The Common Good

Blog Posts By Alycia Ashburn

Posted by Alycia Ashburn 2 years 2 weeks ago
I’ll be traveling to New York tomorrow with a number of Christian colleagues. We’re having a rally — a Climate Action Prayer Rally!  And you can join us! I’m not sure about you, but I’m incredibly disappointed that our nation’s leaders – from all sectors, all parties, and all levels – continually neglect to take leadership on our climate and energy crisis. There are many reasons that climate change should be a top election issue, but here are just a handful of the most important ones.
Posted by Alycia Ashburn 2 years 7 weeks ago
The melting of sea ice during summer in the Arctic is part a natural cycle, but the rate at which the sea ice is currently melting is unprecedented, as illustrated in today’s BBC News.  "Norwegian researchers report that the sea ice is becoming significantly thinner and more vulnerable.Last month, the annual thaw of the region's floating ice reached the lowest level since satellite monitoring began, more than 30 years ago.It is thought the scale of the decline may even affect Europe's weather."  
Posted by Alycia Ashburn 2 years 12 weeks ago
Last weekend the New York Times published an op-ed by University of California-Berkeley physics professor, Richard Muller, who said he has changed his professional opinion on the cause of global warming:“Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”Muller’s announcement sparked a media flurry throughout the week, and NPR’s Science Friday host, Ira Flatow, interviewed him today. You can listen to the audio recording HERE.
Posted by Alycia Ashburn 2 years 18 weeks ago
Last night I had the rare privilege of dining with the president of my alma mater, Luther College, as he accepted a well-deserved Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature on the college’s behalf. While I’d met President Richard Torgerson a couple of times before at alumni gatherings, I hadn’t had the opportunity to talk with him about the extensive sustainability efforts that the college has undergone during his tenure. And there have been a lot of such efforts to discuss. Nor had I been able to ask him about his experience as an entomologist. I was keen to find out if his love for bugs was inspired by a great professor, as mine was by Dr. Kirk Larsen in the biology department at Luther. It takes a special person, after all, to get others excited about God’s creepy crawly little creatures and to use that excitement to launch a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship.  
Posted by Alycia Ashburn 2 years 21 weeks ago
What is a climate orphan? Why is the term “fossil fuels” misleading? What do knives have to do with air pollution and valuing our children? How can addressing climate change be 100 percent compatible with Christian values? Why should we care?These questions and many others were part of a national conference call on creation care and climate change recently hosted by Sojourners. A handful of our nation’s leading creation care voices came together to discuss how they answer tough questions and effectively communicate their faith and commitment to climate justice.The speakers included:Rev. Mitch Hescox, President & CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network; contributor, Sacred Acts: How Churches are working together to Protect Earth’s Climate.Rev. Sarah Scherschligt, Associate Pastor, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Gaithersburg, MD; author, http://thebarefootpastor.blogspot.com/; Founder and leader of the Creation Care Team for the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod of the Lutheran Church (ELCA).Katharine Hayhoe, Director of Climate Science Center and Associate Professor at Texas Tech University; co-author, A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions.Calvin B. DeWitt, Professor, Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison; author, Earthwise and Song of a Scientist: The Harmony of God-Soaked CreationListen to their presentations.
Posted by Alycia Ashburn 2 years 22 weeks ago
Editor's Note: The following is testimony delivered by Alycia Ashburn, Creation Care Campaign Director for Sojourners, to the Environmental Protection Agency's New Source Pollution Standards for Carbon Pollution Hearing on May 24 in Washington, D.C.My presence and testimony here today – in support of the EPA’s New Source Standards for Carbon Pollution – is as much a religious and personal act as it is a professional one.While I am here wearing my “work hat” – as director of the creation care campaign at Sojourners (one of the nation’s largest network of Christians committed to social justice) - I wear my many other hats at the same time: U.S. citizen, Christian, congregation member, educator/trainer for Lutherans Restoring Creation, biologist, wife, daughter, runner, National Parks lover, and last but certainly not least, especially in this context: asthma sufferer.