Spiritual sustenance, naturally.

Photo by Seth Rockmuller

In a couple of days I’m leaving for a science and religion conference about our energy future.

From the conference description: “Energy and climate change are typically discussed in terms of their associated science, technology, economics and politics.  However, relatively little attention has been given to fundamental religious and ethical questions surrounding the upcoming transition to renewable energy.

“Culturally, we are entering a period of monumental transition as we encounter the inevitable shift from fossil to renewable fuels.  We are depleting fossil fuels while piling up nuclear wastes, yet solar and hydrogen power remain expensive or not significantly in place.  As for any technological transition of this magnitude, ultimate success will require good ethics and religion as well as good science and technology.  Unfortunately, religious pronouncements to date have been largely dismissed owing to their feeble consideration of accompanying scientific and technological realities.  Nevertheless, religious perspectives have the advantage of highlighting ultimate values, regardless of economic and political pressures.  The time has thus come to bring together scientists, engineers, ethicists and theologians to help effect a sustainable energy future.

“The conference will engage scientific, technological, economic and political issues associated with energy conservation and renewable energies in the context of global warming, sustainability and human purpose.  The emphasis will be on (1) ethical and religious perspectives that can be used to guide future energy choices and (2) energy choices which, in turn, might challenge ethical and religious perspectives.”

In thinking about these issues, I’ve decided to do a little research via this blog.

In light of what we know (or think we know) about climate change, peak oil, and our energy future, do you have hope?  If so, where does your hope lie? Is it in the healing powers of Earth? Your own efforts toward sustainability? What gives you hope? Development of new technologies? God? Evolution?

Photo by Seth Rockmuller

Please share. If you do not want your comments published here at this blog, just let me know.  I still want to read your thoughts and ideas. Thanks!

Comments on: "Our Energy Future ~ Where Lies Hope??" (7)

  1. natureloversunited said:

    I have no choice but to put the bulk of my hope in my own efforts. All I can control is what I say, what I do and the degree of effort I make to show others that the once bountiful plate of goodies that we call natural resources has bare spots. I also have some faint hope that there are many others who share my same concern with how far we have let this go. Perhaps I have too little faith in my fellow man to help pluck this world out of the whirlpool before it goes down the drain. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised by what others become motivated to do. In the meantime I will shout it from the rooftops if needed that we are in terrible trouble. Remember that most everybody laughed at Noah until the door was sealed and the rains came. My greatest hope is that people don’t come into the ark two by two but ten by ten and that we can join together to become a powerful force to save our mother earth.


    • Thank you, Robert. It seems to me that responding in the best way we can follows from awareness. compassion, and the realization that we are not “in” nature, we “are” nature. What we do matters.

      BTW, a few days ago, I was looking at a book called The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God, and there was your name in the acknowledgments! I got a kick out of it, thinking that of course you would have inspired someone writing such a book – but then I looked closer, and realized the name in the book was lacking the ‘s’ at the end. ooops.
      The point is, I totally believed it was you!


      • natureloversunited said:

        I must say I’m flattered. It would be nice to think I had that kind of influence. By the way, people frequently leave off the S on my last name…. I tell them I’m big enough to be plural.


        In response to your other comment, it is comforting to know that the Dalai Lama and I are on the same page.


        We all have our purpose here in this movement and sitting on our laurels wishing it would all go away is not among the options. I write because I can and because I honestly feel that if I do it often enough that someone will read it who will take it all to the next level. I want to be a catalyst for change as well as an active participant in the process. We do what we can to “help guide our global family in the right direction” because the consequences of not doing so are unfathomable. The quantity of people we inspire through our words and our deeds is not important. The quality of our love, our sincerity, our hope and our resolve for change is all that matters. We are watched even when we don’t realize we are being observed. The fruits of our labor will nourish a new birth, a new day and a new hope that will overshadow the despair and discouragement we have faced. Tomorrow is just around the corner and whether it will be bright or dreary is within our grasp to decide.


    • “In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Each one of us has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.” — HH the Dalaï Lama


  2. I just came across an article from The Guardian entitled “Only faith can solve the energy crisis.” Rational self-interest isn’t enough. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2009/jun/15/religion-nokia
    Robert, I hear you expressing your faith in your ability to be a catalyst and inspire people, your faith in change, in a new day and a new world. You are devoted. Would you say that your writing and blogging effort is a way that you express and live your spirituality?


    • natureloversunited said:

      My writing and blogging are an expression of my spirituality however that characterization is an oversimplification. I do believe that spirituality is of little value if you don’t share it. Keeping beliefs, convictions, hopes and dreams to oneself is tantamount to promoting starvation. If a person has something to say of value, it should be shared not only to reinforce that individuals personal view but also to help stimulate the growth of others. Beyond basic expression, I see what I do as a ministry.


      • Robert,
        Yes! Are you aware of the UU Ministry for the Earth? http://uuministryforearth.org/
        I believe the sharing of which you speak takes place in an astonishing variety of settings, including online.
        One of the reasons I went into community ministry instead of parish ministry is my belief that transformation of hearts and minds can happen in the most surprising places. And it’s my passion to encourage and facilitate opportunities for that to happen.
        Thank you for sharing!


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