The Earth and Climate Action Ministry Team has these suggestions for books and movies to help keep those winter blues away!
My Octopus Teacher, an original Netflix Film
This delightful 85-minute documentary relates the story of Craig Foster, a diver and filmmaker who spent a year observing and interacting with a wild octopus in a kelp forest off Cape Town, South Africa. He captures the underwater life of the octopus as it feeds, avoids sharks, plays with fish and befriends Foster. What makes the film so special is how it shows the trust that develops between Foster and the octopus–the ultimate “other”–day by day. Moreover, the cinematography is absolutely stunning. The film was ten years in the making and released in 2020. A beautiful film. Marilyn Mayers
What We Think About When We Try Not to Think about Global Warming, by Per Espen Stoknes
The human brain has difficulty coping with mind-numbing problems like climate change. Using many real-life examples, Stoknes explains how five psychological barriers can be overcome by retelling the story of climate change and making earth-friendly behaviors easy and convenient. Drawing on his own deep love of nature, he suggests ways to overcome our “Deep Grief” by creating spiritual connections with nature. At the same time, he provides a vision of how we can build a happier and more sustainable community. Whether you are working on the front lines addressing climate change, immersed in science, or trying to make sense of the dissonance around this looming issue, this fresh and insightful analysis will open new doorways to personal and social transformation. Ann Fletcher
Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth’s Landscapes Restore us to Wholeness, by Mary Reynolds Thompson
In this readable and inspiring book, the author guides us through five aspects of Nature, that she refers to as “soulscapes” : Deserts, Forests, Oceans/Rivers, Mountains and Grasslands. In each soulscape journey she touches on aspects of these natural environments that resonate deeply within the human psyche. For example, in Deserts there are sections on Silence, Thirst, Simplicity, Clarity, Emptiness and Impermanence. Each of these sections contains readings, reflections, and short explorations to help us exercise and develop our inner relationship with Nature. The style is informal and easy to absorb, and each section focuses on just a few key ideas. The result is a bit of a ‘nature guide to the soul’ that can be used whenever we need some direct inspiration about how deeply the natural world permeates and energizes the human spirit. Highly recommended for anyone who loves Nature – which is ALL of us! John Chmaj
Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Conversations: Connecting Faith, Climate, and Justice (recorded Dec. 8, 2020)
UCS has a long-established connection to the faith community as important allies in our work to address climate change and other pressing issues. The panelists opened a conversation about climate and racial justice through the lens of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, providing different perspectives on the imperative for action driven by science and social justice.