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Ian Punnett's Blog Post 4/10/10

Ian Punnett's Blog Post 4/10/10

Friday night I enjoyed my conversation with Art Bell about his El Nino-dominated weather patterns in the Philippines and my complete lack of snow for the entire month of March in Minnesota. In fact, March was balmy, a trend that has meant way-above average temperatures for April as well.

Rain is coming, I’m told, but we haven’t had much in the way of April showers so far and the first warnings about grassfires has already been issued months ahead of summer.

What does this mean for you? Potentially, higher food prices but according to USA Today, it could get much worse than that:

Seventy-five years have passed since the worst of the Dust Bowl, a relentless series of dust storms that ravaged farms and livelihoods in the southern Great Plains that carried a layer of silt as far east as New York City. Today, the lessons learned during that era are more relevant than ever as impending water shortages and more severe droughts threaten broad swaths of the nation.

The storms, made worse by insufficient crop rotation and other farming practices that eroded the soil, unleashed one of the biggest migrations in American history, as thousands fled from Texas and Oklahoma to places such as California. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department oversees America's land and other natural resources, says another period of mass "relocation" is possible in the 21st century — especially if rain patterns and temperatures change as some expect.

"As we see the effects of climate change … we're going to have to become even more cognizant of our relationship with land, water and wildlife," Salazar says.

Improving our awareness of the relationship with “land, water and wildlife” means different things to different people. To columnist Lisa Hymas of “Grist.org,” it means thinking of all the water you’ll save by not filling up backyard kiddie pools.

She writes:

I come here before you today to make (a) proclamation... I am thoroughly delighted by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do (for the environment) is to have no children at all.

Making the green choice too often feels like a sacrifice or a hassle or an expense. In this case, it feels like a luxurious indulgence that just so happens to cost a lot less for me and weigh a lot less on the carbon-bloated atmosphere.

I call myself a GINK: green inclinations, no kids.


Yeah, “Gink.” That sounds about right. That’s so much better than “Smunks”--smug urbans, no kids.

Sunday night on Coast to Coast we will follow the money in the Catholic priest pedophile scandal. As our guest Jason Berry wrote recently for the Catholic Reporter, the money trail is definitely traceable to the top:

“In his time, the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado was the greatest fundraiser of the modern Roman Catholic church. He was also a magnetic figure in recruiting young men to religious life in an era when vocations were plummeting. Behind that exalted façade, however, Maciel was a notorious pedophile, and a man who fathered several children by different women. His life was arguably the darkest chapter in the clergy abuse crisis that continues to plague the church.

“The saga of the disgraced founder of the Legion of Christ, a secretive, cult-like religious order now under Vatican investigation, opens into a deeper story of how one man's lies and betrayal dazzled key figures in the Roman curia and how Maciel's money and success helped him find protection and influence. For years, the heads of Vatican congregations and the pope himself ignored persistent warnings that something was rotten in the community where Legionaries called their leader Nuestro Padre , "Our Father," and considered him a living saint.”

Yes, Fr. Maciel was definitely star of the church in one of the darkest chapters of Christian history but he was a dark star that collapsed on itself until it became a black hole, a black hole that is swallowing “the light of the world” that the church represents.

More on Sunday night...