Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Future Industry Extinction

I found this article both sad and compelling. What cultural and technological and behavioral trends are expected to kick what have been fixtures of our consumer landscape to the curb?
Last year Kodak stopped making 35mm slide projectors and Polaroid recently made its last camera.
When I first got a home Internet connection in 1995, I figured that newspapers, or at least the classified section, would be dead before 2000. Obviously it didn't happen that fast but now it is starting. The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News recently cut their deliveries to 3 days a week and are asking customers to go to their websites. PC Magazine recently announced that it will be going to an online-only format. Not only is it incredibly cheaper to publish online but it is much more environmentally friendly. As laptops get smaller and more ergonomically friendly and printing and labor costs become higher, along with environmental pressures, will we start to see this with all magazines and more books?
Other than these 10 industries listed in this article, what else could be GONE by 2017? Maybe... the gas station? Quick-lube oil change depots? Libraries? (Imagine the entire Library of Congress online?) The coal industry? If Lester Brown is right... Civilization?
(Hi, Future Steve... I'll bet you're cracking up at this one right now.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hope for Michigan's Economy... I hope!

"Granholm Signs Bills Advancing Renewable Fuels Production and Use in Michigan"

I saw a presentation as part of Leadership West Michigan that showed that states that have embarked on initiatives such as this have all generated jobs and jumpstarted each state's economy. I'm glad to see this happening here. Along with the Renewable Energy Sources Act, these two pieces of legislation could be the beginning of a green and more sustainable economy in our state; one that could really use some good news right about now.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Richard Cizik Forced to Resign as VP of the NAE

I feel that American Evangelicalism has lost an important, reasonable, and compelling voice in our country with the encouraged resignation of Richard Cizik as the VP of Government Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals. Too bad. I had felt Richard Cizik was one of the more influential Christian voices we had going, and was able to speak to insiders and outsiders about the mission of the church and our roles as caretakers of creation. I'm sorry to see him go, and sorry that the clarifications of his statements on NPR was not enough to allow him to carry on his significant work. Hopefully he will move on to an even greater role representing Christians who are also concerned with Creation Care, and who want to build the Church of Jesus and not merely bring about a "Christian nation". It is even more frustrating seeing that his statements, while perhaps controversial with some of the NEA's constituents, did not neccessarily violate NEA's own broadly defined doctrinal statements. I am a passionate Jesus-follower and I resonated with his positions, as do many younger evangelicals I know.
I am not a fan of slippery slope arguments, period. I cannot disagree more with Tony Perkins who blogged that Cizik is an example of when Christians "become" environmentalists (as if they shouldn't already be one) they can get "blinded by the green light" and start to espouse all sorts of other liberal (and presumably "anti-Christian") positions. Hardly. Creation Care is not a gateway drug into following and believing Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens.
There is a powerful case that Creation Care is biblical, regardless of where you stand on global warming being caused by human activity or not. Christians ought to be concerned about Creation Care if they love God and love their neighbors. Right there alone is a theology of ecology. See earlier posts of mine that unpack this.
Richard, I hope you find another place from which to carry on your work. Don't give up.