Tag Archives: Overconsumption

What climate activists can learn from Sunday School leaders

Preaching is not so easy as many think. Trying to convince people of certain matters is even more difficult.

Those who believe God created the world do know that they have to take responsibility in a wise way for the creation of the Most High, which we only have in loan. Christians do have no excuse, the should all they can to keep our universe as best as possible, taking care not polluting it and not wasting the precious material we our given by the Most High.

But Christians also do have the task to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God and to try this world in the meantime a nice good place to live in peace. For that reason they should try to convince others also to take care of this planet.

When we see how our world is evolving it is high time Christians do something for the environment and get as many people involved in the protection of the weaker and those who have no voice humans listen to (animals and plants)

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To remember

Robert White = development economics and planning consultant based in London = considers need for increased public support of emissions mitigation policies + encourages everyone to play their part.

  • We can’t all be ‘young heroes’ => everybody can inspire change
  • To make a difference =/= need to fly to Paris, work for a green start-up, or get teargassed by the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité.
  • Charles De Gaulle airport Terminal 2E seems incredibly mundane compared to the energy of the COP21 centre at Le Bourget.
  • influence country’s leader as a voting citizen
  • learned in Copenhagen > leaders may need assistance in details > need to balance ambitious climate policies with citizens’ other demands
  • what is at stake with climate change = much bigger problem > leaders < If short term economy = top of peoples’ priority lists => leaders’ hands are tied.
  • 15% of people think climate change = one of top three issues facing UK in the next twenty years
  • 34% included the economy
  • To seriously mitigate emissions = people to shift from green consumption to less consumption + accept trade-offs => Higher taxes  to discourage high carbon consumption + pay for green infrastructure
  • need to increase public support of emissions reducing policies if we want to see change
  • achieve increased support for low emissions policies = couple of transferable ideas from old Sunday School teachings
  • climate change mitigation.
  • 1: need to get out there + engage.
    Evangelising =/= insular group.
    Church goers + environmental movements > become comfortable > attendance being more about socialising than sharing faith
  • 2:  engaging often better at personal level than a preachy one
    Demonstrations + Facebook posts = not good enough
  • 3: practice what we preach + demonstrate our conviction through our day to day actions
    People more inspired to act <= see similar person to themselves actually living out what they say
    Take the plank out your own eye
  • Winning voters’ minds = difficult = important area that we can all make a difference

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Preceding

The natural beauties of life

First man’s task still counting today

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Senator Loren Legarda says climate change not impossible to address

Away with it oh no! – Weg er mee, oh neen

God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace

 

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Additional reading

  1. Taking care of mother earth
  2. Facing disaster fatigue
  3. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  4. Time to consider how to care for our common home
  5. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  6. First man’s task still counting today
  7. Being fit to take care of a garden
  8. Three pillars of sustainable development, young people and their rights
  9. Pope Francis Raises Hopes for an Ecological Church
  10. Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you

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WE ARE RESTLESS

Robert White is a development economics and planning consultant based in London. In this post he considers the need for increased public support of emissions mitigation policies and encourages everyone to play their part.

We can’t all be ‘young heroes’, but everybody can inspire change. To make a difference you don’t need to fly to Paris, work for a green start-up, or get teargassed by the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité.

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Educational affairs, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Continued nostalgic Christmas memories

In Christmas in the 1950s we looked a first time at the way we and experienced the Winter holidays and enjoyed watching the movies.

When  had started sixth grade in Gretna, Louisiana to spend the next three years at the same “Grammar School” his life was common to those of his school mates.

Cover of one of the books of the Robert L. May...

Cover of one of the books of the Robert L. May story by Maxton Publishers, Inc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like in our country he had also real Christmas holidays, and had real Christmas programs at school. When we do hear our grand children and see what is done at schools for the Christmas holiday we do not see such nice activities like we had in school. Though, Today there are more people stressing that this is the Season of the Year, and several Christians are shouting that Christmas should be the Reason of the Season. But when they want to celebrate the birth of Christ, not much seems to remind people to that birth of the Jewish rabbi who is our saviour. On the streets and in the shops the so called Christmas songs do not really mention Jesus Christ but go on about reindeer, Santa(s), jingle bells and present, though not that special present or precious gift you could call Jesus Christ. The winter-related songs celebrate the climatic season, with all its snow, dressing up for the cold, sleighing, etc. and with the years all the pagan elements came more and more to the forefront, new mythical characters created, defined, and popularised by these songs; “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman” both introduced by Gene Autry a year apart (1949 and 1950 respectively).

