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'Mass Extinction' Theory: Life On Earth Threatened ("at the precipice of the end of the world")
CBS News ^ | Feb 21, 2007

Posted on 03/06/2007 8:56:51 AM PST by presidio9

While global warming continues to gain widespread public awareness, a potentially more devastating environmental threat is only beginning to get noticed, reports Tony Russomanno with KPIX-TV, the CBS station in San Francisco.

The threat is mass extinction, and scientists are taking it very seriously.

There is widespread belief among scientists that current species of life are becoming extinct at a rate more than 1,000 times higher than normal.

"We are at the precipice of the end of the world," said Chera Van Burg of Species Alliance.

An asteroid caused the last mass extinction when it wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Some believe that if a meteor were to strike the Earth again today, the effect on life would be little different that what may already be underway.

"According to a consensus of the world's biologists, a mass extinction is unfolding or about to unfold on planet Earth," said David Ulansey of Massextinction.net.

The Yangtze River dolphin was only the latest example when it disappeared just last month.

While doomsayers are at the extreme end of scientific opinion, some biologists believe a worst-case mass-extinction scenario would wipe out 50 percent of existing species.

Humans, and species associated with humans, are not threatened with extinction, but if it occurs, mass extinction would break the interconnected web of life and lead to a substantial decrease in human populations.

And some scientists believe humans are to blame for mass extinction.

"If our influence on Earth continues to expand, we're likely to lose half or more of the species on Earth," said Stanford University ecologist Peter Vitousek.

The theories on mass extinction are laid out in the documentary "Call of Life," to be released later this year.

Some have already heard the call.

"If we continue at the present rate, virtually all the species of fish in the ocean will be extinct in the next 50 years," said former Vice President Al Gore in a recent visit to Silicon Valley.

And that's something that professional fishermen say worries them every day.

"Only now are people starting to acknowledge that, whoa, all these greenhouse gases that we've been putting in the atmosphere are having an impact that could basically threaten life on this planet," said Zeke Grader, president of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen.

Biologists say climate change is only one of the causes of extinction. The problem goes much deeper.

"It's not like global warming," said Ulansey. "The problem cannot be defined as CO2. You can't put it in a box. The problem is the way we live. It is every aspect of our lifestyle."

And every aspect of our lifestyle has consequences. For example, there are billions and billions of cell phones in the world, and every single one of them uses a metal called coltan. Of the very few places on Earth where coltan is mined, almost all of it comes from the Republic of Congo - right square in the middle of the habitat of the Mountain gorilla.

A United Nations agency said the gorilla population has declined 90 percent over just the past five years, partly as the result of land being cleared for coltan mining.

And that's only one species. Experts estimate more than 15,000 species today are threatened. And those are only the ones they know about from surveys.

Biologists believe the six major causes of the present mass extinction are habitat destruction, invasive species, pollution, human overpopulation, human overconsumption, and climate change.

The good news is that there is still time to turn it around. The bad news - some believe - time is short, perhaps only five to 10 years to make significant changes in how we live our lives.


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: endoftheworld; fakebutaccurate; globalwarming; junkscience
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1 posted on 03/06/2007 8:56:54 AM PST by presidio9
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To: presidio9
"10 years to make significant changes in how we live our lives"

Lets de-industrialize in memory of the Yangtze Dolphin!

2 posted on 03/06/2007 8:59:23 AM PST by AU72
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To: presidio9

watta-buncha-hooey.


3 posted on 03/06/2007 9:01:07 AM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: presidio9

I think the air is out of the "global warming" sails - time to find a new threat!


4 posted on 03/06/2007 9:01:42 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: AU72

Well the Global warming scam isn't going anywhere now that people are looking at the science so the 'watermelons" need something else to foist off on the plebes.


5 posted on 03/06/2007 9:02:30 AM PST by dblshot
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To: presidio9

Global warming is losing its luster, so they have to come up with something else. No mention of just how these species are dying off, just that there is a mass extinction going on. Wow, this never happened before in all of history, right? What a bunch of idiots the average person must appear to these slime balls that try to perpetrate all this nonsense in the hopes of making us all slaves.


6 posted on 03/06/2007 9:02:44 AM PST by calex59
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To: presidio9

"According to a consensus of the world's biologists, a mass extinction is unfolding or about to unfold on planet Earth," said David Ulansey of Massextinction.net.

massextinction.net?
Gee, no bias there....


7 posted on 03/06/2007 9:03:12 AM PST by mkleesma
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To: Izzy Dunne

This author is Super-serial


8 posted on 03/06/2007 9:03:46 AM PST by bicyclerepair (Living in Beautiful Ft. Lauderdale)
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To: presidio9

YEC INTREP


9 posted on 03/06/2007 9:03:55 AM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: presidio9
"The bad news - some believe - time is short, perhaps only five to 10 years to make significant changes in how we live our lives."

