Showing posts from March, 2013

Green Aesthetics I

In my posts of August 8 and 15 (Color it Green I & II) I mentioned green aesthetics and suggested that the term might describe not only architectural design but also life styles.  Beauty is the heart of aesthetics and living in beauty is at the heart of a green aesthetic.

In my posts Life on the Wild Edge I & II (January 1 and 15, 2012) I discussed what, for us at Hidden Springs (our home), were some of our attempts to live aesthetically green lives.  I’d like to use this posting and to touch on these efforts again. When I say ‘our’ I’m referring to me and my artist wife Penny (

There is a spiritual beauty in living intentionally as lightly on Earth as one can and a special sense of peace in creating a habitat that has a light, even minimal impact on the environment.

Although I never thought I’d find much nice to say about energy providers I have to admit that routinely getting a comparative report of our electrical consumption from our pow…

What Mercy ? (II)

Continued from the previous posting.
Africa is no stranger to the sounds of automatic weapons fire and it is also no stranger to poaching.   Elephants are high on the list of those species slaughtered for profit and this continual massacre is prompted by the desire of some religious adherents to possess religious icons carved from elephant ivory.  
In 2012, the Religion and Conservation Research Collaborative of the Society for Conservation Biology turned its attention to this issue following an article in National Geographic by Bryan Christy titled Blood Ivory.  Christy places the responsibility for the slaughter at the door of Catholicism and Buddhism, in some parts of the world. It is the hope of the Advisory Committee of the Collaborative and others that some influence can be brought to bear on religion at the institutional stage to speak out to their co-religionists to help stop the use of ivory for religious icons and thus reduce the number of elephant who fall victim to the poach…

What Mercy ? (I)

In July of 2007 I was given permission by the Board of Governors of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) to form an exploratory committee to look into the relationships between conservation and religion.  A handful of society members rapidly grew to several hundred and we were granted Working Group status by the SCB ( Over the years the Working Group has involved itself in a number of tasks. Most recently those tasks have focused on a religious practice called mercy release and on the use of elephant ivory for religious objects.  I have served on the Advisory Committee for both efforts.

Fang sheng is a practice by Buddhists and Daoists for releasing captive wildlife as an act of compassion. According to SCB’s Religion and conservation Research collaborative, this type of animal release causes “…adverse effects on biodiversity including the spread of invasive species, genetic swamping, extreme animal su…