In the previous century we gathered and special presentations were offered to sing carols.

remembers

We would sing Christmas carols, which included biblical songs. The school would give the children song sheets that showed the words to those biblical songs. Teachers were free to talk to their classes about their church lives. {120714 – Christmas Of Simpler Times}

Today lots of teachers are not allowed to speak about their religious life. They are not allowed to talk about Jesus Christ being the saviour. church live and talks about God are in many schools not authorised any more.

The kids have also nothing to share about church life, because most of them never go to church or just have some periods of church activity to prepare them for the first and/or second communion. they are not really interested in anything to do with church or with religion. The talk of the day is the new smartphone or any other new electronic gadget, plus laughing with one or the other posting on Facebook. Television lost grace in the hand of our grandchildren. The present generation does not watch so much television as we did or do, but have their eyes focused on the computer screen, watching al sorts of postings or games.

Most of my friends watched the same television programs. {120714 – Christmas Of Simpler Times}

writes

We didn’t have cable tv or dish types, so our selection was limited to traditional network programming. The programs were family oriented and were not restricted to “church and state” limitations.The Cleaver family went to church and Sunday School. Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Opie, and Gomer were shown in their church, even when Gomer might fall asleep and snore during the “Reverend’s” sermons.
The Christmas programs that were produced and shown by ABC, NBC, and CBS did not hide the fact that “Jesus was the reason for the season.” Television hosts did not omit “Jesus” from their discussions when they were talking about Christmas. Jesus was truly “God with us” during those programs. {120714 – Christmas Of Simpler Times}

Jesus nor God are the subject of this season. It is time that those who call themselves Christian and find that this should be a time to think about Christ Jesus, perhaps should do better to have others thinking about that special man who was sent by God for a specific reason.

In Belgium we listened, behind frosted windows, to songs like the one of Frank Sinatra who sung about the songs for you and me, but were told that this was all about that heathen character the Americans loved so much, because their country had become slave of consumption. Today we in Europe are not better off. Most people are slave of money and consumption. As in the previous article told, they even get so much stress that we have already time spend in the media about that ‘Christmas stress‘.

Of the time when every one falls in love there is not so much to see. In some American writings we hear that it is now fashionable to have a divorce around Christmas. Many have new years dreams of having some extramarital adventures with some delicious unknown and some even think it can be good fun to have some extra sex with somebody of their own gender. Those same gender relations are also promoted extra in this time of year. This week for example we had on television some gays who prepared meals for each other and talked every episode about the ‘Christmas kitsch’.

Merry Christmas (Bing Crosby album)

Merry Christmas (Bing Crosby album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the 1950ies and 1960ies from the States we got Andy Williams and Bing Crosby who be the must haves and must hears at the Winter holiday season. You may wonder what glow it is when snow would appear these days. But even the snow has given it up and Winter does not want to let see her face. Bing Crosby reminded people about what happened in Bethlehem and asked people to remember it not just in this particular season but the whole year through.

Judi Harbin remarked

Just as we cannot benefit from a wrapped gift under the Christmas tree until we open it, so gratitude can be seen as our way of opening the gift of God’s love intended by all the small and big positive events of our lives

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One of the Biggest Christmas hits in several families for years

“White christmas” by Bing Crosby (1942) Original

Later he made a more fluent, faster version, which I like more

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O Little Town Of Bethlehem – Bing Crosby

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Bing Crosby “The Secret Of Christmas”

“The Secret Of Christmas” was written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn for Bing Crosby, and was first performed by Bing in the 1959 film, ‘Say One For Me’. Bing recorded “The Secret Of Christmas” with an arrangement by Frank DeVol for a single that year released by Columbia Records. Bing recorded the song again in 1964 for the album 12 Songs Of Christmas with Fred Waring and His Orchestra.

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It may well be that after World War II our families had to overcome the shocks of the Great War and the last atrocity which showed the cruelty of man and made it so much more important to focus on the better soul of mankind. Perhaps it was truly a much simpler time of Christmas in our nation’s not too distant history.