Only 5-10 years before we are beset by global extinction? Hmmm. I thought that was the time frame we had before we were destroyed by global warming?

Anyone want to start a pool to wager on how long it will take these to loony groups to join and speak with one voice. Every time I read one of these stupid articles I am reminded of the cartoon of the man walking around the city wearing a sandwich board that says, "The end is near".

10 posted on 03/06/2007 9:04:32 AM PST by Eagles Talon IV
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To: presidio9
"We are at the precipice of the end of the world,"

One of these millennium, these idiots are gonna be right!

11 posted on 03/06/2007 9:06:45 AM PST by Doomonyou (Let them eat lead.)
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To: xcamel

watta-buncha-MOSTLY-hooey

So you are saying that Gorillas are in fact thriving in the Republic of Congo?


12 posted on 03/06/2007 9:09:19 AM PST by SengirV
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To: presidio9
And every aspect of our lifestyle has consequences. For example, there are billions and billions of cell phones in the world, and every single one of them uses a metal called coltan. Of the very few places on Earth where coltan is mined, almost all of it comes from the Republic of Congo - right square in the middle of the habitat of the Mountain gorilla.

Uhhh, actually most of the tantalum (the important part of coltan) is mined in Australia. Coltan is the tantalum bearing mineral in that part of Africa, but it is a minor source of tantalum.

A United Nations agency said the gorilla population has declined 90 percent over just the past five years, partly as the result of land being cleared for coltan mining.

Interesting move from 90% to partly. If 0.1% of that 90% is caused by mining, it is "partly" responsible. I've heard that the main cause for gorilla decline is the ebola virus.

13 posted on 03/06/2007 9:10:17 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Samoans: The (low) wage slaves in the Pelosi-Starkist complex.)
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To: presidio9
It's the end of the word as we know it.

And I feel fine.

14 posted on 03/06/2007 9:11:11 AM PST by MrEdd (Always look on the bright side of life.)
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To: AU72
There are many reasons for the demise of the Yangtze Dolphin, it's final blow was construction of the Three Gorges Dam.
Like that was going to stop the Chinese from building it.

The more species that become extinct will be because of countries like China and India, of course the libs will just blame it on the United States and global warming.

15 posted on 03/06/2007 9:11:19 AM PST by #1CTYankee (That's right, I have no proof. So what of it??)
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To: mkleesma
massextinction.net?
Gee, no bias there....


"Please give me grant money!"
16 posted on 03/06/2007 9:13:51 AM PST by bamahead
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To: presidio9
Experts estimate more than 15,000 species today are threatened.

I hope liberals are one of those threatened species.....

17 posted on 03/06/2007 9:21:09 AM PST by NRA1995 (They should've shredded Saddam Hussein...)
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To: presidio9
And that's something that professional fishermen say worries them every day.

If it worries them that much I suggest they find a new line of work.

18 posted on 03/06/2007 9:22:37 AM PST by Pontiac (Patriotism is the natural consequence of having a free mind in a free society.)
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To: presidio9
Not a word about the mother of all conjunctions coming up in five years? (Earth, Sun, Center of Galaxy).

Some serious shaking and geo-earth changes predicted.

19 posted on 03/06/2007 9:27:45 AM PST by Eastbound
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To: SengirV

We are doing out part to help them along, but a lot of species were on their way to becoming extinct long before we showed up. These include gorillas, elephants, and cheetahs.


20 posted on 03/06/2007 9:29:42 AM PST by presidio9 (There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey)
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To: presidio9

Some times I swear some of these "scientists" just disregard known history and just say things off the cuff. The biological sphere is in constant flux. The rate of extinction is extremely hard to estimate and many of the criteria for what constitutes a species is very flimsy. While I'm all for being a good steward of the environment and the animals and plants that live in it there is one simple fact that will not change no matter how much we wish for environmental and biological stasis and that is that the biosphere is constantly changing just as the climate is. Mass extinctions have occurred and what is interesting is that after such events explosions of biodiversity occur to replace those creatures that are lost. This is something that is still not understood.

The rate of species replenishment, if the fossil record is to be accepted, is much higher than should be expected given standard models of evolution but of course there are few willing to discuss this. Instead we hear more hysteria, hand wringing, and gnashing of teeth. What has led so many otherwise rational people to so need to overstate and search for an apocalypse?


