Category: Resources

  • Two hands holding small fern

    Human-Induced Climate Change

    By the QEW Sustainability: Faith & Action Working Group What are the effects of human-induced climate change? Human-induced climate change threatens to overarch all the human misuses of creation, including rapidly growing human population, habitat destruction, over-exploitation of resources, and introduction of invasive species. Human-induced climate change is the…

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  • Seeds of Violence, Seeds of Hope

    THE FRIENDS TESTIMONIES AND ECONOMICS (FTE) project seeks to engage Friends with: Learning more about current economic concepts, policies, and institutions as they relate to our historic testimonies in an ecological context  Supporting advocacy by Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and other Friends’ organizations for a comprehensive reformulation of…

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  • Spiritual Ecology: My Journey and Our Journey

    A Talk by Shelley Tanenbaum I am deeply grateful to the Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting’s (SAYMA) planning committee for bringing me here – and for asking me to talk about eco-spirituality and my personal journey. I’ve been asked to talk about what it has meant to me to connect on…

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  • Community member El Ha Ghan sort herbs as part of the Diaspora Earthcare Coalition’s medicinal herb production project.

    Selfcare Freedom Through Plant Medicine in Diaspora Communities

    By Pamela Boyce Simms. ENVIRONMENTAL resilience- building at its best reflects nature’s magnificent, layered interconnectedness. Imagine if local resilience-building against the backdrop of accelerating climate change were to take place in neighborhoods, towns, cities, states, regionally, nationally and among allied countries, facilitated by a constant communications flow among all scales…

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  • Friends Moving to 100% Renewable Energy

    On October 5, 2014 at Pendle Hill (Wallingford, PA), the Sustainability: Faith and Action Working Group of Quaker Earthcare Witness developed Three Recommendations for Friends Churches and Meetings throughout North America. The first recommendation includes the following statement: 3) We ask that all Friends’ Houses of Worship…

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  • Glossary

    Clean Water Act of 1972 –  national legislation which established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.  (www.epa.gov) Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Halliburton Loophole) – legislation which made changes to the…

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  • Resources

    Heinberg, Richard, Snake Oil:  How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils our Future.  Santa Rosa, CA, Post Carbon Institute, 2013.  Richard Heinberg is a senior fellow at the Post Carbon Institute. Hughes, David, “Drill, Baby, Drill,” Post Carbon Institute, 2013.  The most comprehensive publicly available analysis to date of the prospects for shale…

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  • The myth of a century of natural gas in the U.S.

    In arguing against fracking, it is important to debunk the myth that the U.S. has enough natural gas reserves to fulfill our need for the next 100 years.  It is equally necessary to discuss the plan by gas companies to make the export of natural gas the next big moneymaker,…

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  • Greenhouse gases

    There are no laws and no limits on emissions from burning fossil fuels.  There is no law against flaring or methane leakage.  Methane, the principal component of natural gas, is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  It traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere at a rate cited…

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  • Communities damaged

    In order to frack, companies bring in heavy equipment to carry out the drilling and extraction processes.  Truck traffic day and night wears down local roads and creates enormous air and noise pollution.  Much of the equipment runs on diesel fuel and is noisy and smelly, and is…

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  • Chemicals in fracking

    The fracking fluid, also called “slick water,” contains chemicals and sand.  The chemicals facilitate the gas escape, but only industry insiders know what they are, or how much is being used.  This is because the Clean Water Act of 1972 was amended in 2005 to exempt fracking companies…

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  • Water in fracking

    The amount of water needed for fracking is enormous; research sources invariably describe it as millions of gallons per well.  People who signed agreements early in the fracking boom, around 2005, did not always realize that the fracking companies were going to use their water, or how much, or what…

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  • Flaring

    When a natural gas well first produces gas, the gas needs to be tested before it can be channeled into pipes and transported for processing.  In this process, it is necessary to light it on fire so it doesn’t escape unburned into the atmosphere.  This is a temporary measure taken…

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  • Methane Leaking

    Leaks start before the gas even gets out of the well because of the nature of the well itself.  Cornell professor and fracking expert Anthony R. Ingraffea explains the leaks this way:  “Pressures under the earth, temperature changes, ground movement from the drilling of nearby wells and shrinkage crack and…

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  • Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)

    The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) serves as a Quaker presence at the United Nations (UN), representing Friends’ concerns at the international level, with offices at UN headquarters in New York, as well as in Geneva. QUNO has been able to participate in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change…

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  • What is hydraulic fracturing, exactly?

    Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the use of horizontal drilling, underground explosions and injection of water in combination with sand and chemicals to release natural gas from types of rock that make it hard to extract from. Conventional drilling won’t work in these rock formations, so horizontal drilling and fracking…

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  • Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC)

    Founded in 1931, Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) addresses the peace and social concerns of Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Canada. You can find out more about CFSC here. “Rooted in our Quaker faith, CFSC is guided by a vision of a…

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  • Quaker Institute for the Future (QIF)

    The Quaker Institute for the Future has been established as a kind of Quaker think tank “to help generate systematic insight, knowledge, and wisdom that can inform public policy in ways that will enable us all to live more fully in ‘the virtue of that life and power’ which…

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  • Quaker PopOffsets

    Are you concerned about your “carbon footprint”? QEW can help. QEW has recently started an innovative program to help confront climate change and other environmental problems. It is based on a similar program in England – “PopOffsets” – an offshoot of the British organization Population Matters. QEW’s program is called…

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  • Population Resources

    In 1650, when George Fox was alive, the world’s population was about one-half billion people; by the early 20th century it had reached two billion. In 2015, it reached 7.3 billion, more than a tripling in a century. Currently, more than 80 million persons are being added to Earth each…

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  • Quaker Affiliated Colleges and Schools

    The conversation has begun on Quaker school campuses. As students, alumni, and parents, we urge you to learn more about these campus-based campaigns and lend your support. Involved in a campus campaign? Let us know and we will post it here. Want to start a campaign? Visit http://gofossilfree.org/ Are…

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  • QEW’s Relationship with FCNL

    From its beginning in 1987, QEW has united with the mission of Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCNL) “We seek an earth restored,” but was concerned that this goal was missing from its legislative priorities. Several years ago, a group of Friends began working to develop support within the Society…

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  • Fracking 101

    Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, is a drilling technique used to extract natural gas or oil from deep underground. Fracking is a controversial practice that has been shown to lead to dangerous and damaging results. Communities’ water sources can be jeopardized by the leak of chemicals used in fracking; companies are not…

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  • United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent

    United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent The United Nations (UN) commemorates international decades to focus world attention on a specific topic, and then mobilize resources to respond.  In December 2013, the U.N. General Assembly proclaimed the decade of 2015 through 2024 to be the International Decade for…

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  • A Video for You from Quaker Earthcare Witness

    Each week, we post beautiful photographs taken by Friend Kathy Barnhart alongside thoughtful quotes on our Facebook page. You can see them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/quakerearthcare, on Instagram (@quakerearthcare), and on Twitter (@quakerearthcare). Make sure you “like us” and “follow us” to see our posts. We’ve created a short video…

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  • Quaker Earthcare Vision & Witness

    WE ARE CALLED to live in the right relationship with all Creation, recognizing that the entire world is interconnected and is a manifestation of God. WE WORK to integrate into the beliefs and practices of the Religious Society of Friends the Truth that God’s Creation is to be respected, protected,…

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  • Considering the Consequences of Unchecked Population Growth

    I am a Quaker living in Stroud, UK, and I have been a Friend for about 50 years. My interest in population started at a precise point in 1958. During an economics course, the lecturer told us about Thomas Robert Malthus and his assertion that any population would…

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  • Truth Is Something That Happens

    by Louis Cox DO YOU SWEAR that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God?… Early Quakers were known for their refusal to take such oaths in a court of law (often at the…

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  • QEW Spring 2020 Steering Committee Meeting

    Thursday, April 23, 2020 – 14:00 to Sunday, April 26, 2020 – 12:00 Our meeting will take place online, beginning Thursday, April 23, and ending on Sunday, April 26. Registration is currently closed for this event.  (The meeting was previously scheduled to take place in Durham, NC.) We will gather…

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  • Why a Specifically Quaker Testimony on the Environment?

