Category: ecology

  • Green Junction: Climate, Advent, and Hope by Julie Peller, Ph.D.

    Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese recently wrote an article in Earthbeat (National Catholic Reporter) expressing his profound concern about climate change: the inaction, the minimal communication, and general apathy toward human/earth rights. “Advent should be a time of hope. As a social scientist, I have little hope. As a Christian, I must have hope. This Advent, I will […]

  • Green Junction by Julie Peller, Ph.D. ~ Thinking about school buses.

    According to the US EPA, “school buses travel about four billion miles yearly, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children daily.” One problem with diesel-powered school buses is the toxic fumes that are emitted. Thanks to government mandates requiring cleaner diesel fuel and updated engine technologies, there […]

  • Green Junction: Have you ever thought about trees? by Julie Peller Ph.D.

    The glorious colors of the trees in the fall are a reminder of nature’s beauty. Trees provide so much more than stunning foliage. Trees clean the air, filter water, control water drainage, sustain biodiversity, provide a home for animals, take in carbon dioxide, store carbon, and are a significant source of oxygen; and the list […]

  • Green Junction: Thinking about Fashion. By Julie Peller Ph.D.

    When goods and energy are subsidized, the price is not the real cost but a reduced and often harmfully artificial one. For example, synthetic fabrics known as nylon and polyester are made from subsidized fossil fuels. The artificially low price of these clothing and textile items leads to higher sales and shorter use times. The […]

  • Green Junction: “monsoons on steroids” by Julie Peller, Ph.D.

    Over the past months, intensive and extensive flooding in Pakistan has been described as “monsoons on steroids” and “unprecedented.” The human toll at this point is near 1600 deaths, 11 million people driven further below poverty, and 33 million displaced. The country’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, described the connection to climate change. “Pakistan has never seen […]

  • Green Junction: “It is our collective and individual responsibility: By Julie Peller Ph.D.

    Younger generations tend to express greater concern about the state of the earth. Their futures are challenged by the rising human population that generates greenhouse gases, pollution, and extorts natural resources, among other stressors. Societal messaging continues to promote materialism, which distresses nature. Unprecedented weather events are among the earth’s messages. Young people who recognize […]

  • Merton: a ‘mystical experience.’

    In 1966, Merton wrote about a ‘mystical experience’ in a Louisville, Ky., shopping district, commonly known as the 4th & Walnut experience. Merton famously wrote: “I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even […]

  • There’s no better time for a movement to stand up. By Julie Peller, Ph.D.

    “Morality, at its core, is about putting ourselves in others’ shoes and treating their interests as we do our own.” Oxford University Professor of Philosophy William MacAskill is the author of “What We Owe the Future.” In this writing, he imagines “living the life of every human being who has ever existed — in order […]

  • Green Junction: Do we understand PFAS? By Julie Peller Ph.D.

    The acronym PFAS is now common to those who pay attention to chemical pollutants. PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. These are manufactured chemical compounds that contain a lot of fluorine. It is important to note that natural fluorine-containing compounds are scarce. PFAS are very stable in the natural environment and are often labeled […]

  • Green Junction: Greenwashing by Julie Peller Ph.D.

    The term greenwashing refers to communications by companies meant to convince consumers their products or services are environmentally sound when this is not the case. Greenwashing is a deceitful or embellishing marketing gimmick directed at sustainably-minded consumers who want to buy goods and services that are not harmful to the environment. One poll found that 75% of […]