follows as “unequivocal.” That is how the 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports scientific evidence that human activities are the cause of climate change, that the climate will be getting worse for several decades, and that…

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  • Drawing of bodies of water, trees and animal silhouettes along the top with words "Red Lake Nation" at bottom

    Red Lake Nation’s Path to Solar Energy

    by Ralph Jacobson. The people of Red Lake Nation, in northwestern Minnesota, had been talking for over a decade about ending their dependence on electricity generated from coal. This is a story about their journey toward renewable energy. Mercury falls into the water of midwestern lakes from plumes of smoke…

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  • Man with glasses holding up cardboard sign that says "Save the Earth"

    Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Climate Sprint

    At Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s annual sessions this July, Friends came under the weight of the climate emergency as a yearly meeting priority and accepted and approved the Climate Sprint Report, “Moving Together in the Face of Climate Change,” excerpted below. 
To read the full commitment, visit PYM.org. This statement…

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  • Grassy field with trees and blue sky and mountains in background

    Awakening to Earth: An Earth-Body Meditation

    by Bill Cahalan. Bill Cahalan is an eco-psychologist. His booklet, Awakening to Earth, is currently being updated by Quaker Earthcare Witness and will be available to share and download. This meditation is an excerpt. Bill writes, “Here is one version of a guided experience which I have used with weekend…

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  • George Lakey and friends during June’s Walk for Our Grandchildren.

    Fresh Energy for Our Witness

    by George Lakey. Judging from news accounts of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, we can expect a fresh dose of anxiety about the future to show up among Friends, even while some of us are reeling from the effects of Covid-19. The report is partly about…

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  • Blond child in blue shirt, hat and red pants sits at base of huge redwood

    Wildfire Lessons: QEW’s Work in 2021

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. Dear Friends, Last year’s wildfires were different than in years past. In California, forests have evolved to not just live with fire, but to thrive because of it—fires clear brush and release seed for the next generation. Mature trees survive mostly intact. Yet this past…

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  • Smoky purple skies behind green trees

    Engaging with Ecological Grief

    By Gayle Matson. Recently a Friend in my Quaker meeting spoke movingly of her sadness upon visiting a favorite place that had been ravaged by fire last year. Many of us can relate to that shock and dismay of discovering that a landscape or ecosystem we dearly love has…

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  • Quaker Advocacy on Sustainable Energy & Environment: Interview with FCNL’s Clarence Edwards

    Clarence Edwards leads Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)’s work on sustainable energy and environmental policy as Legislative Director. He brings to FCNL extensive experience in government relations, issue advocacy, and strategic communications. Clarence joined Quaker Earthcare Witness for our April Steering Committee Meeting. Here Clarence answers questions from…

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  • QEW Poetry and Prayer

    Poem: Prairie Prayers

    By Allen McGrew Keen-eyed at dusk, the owl o’er the prairie glides as though on the wings of prayer, and the prayer she prays is a prayer for prey. And the prey? Furtively, he through the tall grass slides like…

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  • QEW Poetry and Prayer

    Poem: Hope Springs Eternal for The Flimsy Soul

    By John Heimburg You know him…. but not really.  The one who never knew Unconditional Love. For whom the siren song      of Transactionality calls………… a never-ending   Quest         for Acceptance…

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  • Highways

    Rebuilding Infrastructure

    By Muriel Strand Many people believe we must rebuild our infrastructure. Unfortunately, almost everyone believes we must rebuild our fossil fuel infrastructure—roads, bridges, dams, ports, rail, pipelines, etc. What we need instead is to rethink our relationship with energy and return to a human-scale infrastructure that puts our real…

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  • Peak Oil Has Come and Gone!

    By Bob Bruninga For decades, peak oil has been a term used to describe the anticipated dwindling supply of oil with anticipated skyrocketing prices due to scarcity and competition for resources. It turns out that the opposite has occurred as the demand for this obsolete, inefficient commodity has…

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  • A pile of earthcare-related books

    QEW’s Favorite Books

    We asked QEW members to share their favorite books. Happy reading! Books to Read for These Times: Climate: A New Story by Charles Eisenstein. “How changing the ‘climate’ of our thinking and rhetoric can influence how we deal with physical climate change.” The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. “About…

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  • Photo: “This is a photo from a socially distanced action where we were very nimble. The other side of the banner says ‘PECO: Forgive Bills Now.’”

