About Me

I converted to Catholicism in the early 70s, the religion of my husband (from India).  In the late 80s I became a lay Carmelite — OCDS or Order of Carmelites Discalced Secular.

I have always been enthralled with God and His creation, a “nature lover.”  As a grammar school kid we would try to save newborn rabbits that had been washed out in flash floods.  They looked like human fetuses.  I have always been against abortion, against killing in general, and would hope that I would be a pacifist if push came to shove (that would be the only way to tell if I were truly a pacifist…..if I let some killer kill me in lieu of me killing him/her).

I’m an anthropology professor (now also criminal justice), and in 1990 when reviewing a film excerpt of IS IT HOT ENOUGHT FOR YOU? (about global warming) for my class, I was suddenly struck by the African drought and famine, which according to the scientist was what would be expected (increased droughts in the Sahel) in a globally warming world, if and when science reached 95% confidence on it (the first studies reached that confidence by 1995).  I first thought, “Why don’t they do something about this?”  Then it occurred to me that I was part of the problem, a contributor of greenhouse gases, and I needed to do something about it myself.  But what?  Where to start?  I felt caught in structures of high greenhouse gas emissions.  That was just before Ash Wednesday, and as a new Carmelite, having been called to give my entire life to God, I struggled that Lent, thinking of myself as the Good Thief on the cross next to Jesus — wanting to do good and reduce my harm, but not knowing what to do.  Then Good Friday, I understood I was the Roman soldier hammering the nail into Jesus’s hands and feet, except I knew what I was doing.

Then shortly after Easter, Earth Day came, and I went to the event in the park and watched programs on TV, picking all sorts of tips about things I could do to reduce my greenhouse gases, actions that would not only reduce GHGs, but also other environmental problems and other problems.  My heart was singing.

Unbeknowst to me at the time Pope John Paul II had written in this Jan 1, 1990 “Peace with All Creation” that it was everyone’s responsibility to mitigate global warming, then known as “the greenhouse effect.”

A year later I was  on the road to reducing our greenhouse gases by 20%, then 30% & today by over 60% reduction from our 1990 emissions.  As a Carmelite I had been willing to sacrifice, but I found we could reduce greatly without sacrificing our living standard, and saving us a lot of money.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all things will be added unto you.”  Have faith, do what is right–the EC or environmentally correct thing–and have no fears, for God is with you, God will help you.

ADDENDUM:  After saving many $1000s over the past 43 years of our marriage from doing the EC or environmentally correct things — first striving to save finite resources for future generations, such as by living within a mile or 2 of work, and in recent decades mitigating climate change and other problems — we felt we could afford a big financial splurge (or sacrifice for the sake of God’s kingdom) and buy an EV, a Chevy Volt, which we did last Jan 2012.  And were we surprised later to do a spreadsheet and calculate we’d be paying the difference between it an another car we considered within 6.5 years, then go on to save us $$, while reducing harms and saving lives from local to global env harms!!  It costs about $1.22 in our 100% wind-generated electricity to drive 38 miles.

Alleluia, alleluia!

ADDENDUM 2:  In 2013 we installed solar panels that produce about 45% of our electricity — the rest being from Green Mountain 100% wind-powered electricity, which we’ve had since we moved into Texas in 2002.  So we didn’t really go 45% solar for environmental reasons, but for financial reasons — it saves us about $1000 a year, a great boon for our upcoming retirement.  I suggest that everyone look into the feasibility of going solar.


One Response to “About Me”

  1. HAPPY EASTER! He has raised our hopes! « Real Catholic Environmentalism Says:

    […] environmental harms, but was initially unable to see what could be done to reduce that harm (see about me ).  Since then we’ve reduced our greenhouse emissions (along with many other harms) by 60% or […]

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