This post comes to you from an airport lounge in Nairobi, Kenya, where I am waiting for my flight to Tanzania to visit the new Care of Creation project in Iringa. Meanwhile, I am thinking of the many people, sights and sounds from the last week. One of the most important events is actually one that happened on April 28, a week before I arrived, when an unaturally large rainfall event caused a portion of the mountain above the community where our project is located to slide down. Such an event is a natural part of God’s creation – or is it?
The evidence of God’s grace and mercy in the aftermath of the April 28th landslide in Kijabe, Kenya, is clear. The slide happened after midnight on a Saturday night, so the path the slide took down the main street of the town (which runs straight down the slope) hit no vehicles, no houses and no people. It did wipe out several hundred meters of the boundary fence of Rift Valley Academy, and could have done serious damage to a local high school and the famous Kijabe Christian Hospital but for a strong fence and row of trees at the bottom of the street – and because of the damming effect of a railway line above the town – but we’ll come back to that in a minute. Read more »
The John Brown Mural hangs in the Kansas Capitol Building. That is a Bible that the crazed abolitionist is holding in his hand.
by guest writer, Lowell Bliss
The next time you hope for some plain-speaking legislation to come out of your state legislature, you may want to take a moment and be careful what you wish for. This is the story of three environmental bills recently introduced in the Kansas statehouse. I live in Kansas. We’re generally known for being plain-spoken.
Our governor Sam Brownback says he has an “All of the Above” energy policy. I do not consider that plain-speaking any more than when President Obama uses the same phrase. “All of the above” means that an executive can throw a sop to renewable energies without threatening the continued exploitation of fossil fuels. And thus we have our first bill, House Bill 2241, which wants to give our state utility companies a break on the Renewable Portfolio Standard. They will no longer have to get a certain percentage of their energy requirements from renewables by the original deadlines – 10% by 2010, 15% by 2016 and 20% by 2020. Surely these deadlines aren’t onerous for America’s second windiest state. Even our name is a Native American term for “People of the South Wind.” The bill also grants vague exemptions for “firm transmission” (i.e. standards don’t go in effect if there aren’t transmission lines available) and “excessive costs.” There were a couple of occasions last summer when the nation of Germany reached the 50% mark in obtaining its electricity from renewables. Germans are the largest ethnicity designation of Kansas citizens. Perhaps we could take some inspiration from the Old Country. Read more »
Headlines from November, 2010: Carnival Splendor finally reaches San Diego dock; passengers begin to disembark.
and from February 15 (today), 2013: Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship: ‘Blessed’ Passengers Return Home With Stories of Horror
Jesus rebuked people in his day who were able to predict the weather but unable to understand the signs of history right in front of them: “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Perhaps it is time we learned to interpret some of the parables that are right in front of us. You think? Read more »
Care of Creation’s Kenya project is housed in Kijabe, on the campus of Moffatt Bible College, overlooking the Great Rift Valley of central Kenya. Kijabe town is perched on the edge of the Rift Valley escarpment, with steep slopes all around covered by forest – forest that has been under siege for many years. The destruction of the forest is suddenly creating a monumental problem for the Bible School, a major mission hospital, a school for missionary children – and Uganda’s only rail link to the port of Mombasa. Read on:
East Africa, suffering from years of drought, suddenly finds itself almost drowning in rain. It has been raining hard for weeks – and the rains, normally a blessing to be prayed for and for which songs of praise are offered, these rains are bringing a new level of challenge all their own. Persistent, ongoing and accelerating deforestation has left the slopes of the escarpment unstable. Landslides over the last few weeks have destroyed one of the waterlines supplying Moffatt Bible College, Kijabe Mission Hospital and Rift Valley Academy. Road access to the hospital is threatened by slides – potentially much more important, a railway line that links the country of Uganda to the port of Mombasa has been blocked several times already. Read more »
About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.
If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.
Thus begins an important article in this morning’s New York Times summarizing new research on climate change and sea level rise as it will affect the United States. The research is the work of Climate Central, a think tank in New Jersey focusing on both original research and dissemination of the work of other climate scientists. They have produced a very cool web page summarizing the results of this latest study that is worth taking a look at (I’ve embedded the map itself below – take a look).
Some highlights from the NY Times article: Read more »