Category: Volume 32

  • 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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  • Farming for Social Change

    By Sayrah Namaste “To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves,” Gandhi said. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has been addressing the impacts of climate change through programs in New Mexico, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Baltimore, to name a few.

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  • Haudenosaunee Confederacy

    For the Love of the Land

    By Pamela Haines. I’VE LOVED THIS bit of land for over fifty years. Coming up over the hill, my heart always opens anew to the jewel of a valley spread out below, part of the rolling farmland and woodlots of central New York state. My father bought an old farm…

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  • Sign of Menominee Nation

    Flows Repeatedly: Learnings from the Menominee Nation

    By Tom Small. NAPANOH PEMECWAN—Menominee for “flows repeatedly.” In nature, there is no foreground or background, no hierarchy, only relations, patterns of change and repetition. Train yourself to see the repeated patterns, to understand, feel, and identify with the flow. With these two Menominee words and their implications, Jeff Grignon,…

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  • Photo of root with hand

    Listening to Roots, Walking in Beauty

    By Mey Hasbrook. IN THE MEADOW, I gave thanks beside a beech tree. Sunset neared after a beautiful day with Swarthmoor Area Meeting of Southwest Cumbria, England. This area is called “the cradle of Quakerism” and brings to mind The Valiant 60, the 17th-century law-breaking mystics and traveling ministers from…

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  • Beckoned by Living Trees

    By Marcelle Martin THE  FIRST  TREE  that beckoned me silently, long ago, was a sapling on the far side of a lawn. When I investigated, I discovered it was being strangled by an orange plastic band encircling its trunk. After the sapling had been purchased from a local nursery, the…

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  • Seven people stand in soil

    Cultivating the Next Generation of Naturalists

    Fayetteville Arkansas Quakers Create Native Plant Garden for Ozark Natural Science Center By Eric Fuselier. The Fayetteville Monthly Meeting recently planted a native plant garden at the Ozark Natural Science Center (ONSC) located south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This native plant garden was a gift to ONSC, which is a…

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  • Emma Condori from Bolivia, Barb Adams from Richmond VA and Hayley Hathaway IMYM

    “We Had Something, Now We Don’t.” Bolivian Friends Face the Climate Crisis

    By Emma Condori Mamani. My name is Emma Condori. I am from Bolivia. I was born near Lake Titicaca. Most of my childhood was very beautiful because I was raised in community life in one of the indigenous communities we have in Bolivia, called Aymara. One thing I really appreciated…

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  • Three people stand in front of light pink house with porch

    Casa Pueblo: Truly the People’s House

    By Liz Robinson. THIS STORY STARTS with Hurricane Maria and our Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting’s decision to select Casa Pueblo as the beneficiary for our 12th month charitable giving. Because of its outstanding reputation, and its amazing hurricane-disaster recovery work providing solar energy to restore power to vital community services…

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  • QEW Poetry and Prayer

    The Call and Response

    By Mey Hasbrook. THIS SUMMER at the Friends General Conference Gathering’s Earthcare Center, I spoke on  “Transformative Earthcare: 18th-century Benjamin Lay for Today.” I shared how this third-generation Quaker lived a radical life at the intersections of concerns that continue to weigh upon us today. In the 2017 biography The…

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  • Aerial image of fire and smoke

    When Climate Change Gets Personal

    By Gayle Matson FOR 60 OF MY 65 YEARS I lived in Seattle and Portland, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush forests. The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is truly spectacular, though climate change has brought even rainier winters to the area. Last year, after pining for sunnier weather…

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  • Photo: Jamal Aden, Lorenz Nehma, Sekou Swaray, youth voices of the Somali, Yazidi, Liberian diasporas

    Displaced by Climate Change: Diaspora Communities Share Wisdom

    By Pamela Boyce Simms ON JULY 10, 2019 Lorenz Nehma told the story of the Yazidi people, a religious minority in the Iraqi/Syrian region, during the Quaker Earthcare Witness side event at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF). He shared their history from early persecution and acts of…

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  • Green sweat bee on New England aster. Photo by Dave Crawford

    How to Help Pollinators in Your Own Neighborhood

    By Dave Crawford. Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass, 2014) suggests humans can restore natural landscapes as a gift to Earth in exchange for the gifts nature provides to humans. She suggests that Earth might say “thank you” to humans for doing this.  I’ve done this in my yard, and Earth…

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  • Super moon over San Francisco bay

    An Easter Reflection with Joanna Macy

    By Sara Jolena Wolcott. “What do you envision for the future?” Joanna Macy—Buddhist eco-philosopher, scholar of deep ecology and systems theory—asked me last night, over a dinner of orange yams and tofu and lemon broccoli. Every time I visit her in her Berkeley home, she feeds me these bright orange…

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  • Image: Councilman Derek Green (right),a public banking advocate, addresses local lobbyists at Philadelphia City Hall on Lobby Day (Rita in blue and Pamela in teal). Photo: Stanley Shapiro.

