As we move into Lent, I heard a homily by Fr. Jim Kudilil at St. Francis Church in Mojave, California, that was right on the mark (in my opinion) when it comes to the true nature of “fasting.” Fr. Jim cited Isaah 58: 1-9. From the Living Bible: “…the kind of fast I want is that you stop oppressing those who work for you and treat them fairly… I want you to share your food with the hungry and bring right into your homes those who are helpless, poor and desolate. Clothe those who are cold…” Fr. Jim said it is on these kinds of things that people will be judged by God… In a talk after Mass, I elaborated on this theme by saying our platform called for “Preferential Option for the Poor.” And I exhorted the congregation members to “fast” their lifestyles in America (way less purchases, way less driving, way less energy use…), and funnel the savings into the Third World where there are millions of people living in continual hunger, without adequate shelter, clothes, medicine… (All the things the Isaah passage talks about.) I ended by saying I seriously doubted whether God, at the Final Judgement, was going to be all that concerned about whether we gave up chocolate for Lent or not. Note: Our campaign continually asks Americans to use way less energy in the form of (heat, air-conditioning, unecessary lighting…). Most Americans are tremendously gluttonous in this area. Our belief is that we should dramatically decrease our energy demand and provide for the rest of our energy needs with clean, renewable sources like sun, water (wave action) and wind. Driving to the church tonight on Hwy 14, we went by a series of large “wind farms” with hundreds of wind turbines that generate some of this clean energy. Later tonight I read the following in an Associated Press article: “Reversing decades of U.S. policy, President George W. Bush ushered India into the world’s exclusive nuclear club Thursday with a landmark agreement to share nuclear reactors, fuel and expertise with this energy-starved nation…” Our “Energy Policy” position paper notes we are adamantly against the use of nuclear power. For instance, the paper cites that the explosion at the Chernobyle Nuclear Power Plant in the former USSR released radiation comprable to: the detenation of all nuclear tests, ever. This is according to Dr. Vladimir Chernousenko, who is the former head of the Ukranian Academy of Science and lead investigator to the Chernobyl Clean-Up. The radioactive fall-out spread through Russia and much of Europe. And it’s anybody’s guess how much cancer, new born deformity, and so on, will result over the generations. (America came dangerously close to the same thing with Three Mile Island. And we are still sorting through all the pysiological ripples to the “Hanford Down Winders” caused by “controlled releases” of radiation from the Hanford Nuclear Power Plant in the state of Washington in the 1950s and 60s.) Coupled with all this, we are about to bury huge amounts of high level radioactive waste in Yucca Mountain in Nevada — for future generations to have to worry about… As concisely as possible, this is: ‘nuclear madness.’ What I believe we should be doing is sharing our expertise with India (and a whole lot of other countries) around developing wind turbine farms, and the like. I mean when it comes to environmental stewardship, it just makes way more sense, common sense.