Wake up and smell the planet

– the title of a book by Grist, the quirky, near-irreverent environmental news service, just been published. Great picture of a beach bum with his feet in the air and head stuck in (the) sand dune on the front cover; which is a reference to ostriches that follows seamlessly on from my previous post for Jeremy Clarkson. The subtitle of the book is the ‘non-pompous, non-preachy Grist guide to greening your day’. Some of the reasons for buying it, they say, are that it’s better than The Secret and there’s ‘the little known fact: books consume half the electricity of a computer’.

I’ve not yet browsed much around the Grist site. But one of the things that caught my eye on their front page – with a picture of the Pope and the headline, ‘That’s the Spirit’ – was their top 15 Green Religious Leaders:

  1. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I [not come across him before, but looks pretty cool]
  2. The Dalai Lama [who’s early life was the subject of a film – Kundun – directed by Martin Scorsese; I remember Scorsese saying in interview that he wanted to convey the philosophy of non-violence via the film. With its stunning – no – Sumptuous! visuals, Philip Glass soundtrack, and Tibetan actors, I think he succeeded… I remember attending a packed university debating chamber when the Dalai Lama came to speak; everyone was on their feet applauding just when the guy entered the room. An incredible presence that made us all, seemingly, feel good – very good : ) ]
  3. Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury [authored my favourite article when I read Theology at university – before he and I were famous; and he’s overseeing the C of E’s soul-searching on environmental topics. I feel for him, what with his predicament of being set upon by waves of the anti-homosexual faithful. He’s a good guy, and his ‘relational’ theology in the article I read was inspiring… You’ll probably not know, but we looked each other in the eyes once, immediately understanding one another, as we passed through the barriers at Lambeth North underground station, going in opposite directions…]
  4. Pope Benedict XVI [put solar panels on the Vatican, but – hmm – is still anti-abortion]
  5. Fazlun Khalid [the honorary Muslim on the list – in at no.7]
  6. Sister Miriam MacGillis [nun who set up an earth-loving peace farm somewhere, whom I’ve heard of before]
  7. Father Thomas Berry [co-author of one of my favourite books, the Universe Story – weaves together stories of science and culture]

Also highly commended were Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sallie McFague, and a nice smiley guy called Allen. Noticeably no Mormons, Moonies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists – or Selfish Genes – in the list.


One Response to “Wake up and smell the planet”

  1. An iceberg sank the Titanic. Now meet its mother « Sumptuous World Says:

    […] Christian, Shia, Sunni, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist and Jewish religious leaders, at the invitation of Patriarch Bartholomew I, were at the glacier yesterday. Looking on the bright side, such global environmental problems can […]

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