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Preceding articles

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

Christmas in the 1950s

The Proper Place of Excess

Looking for the consummation of presents

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

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Additional reading

  1. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  2. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  3. Our love for Jesus – A Christian Science perspective
  4. Isaiah 55-56, Revelation 11
  5. God’s wrath and sanctification

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Further reading and listening

  1. Celebrating 365 Days of Legends, Folklore & Spirituality for December 17 – 23 – Saturnalia
  2. Countdown to Christmas 17: Saturnalia
  3. War On Christmas Memes: Saturnalia
  4. Christmas: it’s all about money, not messiahs.
  5. Why Did He Come?
  6. What Really Happened?
  7. He Loves You So
  8. 10 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy, Happy, Glow Over Christmas and Into the New Year
  9. Cancer survivor supports others battling the disease with massive Christmas light display
  10. Giving money for Christmas: When and how to do it right
  11. Carols by Candlelight
  12. “Hush, now listen…”
  13. Hymn, ‘Mary, Did You Know?’
  14. Carol, ‘I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing on Christmas Day’
  15. Joy to the World, Not Just Another Christmas Carol
  16. Christmas Carol Day 17
  17. Jubilation
  18. Manifestation
  19. “For hate is strong and mocks the song”–A Civil war Christmas carol
  20. Celebrating Christmas as a Family
  21. Holiday Decoration: Celebrate Christmas in Style
  22. Dec 18: My somewhere peaceful is Christmas magic
  23. New trending GIF tagged 80s christmas vhs 1987…

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Filed under Audio, History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Video

Less… is still enough

On the trash of the wealthy the poor try to survive – People who earn their living by collecting and sorting garbage and selling them for recycling, Payatas, Manila, Philippines.

Less… is still enough!

The facts.
The collective wealth of all the Belgian people is more than 2.000 billion euro (De Tijd). The 10 richest families together own almost half of all that wealth (Knack). Yearly in Europe – and you read it correctly – we throw away 590.000.000 ( five hundred and ninety million) tons of food. 20 % of all young people between 13 and 20 years of age  regularly think about suicide (Enquiry National Youth Service).

Are you still following?
Is each one of us not a prisoner of conventions, caught in material things and that what is on the surface? Are the energy we invest in production and the effort we make in order to consume, not out of proportion?

In the middle of progressive thinking the question arises about what proof we need to realise that some thing or other is getting out of hand? To put it in a different way: what else has to happen to us before we come to an insight ? Usually it is difficult to admit that to have ‘more’ and ‘property’ are addictive. With (a little) less it would become quite difficult for some. For the poor without doubt, because they always live with ‘less’.

Professions without borders
This is a televsion programme in which professional people from here go and cooperate with colleagues in far away countries. At the end of their trip, filled with experiences, each one of them nearly always has the same reaction:

Do we really realise what a good life we have in Belgium”?

Confronted with shortage and poverty, ‘people that have a lot’ get to know the inner side of ‘people with less’. The encounter is very emotional and touching. It is ‘enrichment’ that they receive from these ‘poor’ people. Who helps who?

Someone said it as follows:

“Since I live with less, I do not feel the shortage, but rather have the experience of ‘more'”.

Or less is more … or at least enough!

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Translation from the Dutch / Nederlands origineel: Met minder is… nog genoegBzN-Mov Without a Name-Logo_EN

 

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Additional reading:

  1. Capitalism
  2. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  3. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  4. Luxury
  5. Capitalism downfall
  6. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  7. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  8. European Year for combating poverty spurred mobilisation and commitment
  9. Yad Vashem: Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future
  10. Catherine Ashton on the EU annual report on human rights
  11. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  12. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #1 Up to 21st century
  13. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #2 First two decennia of 21st century
  14. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  15. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #4 The Family pact
  16. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #5 Housing
  17. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #6 Transport factor of immobilising financial growth
  18. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #7 Education
  19. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  20. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  21. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  22. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #11 Participation
  23. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  24. Poverty and measurement
  25. Poverty placed in history
  26. 1985-2012 Poverty in Europe
  27. 2014 Economics
  28. Poverty and conservative role patterns
  29. Ability for a community to come back from a crisis
  30. Bleak forecasts for children in the UK
  31. Violence against disabled children
  32. Anti-Crisis anger calling out
  33. A risk taking society
  34. Securing risks
  35. Green Claims in Europe
  36. A Snippet of Advice on Cultural Analysis
  37. The natural beauties of life
  38. Problems by losing the borders
  39. Migrants to the West #3
  40. US poverty worse than previous recessions
  41. Nearly 50 million poor North Americans
  42. Expanding opportunities for more American families
  43. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  44. Depression Is and When
  45. High time to review the right to keep and bear arms
  46. Your struggles develop your strengths
  47. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  48. From Winterdarkness into light of Spring
  49. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  50. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  51. Pope Francis says Catholics must become evangelisers
  52. Full text of Pope Francis’ Interview with ‘La Vanguardia’
  53. When we love we do not need laws
  54. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  55. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  56. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  57. All I want is peace!!!

