Blog Action Day 2010 — Water

Blog Action Day

Clean water is essential for our survival, but dangerously scarce. Nearly one billion people in the world today don’t have access to clean water and 42,000 people die each week from water-borne diseases. And the issue doesn’t stop there — water availability impacts a wide variety of issues from the environment to women’s rights and from technology to fashion. If you’re unsure what to write about on October 15th, check out our list of water post suggestions to get started.

Last year, Blog Action Day included influential voices ranging from the White House to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. This year, we’re looking forward to an even larger group of influential voices, from celebrities to politicians, to help widen the scope of our conversation.

But we need your help to get the momentum going.

Register today and help kick-off Blog Action Day 2010!


Imagine a world without fish

It’s a frightening premise, and it’s happening right now. A Sea Change follows the journey of retired history teacher Sven Huseby on his quest to discover what is happening to the world’s oceans. After reading Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Darkening Sea,” Sven becomes obsessed with the rising acidity of the oceans and what this “sea change” bodes for mankind. His quest takes him to Alaska, California, Washington, and Norway as he uncovers a worldwide crisis that most people are unaware of.  [See Movie Trailer for “A Sea Change” and read more…]

International Year of Biodiversity: 2010

The International Year of Biodiversity offers an unprecedented opportunity to talk about, promote and increase biodiversity protection. The Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity and other United Nations Agencies have planned numerous activities to celebrate the year. Read more on the International Year of Biodiversity on the CBD IYB website.

New online course explores scientific and spiritual dimensions of climate change

An online study course on the Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change has just been made available by the International Environment Forum (IEF), a Baha’i-inspired organization addressing environment and sustainable development. Imparting a sweeping overview of both the scientific and spiritual dimensions of the issue, the free course is intended to inspire a range of appropriate actions at the grassroots level. The new course draws upon the Baha’i writings as well as the sacred scriptures of other religions, in addition to the latest scientific research. People of all faiths are encouraged to form groups to study the materials together. [Read more…]

World’s major religions present action plans on environment

BWNS Story

WINDSOR, United Kingdom — Leaders representing the world’s major religions, including the Baha’i Faith, gathered yesterday at historic Windsor Castle to formally launch a series of action plans involving their communities in a long-term effort to protect the environment.

They were joined by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and HRH The Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in a celebratory meeting that emphasized the role religion can play to inspire grassroots change and make “peace with the planet.”

“I have long believed that when governments and civil society work toward a common goal, transformational change is possible,” said Mr. Ban. “Faiths and religions are a central part of that equation.

“Indeed, the world’s faith communities occupy a unique position in discussions on the fate of our planet and the accelerating impacts of climate change,” he said. [Read more…]

Baha'i delegates Arthur Lyon Dahl and Tahirih Naylor receive certificates. They are pictured with Prince Philip, founder of ARC; Martin Palmer of ARC; and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Baha’i delegates Arthur Lyon Dahl and Tahirih Naylor receive certificates. They are pictured with Prince Philip, founder of ARC; Martin Palmer of ARC; and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon

Related Story – Barney Leith’s observations on the Windsor Summit.

Baha’is join global plan for “generational change” on climate change

Baha’i World News Service Story      

NEW YORK — The Baha’i International Community today announced that it has become a partner in a United Nations-sponsored program to promote “generational change” to address climate change and environmental sustainability.

The program, which is co-sponsored by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), seeks to promote lifestyle changes that will help slow global warming and other environmental problems during a seven-year period from 2010 to 2017.

“We are very pleased to join with other world religions and with the United Nations in this inspiring initiative to promote lasting change in the way people interact with the environment,” said Tahirih Naylor, a representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations.

“The significance of this effort is the manner in which it capitalizes on the strengths of faith communities – such as their strong grassroots network and the transformative power of religious belief – to address environmental problems at their foundation, which is human behavior. [Read more…]

Blog Action Day 2009: Addressing Climate Change

In observance of Blog Action Day 2009 we joined more than 13,000 bloggers from around the world with a post on climate change. At last count, the topic had been probed by bloggers in 155 countries, reaching a combined readership of more than 18 million. This may set a record for social networking. It is certainly timely as an expression of support for a fair, binding and effective international agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in December!

Blog Action

Climate change comprises one of the greatest challenges the human race has ever faced, and (as noted in numerous posts on this site and others), it has profound moral and ethical dimensions. Those who have contributed least to the problem stand to suffer the greatest consequences. Nonetheless, ultimately we all lose if we don’t act responsibly now, both to mitigate the causes of climate change and help those who are vulnerable adapt to its impacts.

Climate change is testing humanity’s vision and will. Shall entrenched national and sectarian interests prevail, or shall we seize the opportunity hidden within climate change to rise to a new level of human maturity – the next stage in our collective evolution?

Such a step will require us all, individually and collectively, to recognize ourselves as citizens of one world and take responsibility for the wellbeing of all the inhabitants of the planet. An effective future agreement on climate change must have at its core the principle of the oneness of humanity.

Ethics are ‘missing dimension’ in climate debate, says IPCC head

Baha’i World News Service Story ( September 23, 2009)

NEW YORK — The inequities and injustices that are likely to occur on a global level because of climate change mean that world leaders must carefully examine the moral and ethical dimensions of global warming, said Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“The impacts of climate change are going to be inequitable, unequal, and severe in many parts of the world,” said Dr. Pachauri, who spoke today at a breakfast meeting at the Baha’i International Community offices.

“We have to think at a much higher level. And I think this is where ethics comes in so critically as the missing dimension in this debate,” he said.   [Read more…]

Go to the  Baha’i International Community – UN Office site for a copy of the Appeal and video coverage of Dr. Pachauri’s talk.


Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, head of Nobel-prize winning IPCC

Conference: Religion joins with science to address environment issues

(Baha’i World News Service Story – September 17, 2009)

WASHINGTON — People’s spiritual beliefs affect their attitude toward climate change, with religious groups increasingly helping to frame humanity’s response to environmental issues.

That was one of the messages from a session at the 33rd annual conference of the Association for Baha’i Studies, held in mid-August in Washington, D.C. The gathering drew nearly 1,000 participants from some 20 countries.

The theme of the conference was “Environments,” and one of the plenary speakers was Peter G. Brown, a geography professor at McGill University in Montreal who has participated in the Moral Economy Project of the Quaker Institute for the Future.

(Read more…)

HOME: The story of the human impact of life on Earth

The 90 minute video, HOME, is a powerful narrative of life on Earth and the impact of humans on Earth’s life systems.  It begs the question – what are we to do given this information?  It’s worth a watch and a discussion.