21 posted on 03/06/2007 9:32:20 AM PST by Ma3lst0rm
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To: presidio9

The world would be a much better place if all the attention focused on these surreal catastrophic human contributed crisis on the natural world was channelled to solve problems like the starving people in the world - but why do that when if less humans were alive, the world will be a better place for animals.

My family who is not into the news as much as I am is so afraid of global warming, and I'm sure it won't be long before they are worried about all the animals dying. Then, of couse they will be resigned to agree to eat cloned meat. The left has created such a depressive fear that is totally unwarranted and unhealthy for this world.


22 posted on 03/06/2007 9:33:59 AM PST by Right in Wisconsin (Have a Happy Day)
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To: SengirV
Did you mean liberals in the republic of Congo?
23 posted on 03/06/2007 9:44:22 AM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: Izzy Dunne
I think the air is out of the "global warming" sails - time to find a new threat!

I believe you are correct.

24 posted on 03/06/2007 9:57:57 AM PST by b4its2late (Liberalism is a hollow log and a mental disorder.)
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To: presidio9
It is a tragic irony that all of the misplaced focus on global warming by the environmentalists, media, politicians, and public is completely overshadowing an environmental threat that is actually real and much more serious: habitat destruction and mass species extinction.

Freepers will predictably crack jokes and write it off as leftist hysteria. The fact that leftist environmentalists can be hysterical and fascist does not mean that conservatives should completely ignore everything they have to say or accept as perfectly normal and tolerable the harm humanity is wreaking on global ecology.

25 posted on 03/06/2007 10:03:08 AM PST by ForOurFuture
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To: presidio9
"We are at the precipice of the end of the world," said Chera Van Burg of Species Alliance.

Well, that's a relief!

I was wavering at the lastest bombshells about the Gore Dacha debacle and his carbon credits" company scam, and needed a new a new devil to haunt my sleep and a new set of apocalyptic priests to worship...

26 posted on 03/06/2007 11:57:15 AM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: presidio9
Does anyone remember what the current percentage is of all the surviving biological life of earth's entire history?

I don't want to guess, but it may be single digits...

27 posted on 03/06/2007 11:59:32 AM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: presidio9
"We are at the precipice of the end of the world," said Chera Van Burg of Species Alliance

I'll believe them when they spend all day walking around with sandwich signs... :)

28 posted on 03/06/2007 12:03:42 PM PST by AmericaUnited
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To: Eagles Talon IV
Only 5-10 years before we are beset by global extinction? Hmmm. I thought that was the time frame we had before we were destroyed by global warming?

In the 70s, that's how long we had before the population explosion and mass starvation would save Gaia...

I think I need a ride in my SUV... and look for some "endangered" species.
For those of you with good memories, my Prius bumper sticker reads, "My Other Car Is An SUV..."

29 posted on 03/06/2007 12:04:20 PM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: presidio9
Dear Freepers.

It's a pleasure to see that we have dcided to stop demonizing Ann Coulter and get down to some serious business...

Anybody got thoughts on massextinctions.net and the half-dozen nutcases that run it?
Who funds them?
Which groups are they crosslinked to? ( prozac.net? )

30 posted on 03/06/2007 12:07:58 PM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: presidio9
The threat is mass extinction, and scientists are taking it very seriously.

Sweet! Guess I'd better open me up a few more credit cards...

31 posted on 03/06/2007 12:10:10 PM PST by opus86
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To: NRA1995
Experts estimate more than 15,000 species today are threatened.

Well, I remember a hysterical DU type a few years ago announcing that 1000 species are going extinct every year.

15 more years and our troubles are over...

32 posted on 03/06/2007 12:11:02 PM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: ForOurFuture
...perfectly normal and tolerable the harm humanity is wreaking on global ecology.

OK.
Mass extinctions an't it.
Can you be more specific?

Last time I checked, homo sapiens sapiens is part of the global ecology, and has been so for over 5 million years...

33 posted on 03/06/2007 12:21:15 PM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: presidio9

wacky!


34 posted on 03/06/2007 12:24:29 PM PST by dennisw (What one man can do another can do -- "The Edge")
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To: presidio9
Its US again! Damn us! Why can't we just stop ourselves, we're ruining EVERYTHING! Poor, poor dolphins...
35 posted on 03/06/2007 12:27:34 PM PST by Ol' Sox
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To: Publius6961
my Prius bumper sticker reads, "My Other Car Is An SUV..."

That still doesn't explain what the hell you are doing driving a Prius.

36 posted on 03/06/2007 12:33:23 PM PST by presidio9 (There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey)
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To: presidio9
That still doesn't explain what the hell you are doing driving a Prius.

I really liked that bumper sticker and needed an appropriate place to stick it...