    Public Banking, Divine Vocations, and Fertile Ground

    By Pamela Haines. THE ECO-JUSTICE Collaborative (EJC) of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has endorsed an effort in Philadelphia to create a public bank. Similar to credit unions for individuals, a public bank would hold public funds in the city to be directed toward local needs, rather than paying for big banks to…

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  • Climate A New Story

    A Story of Interbeing: A Book Review of Climate: A New Story By Charles Eisenstein

    By Ruah Swennerfelt. I’VE JUST FINISHED reading Climate: A New Story by Charles Eisenstein and am so moved by the wisdom I found between the covers. Eisenstein critiques the climate movement, arguing that the reliance on numbers, such as 350, facts, and data will not bring about the changes that are needed…

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  • Southern Appalachian Quaker Youth Respond to Climate Crisis

    By Robert McGahey. ARTHUR MORGAN SCHOOL and Celo Monthly Meeting recently hosted  Southern Appalachian Young Friends (SAYF) for their annual retreat here. The Quaker Earthcare Witness Outreach Committee contacted the organizers to share about our work, leading an afternoon session with the youth. After a rigorous hike to idyllic Strawberry…

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  • Feeding Us with Love and Local Tradition

    By Bonnie Peace Watkins AS THE TWIN CITIES Friends Meeting Fellowship Committee, we were excited about the Quaker Earthcare Witness  Spring  Steering Committee meeting  here  in mid-April.  We have long felt that food and fellowship are vital parts of witnessing, sharing, and caring for our beautiful planet. As we prepared…

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  • Shelley Tanenbaum at FWCC in 2019

    Awaking Across the Branches of Friends

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. SOMETHING SPECIAL happened at the March 2019 Friends World Committee on Consultation Section of the Americas meeting. Friends from across the branches of the Religious Society of Friends came together to express our love for the land and our dedication to environmental justice, with each of us…

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  • Group Shot at Inauguration

    Quaker Teachers Take on Climate Change and Restore Mexican Cloud Forest

    By Paula Kline Alan Wright and Paula Kline first took students to the Mexican Cloud Forest in 2003. Teachers at Westtown School in southeastern Pennsylvania, the couple had initiated the Quaker school’s agriculture program for its bi-centennial in 1999. Inspired by the ground breaking work of John Jeavons’ approach to…

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  • So You’re Ready to Take Action Against Climate Change

    Josephine Ferorelli created this flow chart—a helpful resource for anyone who doesn’t know where to start. Josephine is the co-founder and co-director of Conceivable Future, a women-led network bringing awareness to the threat climate change poses to reproductive justice, and demanding an end to US fossil fuel subsidies. Click…

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  • The Changing Context of United Nations Climate Negotiations

    By Philip Emmi. It is increasingly clear that we have gotten off on the wrong foot when addressing climate change. It can not be primarily a matter of nation-state cooperation on international policy, as once thought. Rather, addressing climate change requires a multi-pronged approach including attention to climate science, finance,…

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  • The Bare Minimum: COP Climate Change Conference

    By Lindsey Fielder Cook. THE AIM OF THE DECEMBER climate change conference in Poland, known as the Conference of Parties 24 (or COP24), was to define an implementation ‘Rulebook’ for the Paris Agreement.  After two weeks of exhausting, if not ‘fierce’ negotiations, how did it all go? It depends on…

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  • Pachamama Logo

    Pachamama Alliance Promotes Grassroots Drawdown Action

    By Keith Voos. I’M SURE THAT MOST readers of this newsletter hold it to be true that the human race now faces the biggest threat to its survival since its near extinction in the last ice age, when the population of the earth was reduced to between 15,000 and 18,…

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  • Pachamana Drawdown Workshop

    Project Drawdown In Practice

    By Ruth Darlington. WHEN PAUL HAWKEN’S book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming came out in 2017, many hailed it as the “new Green Bible.” I rushed to get a copy. When I held it in my hands, it felt like proof that there really was something…

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  • Little newt in two hands

    Let Nature Teach

    By Dan Kriesberg. AN EXCELLENT MEASURE of how much children are learning is to count the number of times the teacher says “Pay attention.” The fewer “pay attentions” the more learning. In my own experience of 30 years as a science teacher, a 4th-grade teacher, and even as a swim…

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  • Climate Disobedience Center Logo

    Finding Peace in Troubled Times

    By Jay O’Hara. ON CHRISTMAS EVE I went out with my in-laws to church service in upstate New York. The big crowd gathered in the chapel on the campus of Cornell University, and the minister hit all the right notes for this presumably liberal crowd: alluding to the occupant of…

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  • COP24 Image

    Changing Together? The COP24

    By Frank Granshaw and Annette Carter. IN DECEMBER 2018 the 24th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (COP24) met in Katowice, Poland. Their task was to hammer out the rulebook by which the world could achieve the goals set forth…

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  • Kallan Benson sits on her butterfly parachute

    A Quaker Youth’s Journey in Climate Activism

    By Kallan Benson. AS A 15-YEAR OLD QUAKER, I am accustomed to silence. I understand it is not empty; it can hold profound power. I have felt my spirit resonate in the silence of my Quaker community, but silence has recently taken me outside the meetinghouse to the steps of…

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