Environmentalism

Biden vs. Bork, 1988: Democrats Smear a SCOTUS Nominee

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared in the May 1988 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. Many people have asked me what it was like to live through the nomination and hearings of my husband, Robert Bork. I usually answer that it was like being besieged in a battle where the reinforcements [...]

What Is the Purpose of Our Planet?

Pop star Miley Cyrus told Elle magazine that she and her husband Liam Hemsworth did not intend to have children. Like many millennials, “We don’t want to reproduce because we know the earth can’t handle it.” Cyrus, who declares she’s “such an over-thinker,” doesn’t want to bring children into the world because “[w]e’re getting handed [...]

Pan-Amazon Pandemonium

There’s a funny scene in Oklahoma in which Curly sings a slyly mocking song about Jud Fry, the menacing hired hand. Curly assures Jud that though people dislike him now, they’ll miss him when he’s gone. To make the point, he imagines Jud’s funeral and how people will lament his passing. And so the audience [...]

The Amazon Synod Goes Native

Every now and then, the utopians in our midst dust off Rousseau’s Noble Savage thesis and try to convince us that life in the jungle beats life in the air-conditioned suburbs. The general idea is that people who live close to the state of nature are spiritually superior to “civilized” people who have lost touch [...]

Dust or Humus? The Advent of Human Composting

Christians have just completed Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday with the tracing of ashen crosses on foreheads and the formula “Remember, man, that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Lent leads to Easter, where Christians are reminded they are more than dust—their mortal shells formed from “the dust of the earth” [...]

Science Is Never Settled

In his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore promotes the view that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) is fact and has caused nearly every malady in recent history from hurricane Katrina to the spread of malaria. What’s more, things are going to get worse; it’s not a question of if but when and how [...]

What Makes the Christian Worldview Different from the Rest

One cannot live without developing opinions about the nature of reality, so every well-defined culture and faith naturally introduces its members to a way of seeing the world. While we can easily name many different worldviews, perhaps the five most important ones are: 1) Chinese, 2) Indian, 3) Muslim, 4) secular humanist, and 5) Christian. [...]

Human Composting: The Ultimate Denial of the Soul

From time immemorial, people have buried the dead. Sometimes they even risked their lives to carry out this most basic duty. In times of persecution, for example, Christians put themselves in great danger to recover the bodies of martyrs so that they might receive the holy rites of Christian burial. The Old Testament recounts the [...]

The Great Emergency

That every five hundred years the Church passes through a crisis is not a novel insight. It may be something of a contrived schematic, since there have been other crises as well, but each of those periods of crisis has influenced the Church to an extraordinary and radical degree: The Fall of the Roman Empire, [...]

Look at That: Ecology and Culture

When the astronaut Edgar Mitchell recalled seeing Earth from a lunar vantage point, he offered a priceless quote: You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. [...]

Does “Climate Change” Cause Hunger?

Though I was born on a farm, I was raised in small-town Iowa. Thus, I was never a farmer, though my grandfathers were. Several of my aunts, uncles, and cousins formed farming families. I remember seeing, due to mechanization, the size of farms that one family could handle pass in size from a quarter-section, to [...]

Post Mortem of a Religious Order

First, a little statement in the interest of complete transparency: This article touches on the issue of fracking for oil and natural gas. I freely acknowledge that I am very “pro-fracking” and have family members in Oklahoma who work in the industry. The practice has been around since the 1940s, and when done properly, it [...]

The Death of Harambe: Comedy or Tragedy?

On Memorial Day 2016, a day to remember and mourn the sacrifice of America’s war heroes, dozens of people gathered in Cincinnati to mourn and remember a gorilla. Over the Memorial Day weekend, a 3-year-old boy slipped through the barricades at the Cincinnati Zoo into the gorilla enclosure. The horrified crowd screamed as the child [...]

The New Literalism and Fundamentalism

Catholics—even more so liberal Catholics—are usually quick to criticize anyone who seems to interpret Scripture too literally. Indeed, liberal Catholics often don’t even want to view a lot of it as historical. Liberal Catholics and leftists generally are also ready to rebuke people who adhere to aspects of traditional Christian morality, especially sexual matters, as [...]

Laudato Si’ and the Selling of Body Parts

The recent revelations surrounding the selling of fetal body parts by Planned Parenthood highlight a crisis in contemporary society depicted in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’. With uncanny insight, Pope Francis had written, “the culture of relativism is the same disorder which drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects…. Is [...]

Unreliable Eco Forecasts Produce Unnecessary Fear

During this latest period of heightened environmental interest given by a new round of international conferences, hoped for treaties and now also a papal encyclical, there is a rather curious embrace of the predictions of environmental science as forecasts that are to be believed, virtually at face value. “Studies show…”, “predictions indicate…”, “the established science [...]

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Planned Parenthood has been caught selling baby parts and the headlines and talk show hosts are screaming with outrage. But not about that. About a guy who shot a lion in Zimbabwe. It turns out that the guy who shot the lion is a dentist. His office is just down the road from my home [...]

Environmentalism That Harms the Poor

I recently begged the Holy Father, in this magazine’s print edition, to be very careful in anything he might say about global warming in his then forthcoming (but, alas, now published) encyclical on the environment, not least because there has actually been no global warming to speak of for more than 18 years now and because [...]

Getting to Know the Real St. Francis

Franciscan peace is not something saccharine. Hardly! That is not the real Saint Francis! Nor is it a kind of pantheistic harmony with forces of the cosmos. That is not Franciscan either! It is not Franciscan, but a notion that some people have invented! These words were not articulated by a representative of the Texas [...]

What Does “Sustainability” Really Mean?

The Pontifical Academy for Science’s summary of their recent conference on sustainability, itself anticipating our Holy Father’s (supposed) environmental encyclical, is suffused with scientific inaccuracies, some small, others large. But these are forgivable, considering the hearts of its authors are in the right place; and perhaps the theology of the document is sound. The PAS said, “Unsustainable [...]

Vatican Burns with Global Warming Enthusiasm

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences had its one-day global warming conference yesterday. Not unlike a certain synod, it ended with the issuing of an anticlimactic pre-prepared climatic document "Climate Change and The Common Good: A Statement Of The Problem And The Demand For Transformative Solutions." Gist: we are soon doomed unless we "do something." More on that [...]

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