Entries tagged with “environmentalism”.


PRI’s The World (can you tell what I listen to regularly?) ran a nice story on the efforts of some Islamic scholars to emphasize the religion’s emphasis on conservation.  This runs parallel to similar efforts among Catholics and the American evangelical community.  I’ve often pointed out to my students that I cannot identify a major religion that encourages its adherents to crap on the poor.  Seems I can extend that argument to say that most religions, in some way or other, encourage their adherents to use the world wisely*.

*There are significant objections to environmentalism in some parts of the evangelical community, but most of these objections are not pitched against the idea that we should use the environment wisely.  Instead, they are political arguments concerned that a focus on environmental issues will draw people away from an attention to core theological ideas.

Mickie Glantz has an interesting musing about clean coal on his FragileEcologies blog today.  What I like about it is his focus on how clean coal is a nice goal – that is, those of us working on issues of global environmental change should not reject coal as an energy source if there ever comes a day where it can be mined and burned in a manner that greatly diminishes, if not completely eliminates the horrible side effects, such as mountaintop removal and massive greenhouse gas emissions.  Current energy regimes and costs are a critical limiting factor in global development today, and anything that might bring us cheap, abundant energy in a manner that does not decimate the environment should be taken seriously.

That said, I have been a harsh critic of the clean coal movement thus far . . . because it is completely disingenuous.  Current marketing suggests that the technology is here, that coal is already clean, and that environmental concerns about coal are merely a mask for some sort of ill-defined, radical agenda.  However, the technology is not here yet and coal remains a remarkably dirty source of energy, from mining to burning.  So I give full support to Mickie’s idea – let’s talk about Clean Coal, where “clean” is not an adjective, but a verb – and a verb in the command tense.  Clean that coal!