    SINCE THERE ARE MANY excellent organizations actively working to improve our relation to the planet, is there any need or place for a specifically Quaker organization to address the same concerns? The fundamental environmental questions we face are essentially religious: What is our place in the world (Creation)? What…

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  • A Shared Quaker Statement: Facing the Challenge of Climate Change

     [Last update: June 2017]  *** Now available in Spanish! (Please scroll to the files at the end of this statement.) *** “It would go a long way to caution and direct people in their use of the world, that they were better studied and knowing in the…

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  • Q&A with Douglas Gwyn

    Doug Gwyn, the author of A Sustainable Life: Quaker Faith and Practice in the Renewal of Creation, generously agreed to be interviewed for this issue of BeFriending Creation. Thanks, Doug! 1. You explain how your thought and interests developed through several books, always including the thread of your concern for the Earth. Was…

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  • Quaker Earthcare Witness Presents: Virtual Workshops for Your Community

    Quaker Earthcare Witness staff, Steering Committee Members, and Friends are offering online workshops for your Friends meeting or church on Earthcare concerns. Please see the list of presenters below and invite us to join you in a virtual meeting. To schedule one of these presentations, please email Quaker Earthcare Witness…

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  • Ecological Integrity and the Light Within

    IN THE COURSE of our travels on behalf of Quaker Earthcare Witness, we search with gathered Friends for ways we all can “walk more gently on the Earth” and experience a deeper spiritual relationship to Creation. Our presentations resonated with many participants who are seeking greater responsibility and…

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  • Earthcare for Friends: A Study Guide for Individuals and Faith Communities

    Earthcare for Friends: A Study Guide for Individuals and Faith Communities is a fantastic resource that we encourage you to read and share. Download individual chapters, all available as printable PDFs. How is this resource working for you and your community? We are hoping for your feedback: comments,…

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  • Review: Coming Back to Life: The Updated Workbook to the Work that Reconnects

    Coming Back to Life by Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown is expanded and updated from their book of the same name published in 1998 (New Society Publishers, 2014, Gabriola Island, BC). The Deep Ecology work of Joanna Macy, also called the “Work that Reconnects,” dates back to the…

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  • Important Reasons to Use Native Plants

    Important Facts. Native plants are adapted to the local area and its climate. Unfortunately, many of our beautiful non-native garden flowers provide little or no food for honeybees, native pollinators, songbirds, and other wildlife.  Non-native plants have the potential to become invasive species – weeds that spread rapidly and often crowd…

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  • QEW in Practice

    For over twenty years Quaker Earthcare Witness has evolved and developed a way of doing its business. This manual of practices has been created to document the decisions that have led to this point.  This will always serve as a working document and change from time to time to assist…

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  • The Spiritual Basis of Earthcare

    QEW’s PROGRAMS and publications stem from a conviction and consciousness that the global crisis of ecological sustainability is at root a spiritual crisis. Even as individuals in our network or our steering committee support political and social action in numerous areas, such as globalization, population, genetic engineering, and toxic pollution,…

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  • Ecological Principles of Permaculture

    Three important ecological principles of permaculture are The role that each organism plays, the niche it occupies; Understanding succession in natural ecosystems and using it to heal the soil and bring forth both annual and perennial crops; Including as much diversity in the garden space as possible, both…

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  • Black Butterfly: Interview with Artist Damita Hicks

    Damita Hicks is a Bahai artist living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her paintings center on Mama A’free’ca, Nature, and racial unity. Kirsten Bohl of Durham (NC) Friends Meeting speaks with Damita here. How did you get started with painting? I’ve been painting almost all my life. In terms of…

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  • In the School of the Shipwreck

    In the School of the Shipwreck Noah Merrill Editor’s Note: Noah wrote this piece in spring 2020 and his reflections speak to us still. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce. —José Ortega y Gasset JUST…

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  • The CZU Lightning Complex fire was stopped here, along the Fawn trail at Ben Lomond Quaker Center. Photo: Bob Fisher.

    Redwood Renewal

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. THE STORY OF redwood renewal through fire gives me hope in a world gone mad with doom and gloom. What can we learn from one of nature’s most elegant ecological systems that evolved to not just cope with adversity, but to turn adversity into rebirth? The few…

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  • Galápagos: Lessons from Finches, Marine Iguanas, and Islands

    Now, as we careen into the Anthropocene era, the human species has seemingly become the prime mover of ever-accelerating change; but we are nonetheless subject to it. Subject to inexorable processes of evolution. “In this changing world everything is subject to change,” says the Isha Upanishad. The…

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  • Friends Testimonies and Economics (FTE)

    QEW IS A CO-SPONSOR, with the Earthcare Working Group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, of a project on Friends Testimonies and Economics (FTE), which seeks to engage Friends with: Learning more about current economic concepts, policies, and institutions as they relate to our historic testimonies in an ecological context, and…