    EQAT AT 10: Finding Resilience in an Unimaginable Year

    By Lee McClenon. In the last few decades, some social scientists studying organizations have recognized that organizations are healthiest when they embrace a bit of unpredictability. In this model, networks are more powerful than individuals. Resilience is more important than brute strength. And a groundbreaking idea can come from anywhere.

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  • Quote from Canada Yearly Meeting

    Examining Institutional Racism

    By Lauri Langham. The intersection between environmental justice and racial justice is a busy one. We recognize how Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) and low-income people are the frontline communities that suffer the first and worst effects of planet destruction and climate change: from the placement of toxic dumps…

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  • Equality -> Equity -> Justice: The Transportation Case Example

    By Beverly Ward “Our equality testimony flows inevitably from our belief that there is that of God in every person. If we believe in Equality, we must work for Justice. British Friends remind us: ‘Are you alert to the practices throughout the world which discriminates against people on the basis…

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  • Flock of birds flying in front of moon and light purple sky

    Pleasing the Divine with Evolutionary Love

    By Jose Aguto History is littered with the graceless exits of despots clinging to the chimera of the temptation of secular power for personal glorification above the good of others. We know this from the Gospels as one of the three temptations the devil offered to Jesus, which he in…

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  • Build Back Fossil Free

    By Hayley Hathaway and Ruth Darlington. “If we’re going to Build Back Better, we need to do better. And that starts by putting Indigenous people and their voices first, before any [fossil fuels] project is put in place…It is our Indigenous right to protect what little we have left,” shared…

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  • Bee on yellow flowers

    Permaculture: The Art of Designing Beneficial Relationships

    By Carol Barta. Permaculture is said to be “the art of designing beneficial relationships.” Permaculture is a design science rooted in the observation of natural systems, the wisdom of traditional farming methods, and systems thinking. It uses both ancient wisdom and modern scientific and technical knowledge to create sustainable habitats…

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  • What I’m Learning From the Pandemic

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. EVERY YEAR WE Friends ask ourselves, “How has truth fared for Thee?” It is a way of refreshing ourselves, of self-evaluating personally and in our Meetings. It gives us an opportunity to change course and to respond to emerging leadings. What if we see the coronavirus pandemic…

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  • Black Butterfly: Interview with Artist Damita Hicks

    Damita Hicks is a Bahai artist living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her paintings center on Mama A’free’ca, Nature, and racial unity. Kirsten Bohl of Durham (NC) Friends Meeting speaks with Damita here. How did you get started with painting? I’ve been painting almost all my life. In terms of…

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  • Stormy clouds behind tree branches

    In the School of the Shipwreck

    by Noah Merrill. Editor’s Note: Noah wrote this piece in spring 2020 and his reflections speak to us still. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce. —José Ortega y Gasset JUST OFF THE shore…

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  • Crosswalk in long exposure in Chile, Santiago

    Caring About Population

    By Richard Grossman. Most Friends are careful stewards of our environment. Indeed, more than half of Yearly Meetings have added “Stewardship” (or the equivalent) to their short list of Testimonies. However, sometimes we don’t make the connection between our stewardship of Earth and human population. OK, I admit it: the…

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  • Photo by Kathy Barnhart of rippling water

    A Prayer for the New Year

    By Pamela Haines As we head toward a new year, let us: Take in the environment around us with relaxed awareness—appreciating beauty and opportunity, noticing threats, staying grounded in the midst of both; Cultivate gratitude, for spaces that have opened in our society, for all the forces of goodness around…

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  • Durham Friends Meeting Install Solar Panel

    Durham Friends Install Solar Panels

    By Dale Evarts. IN AUGUST 2019, following a spiritual leading to live in harmony with Creation by harnessing the energy of the sun to power our meetinghouse, Durham Friends Meeting (DFM), a member of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting Conservative, began generating electricity from solar panels installed that summer. After…

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  • The CZU Lightning Complex fire was stopped here, along the Fawn trail at Ben Lomond Quaker Center. Photo: Bob Fisher.

    Redwood Renewal

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. THE STORY OF redwood renewal through fire gives me hope in a world gone mad with doom and gloom. What can we learn from one of nature’s most elegant ecological systems that evolved to not just cope with adversity, but to turn adversity into rebirth? The few…

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