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  • The Observer view on London’s wealth gap (theguardian.com)
    Striking new figures show that the proportion of households classified as either poor or wealthy has grown across the country in recent decades, leaving a shrinking middle. But it is in London that the trend is by far the most pronounced.

    London is now a city of contradictions. It is the richest part of the country, but also its most unequal, with the highest levels of poverty. It is home to some of the world’s most expensive real estate, but has the highest proportion of renters of any area of the country, many of whom are locked out of home ownership. It has some of the world’s best teaching hospitals, but suffers from profound health inequalities.

  • The Richest Have Never Been Richer: US Household Assets Rise To Record $97 Trillion (As The Poor Get Poorer) (infiniteunknown.net)
    In Q4 US household net worth jumped by $1.5 trillion to $82.9 trillion, driven by a rise in total assets to $97.1 trillion, even as the long awaited increase in “good debt”, that of mortgage debt, remains elusive and Mortgage debt hasn’t budged from $9.4 trillion in 8 quarters
  • In Europe, Parents’ Dismay as Syria Jihad Lures Troubled Teens (voanews.com)
    As Belgium braces for a verdict in Europe’s biggest trial of those accused of fostering Islamist violence in Syria, much attention is on poor Muslim immigrant communities’ struggle in a region blighted by youth unemployment.

    But for parents in Antwerp, a city on high alert since the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and police raids on Belgian jihadists, Wednesday’s ruling by judges there may never explain why their two sporty teenagers, with no Muslim heritage, abandoned comfortable homes to take up arms in the Middle East.

  • Thousands of Belgians protest against austerity measures (worldbulletin.net)
    About 10,000 people have gathered in the Belgian capital of Brussels to protest against the center-right government’s “austerity” measures.

    Workers and labor unions said on Wednesday they had been angered by austerity measures being imposed by Belgium’s new center-right government, which include a two-year extension to the age of retirement, cuts in spending on healthcare and delays to the indexation of wages in relation to prices.

    Between 8,000 and 10,000 people attended the demonstration, local media reported, where protesters held banners reading “No Poverty” and fired smoke flares at a square in central Brussels.

    Belgium’s four-party coalition government under Prime Minister Charles Michel, which took office on October 11, has also pledged to cut corporation tax from 33 percent to 25 percent.

  • Poverty in Germany reaches a record high (counterinformation.wordpress.com)
    “Poverty in Germany has not only reached a new record high, it has also threatened the country with disintegration into disparate regions.” Thus begins the annual poverty report of the German Federation of Welfare Associations.

    Although the economy has grown slightly and unemployment is relatively low, the poverty rate in Germany has increased; it has been rising almost continuously since 2006 and now stands at 15.5 percent. This means that about 12.5 million adults exist on less than €845 per month as unmarried persons or less than €1,873 in a family with two children.

  • Many foreigners escape fines on Belgian roads (deredactie.be)
    Xpats.com’s Robyn Boyle says that at present more often than not it’s only motorists from France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg that have to pay a fine, if they commit a traffic offence in Belgium.
  • 2 suspected Islamic recruiters arrested in Belgium (whitenewsnow.com)
    Belgium has been one of Western Europe’s nations to furnish the large numbers of foreign fighters in Syria relative to population size.
  • A Wealth Tax for California? (sandiegofreepress.org)
    California has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s main poverty measure, 16.8 percent of all Californians and 23.5 percent of the state’s children lived in poverty in 2013. Yet it also has the most billionaires  in the country: 111. The state’s 33,900 millionaire taxpayers  (just .2 percent of the state’s taxpayers) have combined incomes of $104 billion. According to the California Budget Project, California has the seventh widest income gap between rich and poor among the 50 states, ranking between Alabama and Texas.
  • Belgian coin spat awakens ghosts of Waterloo for the French (trib.com)
    Belgium is looking to change a commemorative Waterloo coin to an unofficial value of 3 euros ($3.18) to avoid what it called opposition from France. Coining unofficial values do not need backing from other countries in the 19-nation eurozone.
  • Microcredit Today: The Shift from Lending to Savings (mint.com)
    Increasingly, the world’s poor are able to securely borrow small amounts of money through microfinance institutes. This is proving to be an essential element of growth for poor or rural populations and their businesses.

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Economical affairs, Movement Without a Name, Social affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters