Latest report from Global Environmental Relief.


By Darrell Smith, director of Global Environmental. 

For those of you who live in the United States, what sights come to mind when you think of natural beauty? Majestic mountains? Sun-washed seashores? Golden fields of grain? Lazy rivers that spread across our nation? America is a beautiful country – with a myriad of parks and green spaces for all to enjoy. We have enacted laws to control litter and limit the cancerous effects of second-hand smoke. Sadly, in the upcoming years, the greatest danger will not be from litter or cigarette smoke – it will be the increasing air pollution, the growing number of unusual and extreme droughts and floods, and the creeping rise of the seas, whose effects are already being felt in certain coastal areas.

Many of us will never see the slow effects of climate disruption, until we go to the grocery store and notice the rising cost of food, or perhaps we’ll receive our annual homeowner’s insurance bill and it will have increased once again. Even then, most Americans won’t starve due to climate disruption. This is not true for others around the world…[Read more at GER website].

Snakeroot highlights on God’s diversity

WHITE SNAKEROOT Eupatorium rugosum

Eupatorium rugosum

By Orrin Morris

Some of us find joy by taking time from our busy lives to observe the fascinating creation God has provided. From the wildflower for today we can observe the great diversity of God’s creation and how we are enriched by that. Diversity as a given in nature should lead us to recognize that the diversity of cultures is God’s way of enriching our lives socially, also.

White snakeroot fits the “sinister” image of the season around Halloween. Imagine the reactions of a group of young children approaching a door around which hangs a large glowing white snake. That would definitely be a spooky scene!

There is much more to consider about this wildflower. Not only does it have a sinister name, but it is highly toxic when one drinks milk from cows that have eaten snakeroot. Cattlemen in the east could not allow their cattle to range as freely as originally done in the west because of this and similar toxic plants. One writer noted that Abraham Lincoln’s mother died from drinking “toxic” milk.

The white snakeroot grows to a height of 3 feet. The stem is stiff and the leaves are opposites. The fuzzy white flowers are small, less that 1/4- inch wide, and appear in relatively flat-topped clusters, as pictured. The leaves are coarse and sharply toothed.

White snakeroot can be found in the woods and thickets from late summer and until frost. The Native Americans used the juice from the root to counteract the poison from snake bites, thus the common name, snakeroot. (Adams and Casstevens)

The extravagant abundance of wildflowers is a mere hint of the abundant grace God desires to pour upon us. “But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you? (Matthew 6:30).”

Finally, the delicate beauty of wildflowers is a symbol for us of the beauty God wishes to create in those who practice what Jesus taught when He said “Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).”

The difference between weather and climate: A Science Lesson


The Climate and Environmental debate in the United States often confuses the difference between weather and climate.  For instance, some time ago, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) confused weather and climate when he brought a snowball into Congress to argue that human-induced climate change is misplaced.  This article from Global Environmental Relief blog takes a closer look at the difference between the two terms and their relationship in the larger scope of the planet’s history.  It’s worth a read (disclaimer: Rev. Joe LaGuardia serves as vice president of the GERI board.)

By Dr. Darrell Smith, Global Environmental Relief

There’s a great deal of talk today about the difference between weather and climate. For many who grew up in North Central Texas, the changeability of the weather was a daily conversation topic.  In this part of Texas, the weather sometimes changed drastically over the course of a few hours.  A sunny balmy day outside on the lake could have you running for cover as a severe thunderstorm and hail suddenly appeared from out of nowhere.  Winter days in the 70s changed in a few hours to ice storms and a foot of snow (we have the pictures to prove it!).

Often attributed to Mark Twain, the old adage, “If you don’t like the weather wait a minute, it’ll change” certainly applies to this part of Texas – except in the summer, when it is just hot.

August is notorious for days close to or exceeding 100 °F with no rain in sight. The Hotter’N Hell 100 bicycle race held here each year in August is aptly named!  All of these frequent changes in weather led many from the area to become profoundly interested in weather phenomenon around the world, and some eventually to discussions of climate.

Weather is the day to day changes in temperature, humidity, or rain in a particular place.  Climate, on the other hand, is quite different!  Climate is the prevailing weather conditions of a region throughout the year, averaged over a series of years and decades….

The evidence for climate change won’t be found in the weather you experience this week – or even next month.  The evidence will be found by looking outside of our nightly weather reports and even outside the United States.  The evidence can be found in looking at the climate that is changing around the world and also with the people and natural world already suffering from its effects.  [Read More here…]