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  • Ecology & Public Policy

    QEW BECAME ACTIVE at the international public policy arena during planning for the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. QEW (then FCUN) received accreditation as a non-governmental organization (NGO) by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and was able to send several representatives. Four delegates participated in…

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  • Minutes and Epistles on Divestment

    Minutes and Epistles on Divestment This section lists minutes and epistles on divestment from Friends meetings and organizations. If you would like to include your meeting’s statement on this list, please email your minute, statement, or epistle to info[at]quakerearthcare.org. Friends Meetings that have divested: Abington Quarterly Meeting…

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  • Wellsboro Monthly Meeting

    Minute on Harmony with Nature (Approved December 8, 1997) The historic testimonies of the Society of Friends concerning simplicity, stewardship, equality and peace are widely recognized. Not so widely recognized are the interrelationships among these testimonies. Overpopulation and the misuse and overuse of resources are inextricably intertwined with poverty, injustice…

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  • Share Your Quaker Witness for Climate Justice!

    Send us your short, selfie video and lift your Quaker voice for the environment! We have started a new video project, called “What Canst Thou Say?” and we’re asking Friends to send us short (3-minute or less) selfie videos that answer two questions: (1) What is…

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  • QEW-led Earthcare Coalition seeks your help

    The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it…

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  • QEW’s Work at the United Nations

    Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) has been a non-governmental organization (NGO) of the United Nations since 1999, holding four UN agency accreditations. They are: Accreditation #1 General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Accreditation #2 Associate Status with the Department of Public Information (DPI) Accreditation #3 Observer Status…

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  • Resources

    Resources Learn more! In addition to these online resources, you can order two films for screening and discussion at a discount from QEW. Order Quaker directed, award winning film Out of Balance: ExxonMobil’s Impact on Climate Change and 350.org’s film Do The Math ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND CONDITIONS Carbon Tracker Institute …

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  • Quaker Affiliated Colleges and Schools

    Quaker Affiliated Colleges and Schools The conversation has begun on Quaker school campuses. As students, alumni and parents, we urge you to learn more about these campus-based campaigns and lend your support. Involved in a campus campaign? Let us know and we will post it here. Want to start a…

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  • Beyond Divestment to Reinvestment

    Beyond Divestment to Reinvestment We take to heart the words of Faith and Practice: “Good stewardship of economic resources consists both in avoidance of those evils and in actions that advance peace, simple living, justice, and a healthy ecosystem.”  We wish to encourage Friends’ institutions to divest from/screen out fossil…

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  • Starting the Climate Change Conversation: First Steps for Friends’ Communities

    Starting the Climate Change Conversation: First Steps for Friends’ Communities FRIENDS AND INVESTING WITH INTEGRITY: STARTING THE CONVERSATION Please join us for this important conversation about how to mitigate climate change. We encourage Friends to bring this conversation to Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly Meetings as well as Friends’…

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  • Divestment as a Strategy of Hope

    Divestment as a Strategy of Hope How does this work? Faith communities who hold investments are being asked to take the first step toward revoking the social license that the fossil fuel companies have so egregiously abused by divesting from the 200 publicly-traded companies that hold the vast majority of…

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  • Is it Time for a Screen for Fossil Fuel Companies? Suggested Queries

    Is it Time for a Screen for Fossil Fuel Companies? Suggested Queries What are Friends being asked to consider? The national campaign for fossil fuel divestment began on college campuses at the end of 2012, loosely coordinated by 350.org. The urgency of the problem of climate change led to the…

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  • Divestment FAQ (Dead Links)

    Divestment FAQ Isn’t it hypocritical to divest of investments in fossil fuel companies on one hand, but keep driving our gas powered cars on the other? Actually, this question goes right to the heart of why many of us have decided to take the step of divestment. First, the point…

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  • QEW Statement to the U.S. State Department on UNDRIP

    United States Review of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Comments from: Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) www.quakerearthcare.org QEW is an organization of individuals and of Yearly Meetings of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) across North America Directed to: the Department of State at: S/SR Global Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S.

