New Pope, old Church

The unexpected and unusual resignation of Pope Benedict XVI last February shook the solid and stagnant foundations of the Catholic Church, the only contemporary institution with medieval roots. The Church has a vertical power system that excludes women and the faithful, whom it sees as sheep that must be led,...

Living with wilderness: Nature, food and us

This year’s Geography of Hope conference was a celebration of the life of Aldo Leopold, best known for a slim volume, A Sand County Almanac, first published in 1949. In the introductory talk, poet Robert Haas recited a Japanese haiku—“Lighting one candle/ With another candle/ An evening of spring”—that became...

Papa nuevo, Iglesia vieja

La inesperada e inusual renuncia del Papa Benedicto XVI el pasado febrero, removió los duros y anquilosados cimientos de la Iglesia católica, la única institución contemporánea con remanentes medievales, con un sistema de poder vertical que excluye a las mujeres y a sus fieles, a quienes ve como ovejas a...

What will it take

When most people ask, “How can we stop global warming?” they are really asking, “How can we stop global warming without significantly changing our lifestyle?” The answer is that we can’t. The urgency of the ecological crises and capitalist forces destroying our planet make finding an effective and timely path...

One hundred days of the new government in Mexico

In Mexico, as in other countries, the first 100 days of a new government are considered to be the “honeymoon” period and an indication of what to expect from that government. From the euphoria surrounding Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which was removed from power in...

Doom and bloom

As environmental destruction escalates, hundreds of species extinctions occur each day. The senselessness of it infuriates me, yet our cultural norm marginalizes most talk about it as “doom and gloom.” Magical thinking, and a belief in “markets” above all, passes for sane and constructive discourse. Humanity has never witnessed the...