Winona, Minn. — 35 Raise Fracas Over Fracking

Steve under arrest in Winona 2013Friend Steve Clemens joined with 35 other yesterday in Winona, Minn., to nonviolently block 18-wheeler semis delivering silica “frac sand” to barges on the Mississippi River. (The sand is mined in Minnesota and then shipped to natural gas fracking operations in Texas and other locations.)

They were arrested on trespass charges in what may have been the largest protest to date against “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing is a nontraditional extractive process to release methane pockets in shale).

Read Steve’s whole story at his blog Mennonista, but here’s an excerpt of a letter of support that the group received from farmer-philosopher Wendell Berry:

“You have offered me the privilege of joining by letter with you and your friends in Winona in opposition to “frac sand mining,” and I am happy to accept.

I will say, first, that there is never, for any reason, a justification for doing long-term or permanent damage to the ecosphere. We did not create the world, we do not own it, and we have no right to destroy any part of it.

Second, most of our politicians and their corporate employers are measuring their work by standards of profitability and mechanical efficiency. Those standards are wrong. There is one standard that is right: the health of living creatures and the living earth.

Third, we must give our needs to eat, drink, and breathe an absolute precedence over our need for mined fuels.

I wish you well.”–Wendell Berry, personal correspondence

Read Steve’s whole account.

Speaking Gig: Church Women United in Atlantic City, NJ

Lisa Sharon Harper

On Friday, December 2, 2011, I’ll be in Atlantic City, NJ, with 400 women at Church Women United, one of the largest Christian women’s organizations in the U.S. representing 26 denominations and supporting organizations, to celebrate 70 years of fighting the good fight and running the race.

I’ll join with Lisa Sharon Harper in speaking at the morning breakfast on the role of Sojourners in faith-inspired social justice movements and then Lisa and I will lead afternoon workshops on Christians and the environment.

Our workshop is titled, “For God so loved the world…”: Christians, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice.” From the Genesis creation story to Isaiah’s critique of imperial clear-cutting of the cedars of Lebanon to contemporary issues like the Keystone XL pipeline and fracking, Christians are engaged in advancing environmental justice. What do we need to understand about climate change, environmental racism, and environmental sexism? How do our scriptures give us a firm foundation for entering into very contemporary environmental issues?

For more information, contact Church Women United at (212) 870-234.