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  • Statement to ECOSOC on Science, Technology, and Innovation

    Statement to the High Level Segment of ECOSOC on Science, Technology and Innovation and the Potential of Culture for Promoting Sustainable Development and Achieving the Millennium Development Goals Submitted by Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW). Please visit our website (www.quakerearthcare.org). Science, technology, and innovation are moving ahead rapidly without due…

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  • QEW Statement on the Doctrine of Discovery

    In the days of European exploration and colonization, governments relied on what we now call the Doctrine of Discovery to extinguish all rights of indigenous peoples. The doctrine has not disappeared or been revoked. Instead, it has evolved into common property law, providing the underpinning of US and Canadian chains…

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  • Statement on Unity with Diversity

    Dear Friends, As both Friends and environmentalists we on the Spiritual Nurturance Committee of Quaker Earthcare Witness hold a variety of personal views, beliefs and approaches based in the variety of our backgrounds, traditions and experiences. We see it as good for QEW to endeavor to…

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  • QEW Participates in Revisions to FCNL Policy Statement

    About every 10 years, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) revises its full Policy Statement. This is the document that “forms the foundation and vision for all of our work,” according to the instructions FCNL gave to Quaker churches, meetings, and organizations participating in revising the 2003 Statement.

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  • QEW Minute on Nuclear Power

    Approved by the Steering Committee of Quaker Earthcare Witness in session, October 14, 2007, Burlington, Vermont. Quaker Earthcare Witness cannot support nuclear power as part of the solution to harmful climate change. As Friends, our peace testimony has long led us to witness against nuclear power because…

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  • Comment Suggestions on Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Keystone XL Pipeline

    On March 1 of this year, the U.S. State Department released its draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is part of TransCanada’s application for a Presidential permit to build and operate the pipeline across the Canadian border into the U.S. A week later on…

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  • NEYM 2016 Yearly Meeting Minute on Climate Change

    New England Yearly Meeting Minute 2016-67 Friends at the New England Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions at Castleton, VT, August 6–11, 2016, have heard a Divine call to the witness of addressing climate change. We affirm the overwhelming scientific consensus that greenhouse gases released by human activity are causing climate change,…

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  • A Young Friend appeals to her school on divestment (WIP)

    A Young Friend appeals to her school on divestment Melissa McLaughlin, a Young Friend studying at Westtown School in Pennsylvania, learned of the QEW Epistle sent to Friends schools and was led to write a heartfelt letter asking her school to take the Epistle seriously. Her moving words may…

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  • A Shared Quaker Statement: Facing the Challenge of Climate Change

    “It would go a long way to caution and direct people in their use of the world, that they were better studied and knowing in the Creation of it. For how could [they] find the confidence to abuse it, while they should see the great Creator stare them in the…

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  • Recommendations for all Friends

    To Friends Everywhere:  Quaker Earthcare Witness developed some challenges, which are recommendations for Friends’ Churches and Meetings throughout North America. We ask local Friends’ fellowships and Yearly Meetings to prayerfully examine these challenges and to explore ways to act upon part or all of them. These are suggested actions to…

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  • Host a film festival on Energy Options

    One excellent approach to sharing both the concern for our future and the tremendous potential for renewable energy is to host a film and discussion series. Below we have listed a number of options to consider. SHORT VIDEOS ON THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION Palo Alto: http://www.go100percent.org/cms/index.php?id=25#c943…

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  • 100% Renewable Energy Resources

    An excellent bibliography on 100% Renewable topics can be found here: http://www.go100percent.org/cms/index.php?id=57   Check back soon! We’ll be adding to this list. If you have resources you’d like to suggest, email them to hayley[at]quakerearthcare.org.

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  • We’ve switched to 100% renewable energy!

    Friends Meetings and other Friends Institutions are moving toward climate-safe energy! Let us know when you switch so we can add you to the list. And let your community know by posting this poster in your meeting and this lawn sign outside your Meeting.

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  • Books and Websites for Pollinator Gardens and Larger Native Plantings

    Darke, R. and D. Tallamy.  June 2014.  The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden. Portland OR: Timber Press Holm H. 2014. Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants.  Minnetonka, MN: Pollination Press LLC Mitchell, R. and H. Zim. 2002. Butterflies and Moths (A…

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  • Learn how 100% renewable looks in practice

    The Solutions Project – We all need to familiarize ourselves with the work of Professor Mark Jacobson of Stanford University. He and his team have done the research to demonstrate that we currently have the technology to transition to 100% renewable. We strongly recommend that you watch this presentation: …

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  • Introduction to Permaculture

