I talked with Alan Jenkins who is involved with the Earth Covenant Ministry through his Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. (Earth Covenant focuses on trying to promote more environmental stewardship in the face of some tremendously bad environmental practices these days. For one, Earth Covenant exhorts people “…to use food, water, energy and other natural resources in a mindful way.”) To get people thinking this way, Jenkins said we have to expose them to more encounters with nature. To that end, he is taking a group of local youth on a canoeing and camping week soon. He noted that environmental author David Orr uses the term “biophobia” to describe a lot of the populace in America at this point. We interviewed Orr at Oberlin College in Ohio several years ago for our position paper on the environment. Orr notes that biophobia is basically a fear of ‘anything nature’ anymore. And how many respond to nature now, for the most part, is we ensconce ourselves in temperature controlled office space, temperature controlled homes, temperature controlled cars… Nature, in essence, has become the “enemy.” Note: Weighing in on China… Among other things, America is concerned about a trade imbalance with China and the perceived need for their currency to appreciate. We also pay at least lip service to their human rights record. In that vein, our administration would go beyond lip service and, for one, focus on the 130 million abortions in China in the past 30 years, many of them “forced.” Example: The World Magazine recently reported on Wujian, who become pregnant “…without the necessary birth permit” under the China One-Child Policy. The magazine reported: Wujian went into hiding, but was tracked down. She was then forced into a “grizzly hospital” with other women facing the same fate. She begged for her child’s life, as doctors pulled the baby apart with scissors. She caught a glimpse of the bloody foot of her nearly full-term child. “Through my tears, the picture of the bloody foot was engraved into my eyes and into my heart… and so clearly I could see the fine, small, bloody toes,” she lamented. “Immediately the baby was thrown into the trash can.” Note 2: In essence, America has allowed this type of horrific human rights abuse to be trumped by economic concerns. Our administration would ‘draw a line in the sand’ saying until this kind of thing (along with jailing and torturing of pro-democracy advocates, religious persecution, etc…) stopped in China — there would be a complete trade boycott with that nation. And yes, I realize the economic domino that might happen as a result. But sometimes, well, you’ve just got to do what’s right without all the complex geo-political rationale (read: rational lies).