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As if the narcotics business wasn’t causing enough harm to nations, families, human lives and human souls, a new report about the impact of the drug industry on the Colombian environment shows there’s a significant ecological impact as well.

As reported by the American Chemical Society in their publication Environmental Science & Technology,

Cultivating coca bushes, the source of cocaine, is speeding up destruction of rainforests in Colombia and threatening the region’s “hotspots” of plant and animal diversity, scientists are reporting in a new study. The findings, which they say underscore the need for establishing larger protected areas to help preserve biodiversity, appear in ACS’ journal.

Liliana M. Dávalos and colleagues note that the pace of deforestation in olombia has accelerated over the past 20 years, even


February 2011

The funeral for my mom’s Aunt Rose took place four days after a major winter storm and two days before another. It was a bright morning, but a cold, blustery one—a harsh way to say a goodbye to a strong, feisty, faith-filled woman. Rose fought cancer on and off for fifteen years, and she never flinched at a doctor’s bad news.

A week after the funeral, her daughter-in-law summed it up best: this woman knew how to carry her crosses.

While I drove my mom in the funeral procession through streets narrowed by large heaps of snow, it occurred to me that Rose’s determination to face difficult truths stood in contrast to those who find humor in news of climate change—which, I admit, seems easy to do in the midst of a snowy winter’s single-digit temperatures.

I’ve been studying the science of climate change as part of a project at work; the...

From the Times of India comes the story of a papal envoy to tribal peoples in India. His message was one of solidarity, hope and concern for ecology.

Once again, the Church’s efforts to help the lives of the poor factors in the condition of the environment in which they live, eat, drink and breath.

A few snippets are below:

Ranchi—Archbishop of Westminster Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, a representative of Pope Benedict XVI, took home the details of the plight of the tribals of Jharkhand.

Two papers were presented during the symposium both of which highlighted the sorry state of affairs of the tribals. While director of Xavier's Institute of Social Service (XISS) Alex Ekka spoke about the social concerns of Jharkhand highlighting the rich resources of the state and deprivation of the tribals, former principal accountant general of West Bengal Benjamin


On this Feast of St. Blaise, let me share a saying my doctor uses often: “You need to take care of the temple.”

He’s a good man, very fit, an innovator in the medical profession, a sports doctor for a local college, and knows a thing or two about faith.

When I went for my physical the other day, and told him I wasn’t doing what I should be doing—hence my weight and blood pressure not quite being where it should—and when I told him all that I’d been too busy doing to eat right and exercise, he said his line: You’re not taking care of the temple!

Well, I’m trying...

For me, spring comes sometime in the middle of February. By then, the days are longer, the spring constellations rise in the early evening, and the sound of migrating song birds greet me in the morning.

But lately, I’ve heard such spring songs as I leave the house to begin my day. And it's only January.

This got me wondering. Why am I hearing these song birds so early? Am I just imagining all this? And so I went to a source that knows a thing or two about birds, The National Audubon Society. And I came across this report: Birds and Climate Change; Ecological Disruption in Motion.

Within it was a good amount of sobering information. Including this: 

Analysis of four decades of Christmas Bird Count observations reveal that birds seen in North America during the first weeks of winter have moved dramatically northward—toward colder latitudes—over the past four decades. Significant northward movement occurred among



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About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.