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Ecologists champion life. If so, why do some ecological advocates support abortion, which is, by any account, the ending of something living? Hence the dilemma in which so many environmentalists find themselves: Life vs. choice.

But as it turns out, this choice is not new.

 The ancient text known as the Didache admits this in its opening words: “There are two ways, one of life and one of death.” The Didache also recounts a Christian understanding of the Ten Commandments, which includes this: "thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born." Keep in mind, this text was written in approximately 50AD.

The Didache, circa 50AD

For Catholic Ecologists, the link between ecological advocacy and abortion is obvious. And denying this link results in angst for many so-called...

From my own backyard comes a story of a package store—a small shop that sells beer, wine and other liquors—that’s green not just on St. Patty’s Day, but year round. The moral of the story? Small-business owners can make big decisions for the good of more than the bottom line.

Read this snippet from the story by the Providence Journal’s Peter Lord:


Much of the [store's] large parking lot is built with blocks that allow rainwater to drain into the ground. A large advanced septic system was installed, lessening the chance that pollutants will make their way underground to the nearby Ninigret Pond.

The building’s siding looks like wood shingles, but actually it’s recycled PVC.

Hot water from the geothermal heat pump is pumped through radiant heat tubes in the floor. They will be covered by wide, white pine planks. The walls and roof are made from insulated panels that are 8 to 10 inches thick.

Much of the lighting is...

Six days after a Nor’easter dumped one to two feet of snow on Southern New England, it rained. Hard. Roads flooded with a slushy concoction and utility crews scrambled to find and dig out thousands of storm drains buried under snow.

Each time they did the lives of pedestrians and commuters improved.

But all the grungy, salt-saturated, oily, gritty water that drained into those catch basins had to go somewhere. Most of it flowed into streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, bays and the ocean rather quickly—carrying with it a good amount of gunk and garbage.

And so we come to the big news these days in the world of water pollution control: stormwater management. It’s so important that it now has its own word; in fact, I had to add “stormwater” to my word processor’s dictionary just now.

To better understand its importance, here’s a little of the back story: For over a century, residential and...


Among all the horror and loss in Haiti this past year, scientists have made a small discovery that brings good news: the island's remaining natural ecosystem is showing signs of strength. As detailed in the above video, species long unaccounted for have been found, thanks to a recent and intense survey seeking clues about the country’s eco-health. Thank you Conservation International for the good work.

But if such a survey sounds odd, given the devastation and suffering occurring in the human population, remember that ecosystems provide food, clean water and help minimize disease. The more biodiversity, the better.

From a story reported in Haitilibre.com, Dr. Robin Moore notes the importance of finding so many more amphibians than they’d expected.

"Amphibians are what we call a species barometer of the health of our planet". The good health of forests is crucial to Haitian people, and the presence of these frogs is a positive indicator and an encouraging sign, since in Haiti, only 2% of original forest survives "We're at a point where we really must try of protect these forest fragments,...

"Pregnant women in the U.S. are exposed to multiple chemicals. Further efforts are warranted to understand sources of exposure and implications for policy-making."

This concludes a report in Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The study created something of a stir in the media. USA Today reported Study finds toxic chemicals in pregnant womens' bodies, and the LA Times What pregnant women don't know they're carrying -- toxic chemicals, new study finds. TIME headlined their story Pregnant Women Awash in Chemicals. Is That Bad for Baby?

Reviewing the news stories is telling: TIME ponders the effects of these toxins on the baby. Same for the Washington Post's blog. But the LA Times wonders “about the potential ramifications on those fetuses.” Likewise, the San Francisco Chronicle notes “the potential for exposure to multiple chemicals to...

One trend you'll see accelerate in 2011 is news of Catholic leaders—indeed, members of all faiths—warning their flocks about climate change.

Take, for instance, the Holy Father, who as recently as October, in a speech given at a Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, said that "today we see that with the climate problems, the foundations of the earth are threatened, threatened by our behavior."

Following this were his comments in Light of the World, his book-length interview with German journalist Peter Seewald. When asked about the resistance that governments and cultures are demonstrating in dealing with (or even accepting) climate change, the Holy Father, in part, responded

to this extent a certain potential for moral insight is present. But the conversion of this into political will and political actions is then rendered largely impossible by the lack of willingness to do without.

And then,

...

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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.