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Showing posts with the label stewardship

Remembering Wisdom

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I'm a Christian. So why, one might ask, am I not denouncing something most folks enjoy: like demon rum or Bingo? Or playing the Grinch for Halloween?

Or enjoying a friendly pint with the boys, but adding my voice to the ensemble 'prophesying' the purported perils of fantasy and imagination?

Or at least stalwartly refusing to learn anything we didn't know before the 18th century....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Science in 2017

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It may not be an 'official' end-of-year custom, but many folks make lists as New Year approaches.

BBC News made a list of eight "amazing science stories" of 2017.

I can see how the stories are "amazing," from their viewpoint, and not surprised that they saw a world politics item as scientific. On the other hand, they included one of the 'gravitational wave' stories, so I won't complain.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

California Fires, 2017

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The good news is that only a small fraction of California is on fire or incinerated.

The bad news is that this year's California wildfires have been big, destructive, and aren't over yet.

I'll be talking about a few of the fires, why I think troubles aren't over for folks living in California, a little about wildfires in general. Also how I see disasters, God, nature and beliefs: sensible and otherwise.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Antarctic 'Hot' Spots

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Some scientists say there'll be more carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere this year. They may be right.

I think the information's interesting, and may be meaningful. But I'm pretty sure this isn't a portent of doom.

Neither is a new and more detailed map of Antarctica's bedrock temperatures.

I'll be talking about that, the Halley VI base getting back in operation: and why I think we should keep learning about how Earth's climate works.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

More Disasters

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The good news is that folks on the Gulf Coast probably won't be affected by Hurricane Irma. Not directly.

Cleanup and rebuilding there is taking a back seat to news of this weekend's hurricane and Mexico's major earthquake.

I'll be talking about this week's disasters, and how folks deal with them. Also faith, reasonable and otherwise, and a little science....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Taking God Seriously

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We live in a big world. We've known that for a long time, and have been impressed.
"How great are your works, LORD! How profound your designs!" (Psalms 92:6) But impressive as what we see is, God is greater: almighty, infinite, eternal. Ineffable, beyond what can be expressed in words.

That's pretty much what God told Moses in the 'burning bush' interview:
"'But,' said Moses to God, 'if I go to the Israelites and say to them, "The God of your ancestors has sent me to you," and they ask me, "What is his name?" what do I tell them?' "God replied to Moses: I am who I am. Then he added: This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:13-14) Moses said "but" three times before their talk was over. I've talked about him before, and other prophets. Mary also asked a question: a sensible one. I get the impression that her reaction was calmer than theirs.

More at A Catho…

Old Truths, New Aspects

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The biggest critters with backbones are living today: baleen whales.

Finding the largest of them started getting harder about a century back.

We didn't quite drive the blue and fin whales to extinction, happily.

We're learning when they got so big, and maybe why.

We're also learning more about origins of dinosaurs and the domestic cat. It's not the same origin.

One happened around the time we started storing grain, the other 200,000,000 years ago. Give or take a bit.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Climate Change, Whirligig Icebergs

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Climate change is still in the news. Don't worry, I won't rant about impending doom, or say that Earth's climate isn't changing.

This planet's climate has been changing for several billion years. I'd be astounded if it stopped changing now.

How much we know and understand about our own past, and Earth's, is also changing. I'll be talking about that, and why I'm not upset that we're learning.

I'll also take a look at (real) climate change, why I think we are not doomed, and choices we must make soon. "Soon," in this case, is somewhere in the next millennium or so. My opinion. We really do not want to make these decisions hastily....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Mars: Leaky Red Planet

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What we're learning about Mars, and a new type of really small spacecraft, reminded me of earth, air and kilts.

Also pharaohs, Thomas Paine, and Lord Kelvin. By then I was running out of time to write something more tightly-organized.

I figured you might be interested in some of what I have written. On on the other hand, maybe not. So I added links to my ramblings before and after what I said more-or-less about the science news, and figure you can decide what's interesting and what's not.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Bogs and Bison

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The good news is that bison are back in Banff, and Britain's bogs may bounce back, too. Keeping wetlands wet isn't what many folks had in mind, back in my youth.

But as I keep saying, we've learned quite a bit since then....

...This post's afterword is a quick look at how folks have perceived natural resources, plus a bit about pessimism and being human....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Urban Evolution and Big Brains

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Life, and evolution, has been happening for quite a while. Cities are new, but the same processes happen there; with slightly different results. We're learning how urban environments affect critters, and are piecing together more of humanity's story....