: )

As a side benefit, I can counter all the crap the Prius worshipers dish out... with authority, dammit!

37 posted on 03/06/2007 12:40:51 PM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Publius6961


So what kind of mileage do you get?


38 posted on 03/06/2007 12:46:34 PM PST by presidio9 (There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey)
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To: presidio9
So what kind of mileage do you get?

Careful...
People see you asking that question and you'll be shunned.

commuting in the San Joaquin Valley, typically 47; female driver, 32; 100 mile trip to San Francisco, 52...

39 posted on 03/06/2007 1:05:00 PM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Publius6961
Ok I confess I went to take a look.

"massextinction.net" redirects you to "http://www.well.com/user/davidu/extinction.html" .

Seems to be a lone nutcase, who was featured in a national magazine 7 years ago.

From the redirected site:

About the webmaster of this site:
David Ulansey is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, and has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Boston University, Barnard College (Columbia University), the University of Vermont, and Princeton University. He is the author of a book published by Oxford University Press (and is now completing a second book which will also be published by Oxford), and has published articles in Scientific American and numerous other scholarly journals. He is the Executive Producer of a new documentary film on the extinction crisis-- "Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction"-- forthcoming from the Species Alliance, where he is Project Director.

40 posted on 03/06/2007 1:11:28 PM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: presidio9
An asteroid caused the last mass extinction when it wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

I bet it was an American Asteroid.

41 posted on 03/06/2007 2:22:47 PM PST by Catholic Canadian ( I love Stephen Harper!)
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To: Publius6961


There's nothing wrong with saving money. But my next point is probably going to be about how many cheaper non-hybrid cars get comparable mileage. And they don't have a trunk full of batteries.


42 posted on 03/06/2007 2:24:32 PM PST by presidio9 (There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey)
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To: presidio9

The race to steal our money and our freedom is on! How many special interest groups will throw their hats into the ring durning the next year? The global warming group, of course. The asteroid that will demolish Earth group, yes. The suffocating greenhouse gasses group, yes. The recently vocal spreading extinction group, yes. The hate humans/love animals group, yes. The dictatorial food nazi group, yes. And, of course, the hate smoking/hate smokers group, yes. In fact, it has already become socially acceptable to importune smokers at random with rude remarks under the guise of helpful suggestions. lol


43 posted on 03/06/2007 2:25:39 PM PST by Continental Soldier
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To: presidio9
Chera Van Burg of Species Alliance

Species Alliance?

That's classic.

44 posted on 03/06/2007 5:53:20 PM PST by gotribe (There's still time to begin a war in Iraq.)
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To: presidio9
Species Alliance here.

On their Board: Paul Ehrlich and Julia Butterfly Hill. I kid you not.

They take Paypal.

45 posted on 03/06/2007 5:58:08 PM PST by gotribe (There's still time to begin a war in Iraq.)
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To: Eastbound
Not a word about the mother of all conjunctions coming up in five years? (Earth, Sun, Center of Galaxy).

Mind explaining that in terms us cosmologically-impaired can understand?

46 posted on 03/06/2007 6:14:44 PM PST by Bernard Marx
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To: Bernard Marx
Okay. There was a special on TV concerning all the prophecies concerning 2012 the other day. Five or six major historical seers of sorts, as well as the Mayan Calendar, all agreed that the end of the world as we know it would be in December, 2012.

Even the scientific community hinted something out of the ordnicary would occur when they determined the earth and sun would line up perfectly with the center of our galaxy on 12/21/2012.

That's all I can tell ya.

47 posted on 03/06/2007 6:57:20 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: Eastbound

Ordnicary = ordinary, of course.


48 posted on 03/06/2007 7:50:55 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: 75thOVI; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; Berosus; Brujo; CGVet58; Chani; ..
I'd rather be gestated in a bubble, and when the gem on my hand turns black, go to the big dome to renew. ;') Global warming is the new Lysenkoism.
Catastrophism
 
Catastrophism ping list
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

49 posted on 03/06/2007 11:01:05 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

http://www.speciesalliance.org/advisors.php

Advisory Board

(last but not least on their list):

Mary Evelyn Tucker-- Professor of religion at Bucknell University and coordinator of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. Along with John Grim, she coordinated a ten-conference series on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard's Center for the Study of World Religions. Together they now direct the Forum on Religion and Ecology (FORE). Tucker has been a committee member of the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since 1986 and is vice president of the American Teilhard Association. Author of many books on religion and ecology, she has recently published Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase. She is the co-editor of books on ecological views of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism.


50 posted on 03/07/2007 2:34:57 AM PST by Fred Nerks (Fair Dinkum Aussie.)
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