The following is the Mission Statement for this site.
To work with people of faith and with churches to provide technically sound leadership in response to the predicaments of a finite world.
People of Faith
The materials at this site, blog and book are directed primarily to people of faith who are aware of the momentous changes that are taking place in the world, mostly to do with climate change. However, they hear so many conflicting messages that they are unsure as to how serious these changes may be and how they and their communities may be affected. They want to know the truth. They also want guidance as to how they can respond, and how they can best provide badly needed leadership.
The response to the predicaments we face can be either bottom-up (people working by themselves or in small groups), or it can be top-down. Both approaches are needed. The top-down approach often means working within existing large organizations, including the church.
The issues we discuss at this site are technically very complex and difficult to understand. Most church leaders do not have a background in mathematics, science or technology. Therefore, there is a danger that they could promote programs that are unrealistic and that cannot work.
The article Episcopal Renewable Energy Proposal provides an example of this concern. In the year 2019 the Episcopal Church (USA) issued a policy statement to do with renewable energy. On its surface, the statement is something that we can all support. However, an analysis of the proposal with regard to energy and project management basics shows that it is not technically feasible. Nor does it recognize project management realities.
A fundamental premise of the work at this site, the book and the blog is that we face predicaments, not problems. Problems have solutions, predicaments do not. When faced with a predicament we can respond and adapt, but we cannot make it go away. It is this way of thinking that lies at the basis of the second theological point, Accept and Adapt.
We live in a finite world. We are using up the earth’s resources such as fresh water, crude oil and fish in the sea. We are also filling up the environment with our waste products. (Of these the most serious is carbon dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere.) And we are degrading and destroying the biosphere — ranging from coral reefs, to the Amazon rain forest, to iconic animals such as polar bears.
Another term that is used at this site to describe this dilemma is ‘Age of Limits’. Moreover, these limits are linked to one another, often in difficult-to-identify ways. A more detailed description of these issues is provided in the article An Age of Limits.
One topic that is not in the Mission Statement is social justice. This is not because the subject is not important — indeed, it is of central importance, particularly to people of faith. Those at the lower end of the economic scale are affected the most severely by events such as climate change. Yet the changes that we discuss are going to affect everyone, regardless of their social or economic standing. Our response needs to be for society as a whole.
In order to help achieve the goals of the Mission Statement, it is suggested that the following three items be considered. These items may also be of use to professional theologians and seminarians as they develop new ways of thinking that are appropriate for the new and rather scary world that we are entering.
The three items are:
Understand and tell the truth.
Accept and adapt.
Live within the biosphere — materially and spiritually.
1. Understand and Tell the Truth
Telling the truth goes beyond simply not lying. In the context of the discussions at this site it means understanding the basic scientific truths that form the foundation of climate change and the other predicaments that we face.
In the discussion to do with Augustine of Hippo we see that he was absolutely insistent that Christians tell the truth, regardless of the consequences. He did not even accept the validity of white lies.
2. Accept and Adapt
3. Live within the Biosphere