    The word “Permaculture” comes from two-word combinations: permanent and agriculture and permanent and culture. It is a design system that could potentially revolutionize what we call civilization. Largely used in homesteading or home and community gardens, rather than in large agricultural acreages, permaculture includes perennial vegetables and fruits, both bush and tree. In regards to culture,…

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  • Planning, Planting, and Managing Your Butterfly and Pollinator Garden

    NATIVE PLANT SELECTION, LAYOUT GUIDELINES, AND MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR BUTTERFLY AND NATIVE POLLINATOR GARDENS Step 1: Location. Choose an appropriate spot for your garden. Step 2a: Strategies to Create Positive Public Perception Before Planting Consider the public perception of your native garden planting before you begin. Discuss your native garden…

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  • Choosing Native Plants for Pollinators in Your Area

    As Sophie explained in her article, Shrinking or Transforming Your Lawn, it is important to use plants from your native area so that the ecosystem will flourish. The non-profit organization Pollinator Partnership promotes the health of pollinators through conservation, education, and research. You can use the tool on their website…

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  • Ecological Principles of Permaculture

    Three important ecological principles of permaculture are The role that each organism plays, the niche it occupies; Understanding succession in natural ecosystems and using it to heal the soil and bring forth both annual and perennial crops; Including as much diversity in the garden space as possible, both…

    Read More
  • Important Reasons to Use Native Plants

    Important Facts. Native plants are adapted to the local area and its climate.  Unfortunately, many of our beautiful non-native garden flowers provide little or no food for honeybees, native pollinators, songbirds, and other wildlife.  Non-native plants have the potential to become invasive species – weeds that spread rapidly and often…

    Read More
  • Practical Permaculture Methods: Start Today!

    Permaculture, as much as possible, is an imitation of nature. Nature does not like bare soil; it is quickly filled up. A permaculture garden, except for paths, is filled chock-full with growing life. Soil is alive and miraculous. Rocks and organic matter decompose with the help of microscopic animals and…

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  • Planning a Permaculture Garden

    Planning a permaculture garden is important; although much learning comes from experimenting with ideas. For instance, I tried planting potatoes in a “hugelkultur,” a pile of small sticks with a lot of compost over them (probably not enough in my case), and the yields were definitely smaller than planting them…

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  • Birds, Plants, and Insects: What They Need

    Today we are discovering new things every day about the relationships between plants and insects and humans. Chickadee babies eat thousands of caterpillars that their hard-working parents bring them.  Around industrial farms, the insects have been killed with pesticides and there aren’t any caterpillars available. Even…

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  • Shrinking or Transforming Your Lawn

    Centuries ago, wealthy landowners in England, with lots of land and lots of sheep, pastured the sheep in front of their mansions and invented the present-day lawn. Eventually, more average people adopted the practice of lawns, not with sheep, but with newly invented lawnmowers. Today, maintaining the lawns around our…

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  • The Worst Offenders

    The Worst Offenders A list of 200 fossil fuel companies can be found at http://gofossilfree.org/companies/ with thanks to 350.org’s Fossil Free campaign. But we at Fossil Free Friends believe that there are more companies that belong on the list. There are many companies whose only function is to provide…

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  • Global Divestment Day: Epistle from QEW’s Sustainability, Faith, and Action Working Group

    Global Divestment Day: Epistle from QEW’s Sustainability, Faith, and Action Working Group Sophie Quest, Clerk February 13, 2015, Global Divestment Day To Friends Yearly Meetings everywhere, loving greetings. Friends of the Sustainability, Faith, and Action Working Group of Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) came together at Pendle Hill in Wallingford,…

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  • Friends’ History of Investing with Integrity

    Friends’ History of Investing with Integrity Friends groups have a long and proud tradition of ethical investing. As Friends, we have consistently sought congruity of our principles when we consider what types of investments we should hold. We understand that how we use our money and what we choose to…

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  • Sunset over lake

    Practicing Earth Activism

    To become more active on behalf of Earth, start by making yourself aware of the issues. Learn from sources in addition to the conventional news reports. Begin examining ways you can reduce your purchases, buy local, rather than transported, goods, walk or carpool or use public transportation more. Buy second-hand…

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  • Ecological Integrity and the Light Within

    Ecological Integrity and the Light Within by Louis Cox and Ruah Swennerfelt IN THE COURSE of our travels on behalf of Quaker Earthcare Witness, we search with gathered Friends for ways we all can “walk more gently on the Earth” and experience deeper spiritual relationship to Creation. Our…