...I see no problem with believing that God is creating a universe that's following knowable physical laws. That's just as well, since it's what we're told to believe....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Near-Earth Asteroids

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Scientists spotted 2016 UR36 days before it passed by Earth. "Killer asteroids" headlines notwithstanding, we knew it would miss our planet by a comfortable margin.

Sooner or later, though, something big will hit Earth: again. We still can't prevent that, not yet.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Earth Overshoot Day and Pollinators

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Australia's Earth Overshoot Day happened earlier this week. It used to be called Ecological Debt Day, involves a lot of math, and assumes that Earth's glaciers, deserts, and oceans, are pretty much all the same thing. The basic idea, that we shouldn’t waste resources, isn't silly, and I'll get back to that.

Some other scientists say that we should pay attention to pollinators. I think they're right.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Can I Be a Good Steward and a Good Samaritan?

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Another week of life usurping my time with the Navigating Your Finances God's Way  and our small group gathering - I guess Easter evening not the best time for such things.  We are scheduled for later this week - so I better get caught up on my reading!!   Though, truth be told, it is not really difficult for me to be drawn into this study.  The text, scriptures and questions are not only engaging but also RELEVANT!

This week is GENEROSITY ... as Jesus teaches, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35)  I have often thought of myself as generous to a fault, it will be interesting as we move through this chapter if others would see me that way too.  It will also be interesting to discover if my generosity has played any role in where we are financially - both to the positive and the negative.  Without reading a word - I am going to speculate on something.   My giving when done with the purest of intentions and through the counsel of the Holy Spirit - I wou…

The Halloween Asteroid: 2015 TB145

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(From Alex Alishevskikh, cyberborean.org; via Flikr and Space.com, used w/o permission.)
("Trail of the object that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013."
(Space.com))

Asteroid 2015 TB145 won't hit Earth, but it will be only slightly farther from us than the Moon at 1:05 p.m. EDT, 5:05 p.m. UTC, October 31. I've talked about asteroids, Earth Time, and why thinking ahead makes sense, before....

...Fifty years ago, we probably wouldn't have noticed an incoming asteroid until very shortly before it hit. Even if we did, there wouldn't have been much we could do, apart from praying — and that's another topic....

More at More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Setting Earth's Thermostat

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Events like the Pinatubo eruptions of 1991 happen about once a century — on average — roughly.

Some scientists say that next time there's a Pinatubo-scale eruption, we should deploy a fleet of instrument-carrying aircraft, balloons, and satellites: to see exactly what happens when sulfur dioxide and other chemicals get dumped into the upper atmosphere.

We know that the stuff causes regional and global climate changes: but we don't know exactly how the process works.

There's more than pure scientific curiosity behind wanting this knowledge. Earth's climate is changing, which is par for the course: but we're at a point where our actions can affect climate.

The job at hand is leaning how Earth's climate works, how it changes, and what causes the changes. Then we'll decide what to do about that knowledge....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Environmentalism: Using the Brains God Gave Us

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I remember the 'good old days:' seeing house-size gobs of suds floating down the Mississippi; and a year when my eyes stung, except on Sundays, when the city's air cleared up. I don't miss the 'good old days.' (April 11, 2011; November 10, 2010)

I was already concerned about pollution, wildlife management, and other environmental issues, when the first green Earth Day flag went up in 1972.

At the time, I was glad that environmental awareness was spreading; and thought that some 'environmentalists' had more enthusiasm than good sense. I'm still glad that more folks started 'thinking green;' and think that Captain Planet helped make environmentalism look silly.

Sadly, some folks still seem to have learned their facts about science and ecology by watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Tentacles.
Delicate and Fragile as Cockroaches and Thistles The good news is that some scientists, at least, have apparently realized that…

Lowering Costs on the Earth-to-Orbit Run, Preparing for Incoming Asteroids

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Getting scared silly by the latest doomsday prediction is silly. So is ignoring real threats.


(Copyright M. Ahmetvaleev, via NASA News, used w/o permission.)

The Chelyabinsk meteor didn't kill anyone. Only 1,100 or so folks needed medical treatment: for injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to a broken spine. Next time, we may not get off so lightly. Now is a very good time to start getting ready for an incoming asteroid....

...Looking Ahead
(Reaction Engines Limited/Terra Novus, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Reaction Engines Limited's Skylon spaceplane.)

Apart from Space Shuttle fleet, now out of service, and recoverable capsules like Space-X's Dragon, launch vehicles are still a single-use technology. That makes getting into space very expensive.

A decade from now, we'll probably see shipping rates go down: dramatically, I suspect.

Reaction Engines Limited's Skylon is scheduled for a test flight to the International Space Station in 2019. Quite a f…