Recommended listening: Krista Tippett on sustainability

Krista Tippett of the wonderful radio program Speaking of Faith, on sustainability:

Our emerging national conversation about sustainability has a decidedly “eat your spinach” tone. We’re steeling ourselves to enter the realm of sacrifice, and penance. But as I’ve explored ethics and meaning in American life these past few years, I’ve been struck by the heightened sense of delight and beauty in lives and communities pursuing a new alignment with the natural world. Innovation in sustainability often begins, I’ve found, with people defining what they cherish as much as diagnosing what is wrong. I think of Majora Carter. The cutting-edge project she founded, Sustainable South Bronx, began when she and the people of that borough began to reclaim their riverfront for refreshment and play. I think also of the author Barbara Kingsolver, who found in a year of sustainable eating that when it comes to food, the ethical choice is also the pleasurable choice. And she says that as we face the grand ecological crises of our time, one of our most important renewable resources is hope. We simply have to put it on with our shoes every morning. Recently we visited the Rural Studio at Auburn University in Alabama. There, architectural students build elegant homes and public spaces in poor communities. Long before sustainability was fashionable, the Rural Studio was innovating “zero-maintenance” design. This architectural philosophy shelters the body while honoring the environment and human dignity. The writer Frederich Buechner has said that “vocation” happens when our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. I’d like to propose the work of sustainability as an unfolding vocation – not merely a response to problems, but an invitation to possibility and a way to strengthen moral resources such as delight, dignity, elegance, and hope.

You can also download the audio.

American Public Media, the group that produces Speaking of Faith and several other excellent programs, has a site devoted to sustainability with many other audio downloads, articles, and other resources.

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