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  • Bobbi Block holding up Rockwool protest poster next to country road

    A Toxic Factory Will Create a Toxic Future

    By Bobbi Blok. Children deserve clean air, water, soil, and a safe healthy area where they can play and grow. But a factory that manufactures wool-like insulation from spun-melted rock in Ranson, Jefferson County, West Virginia, will make that impossible. Rockwool, a Danish company, is constructing a factory that will…

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  • A stop sign in water

    Sharing Love and Knowledge in the Time of COVID-19

    An Interview with Beverly G. Ward. “IT’S LIKE PEELING an onion: layer after layer of pandemics and it all makes you cry,” shares Beverly Ward. She’s referencing the built-in injustice of her home state of Florida, where she works as Field Secretary for Earthcare for Southeastern Yearly Meeting (SEYM) and…

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  • Black and white photo of six police officers in Washington DC in riot gear

    Collective Community Resilience: Thinking Through Climate Change and Defunding the Police

    By Sara Jolena Wolcott. ONE OF THE MOST important lessons I learned when working in sustainable development overseas is to listen to the people most impacted by the problems to appropriately co-create viable solutions. Sometimes they would prioritize things that seemed strange to me. But over time, I would realize…

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  • Master Chinese herbalist Joe Hollis with young apprentice in his apothecary at Mountain Gardens, Celo, North Carolina.

    Mutual Aid & Local Food Sufficiency in the Era of COVID-19

    By Bob McGahey. South Toe Mutual Aid is an organization of people in the South Toe/Celo, North Carolina area who are collaborating in a variety of activities with intent to strengthen our community’s capacity to meet our resource needs for overall well-being. As a hub of Co-operate WNC, a regional…

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  • A tall person walks hand in hand with a child in the golden leaves

    If I Were a Poet

    By Allen J. McGrew, for Heidi S. McGrew. If I were a poet,
 I would summon for you the cold creak of the board walk beneath your booted feet, And the  gentle caress of the cool breeze on the back of your neck. My words would paint for you the…

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  • Screen capture from Resource Generation's sharemycheck.org

    How Will I #ShareMyCheck?

    By Hayley Hathaway. MY BANK ACCOUNT looked good after I received my Economic Impact Payment of $1200 this spring. I felt grateful for the money Yet, I still have a job, unlike the 25 million people who have applied for unemployment in the US since the pandemic started. I got…

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  • Unfurling fern photograph

    In Uncertain Times: Wisdom for the Pandemic

    By Mary Jo Klingel. I HAVE HEARD the conventional wisdom that the business community needs certainty to function, and that the stock market needs certainty to grow. When I hear that, I think, “Well, what you are really saying is that you need to know that you will continue to…

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  • Hello world!

    Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!…

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  • Photo of Gulf of Mexico from space at Night

    Collective Evolution in the Face of Climate Crisis

    By Keith Runyan. FROM THE EMERGENT PATTERNS of a monarch butterfly’s wing to the fractal branchings of a mycelial web, we find ourselves, as 21st-century Friends awash in a fundamentally beautiful world, unveiled. We find ourselves not in the universe, but of it, in a state of interbeing. Every…

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  • Rings of Tree

    Sociocracy, Natural Living Systems, and Emergent Organizational Design

    By Pamela Boyce Simms “That’s good enough to try,” and “It’s good enough for experimentation,” are phrases often heard in organizations that use Quaker process-derived, sociocratic governance and decision-making. “Good enough” [after much discernment] reflects the understanding that predict-and-control organizational strategic planning isn’t relevant anymore as we move deeper…

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  • Photo of group of people meeting

    Philadelphia Friends Confront Climate Crisis

    By Patricia Finley, Ruth Darlington, Liz Robinson, and the Eco-Justice Collaborative of PYM. MORE THAN 50 FRIENDS gathered on a snowy morning at Germantown Monthly Meeting on January 18 to learn, share, and discern how to effectively address environmental injustice and the climate crisis. Over the course of the…

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  • Nothinkg Lowly in the Universe

    Book Review: Nothing Lowly in the Universe: An Integral Approach to the Ecological Crisis by Jennie M. Ratcliffe

    By Ruah Swennerfelt. MANY, MANY YEARS ago, after having a deep-felt conversation with my father, who wanted to blindly trust his government, I gave him Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner. I chose that book because Dad lived in Southern California, a desert turned into a false oasis of millions of homes…

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