Environment Local News

Panel to Discuss Louisville’s Air Pollution Problems, as Well as Successes in Pollution Control

So far this year, Louisville has had a record number of Air Quality Alert days, when levels of ozone were dangerously high. But in recent years, the city has made progress in controlling air pollution. The state of Louisville’s air and upcoming regulations will be the subject of a panel discussion today.

Environment Local News

Canadian First Nations Elder Brings Message of Tar Sands Destruction to Louisville

Activists in the United States have been protesting the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico and exacerbate climate change. But for many First Nations tribes of Canada, the tar sands have already destroyed traditional ways of life.

WFPL’s Erica Peterson spoke with Chief François Paulette, the lead elder of the Dene Nation in the Northwest Territories of Canada about the impact development of the tar sands is having on indigenous people.

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Environment Local News

Activist McKibben Discusses Climate Change, Keystone XL Pipeline in Louisville

Writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben says it’s not too late to reverse the effects of climate change. McKibben made the comments in a speech to the Louisville Rotary Club today as part of the Festival of Faiths.

McKibben has been in the news most recently for leading a movement opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico. He says building that pipeline would release the second-largest pool of carbon dioxide on earth, and have destructive consequences for the planet.

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Local News

Buddhist Leader Speaks In Louisville

The director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington is helping launch the 15th annual Festival of Faiths in Louisville.    

Arjia Rinpoche, who is also a representative of the Dalai Lama, has been discussing the Buddhist perspective on stewardship of the earth, to coincide with the festival’s theme, “Sacred Soil as the Foundation of Life.”

“The whole universe is made by four elements, and when you check our body, also our body is made by four elements; fire, water, wind and earth. The earth is the basic foundation, so that’s why we have to preserve this Earth,” he said.

Rinpoche has authored a book called Surviving the Dragon, which recounts his childhood recognition as the reincarnation of an ancient Buddhist saint and reformer, and his later flight from Chinese rule in Tibet.

The Festival of Faiths begins Wednesday and continues through November 9.

Rinpoche will talk about his book this evening at 7:00 at Carmichael’s Bookstore on Frankfort

Local News

Festival Of Faiths Begins Wednesday

By Sheila Ash

The 15th Annual Festival of Faiths begins this week in Louisville. The festival will celebrate “Sacred Soil as the Foundation of Life.”

Event Coordinator Lauren Argo says each year there is a special event that coincides with the theme.

“We also have a Native American community soil blessing this year based on the success of last year’s community water blessing. Participants and the public are invited to bring a handful of soil collected locally or from around the world to offer as part of this ritual,” she said.

The festival will also feature several award winning films including Dirt! The Movie, and Manufactured Landscapes.

The event runs through November 9 and will be held at the Henry Clay Building. Many of the activities are free and open to the public.

Arts and Humanities Environment Local News

Festival of Faiths to Hold Kickoff; Announce Speakers

The 15th annual Festival of Faiths is not until November, but its organizer, the Center for Interfaith Relations, is holding a kick off event for this year’s festival tomorrow. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

The theme for this year’s Festival of Faiths is soil. And during the kick-off organizers will announce the lineup of prominent speakers on the subject who will be in Louisville for the event.

Lauren Argo is with the Center for Interfaith Relations and working to organize this year’s festival. She says the center is working to involve more people in the upcoming festival and have a presence throughout the community.

“This year, we’d love to have the spotlight on local farms,” she says. “We also have a community gardens project and we’re working with Life Centered Ministries and they will be using this community garden to help the Russell area.”

Even though the festival doesn’t take place until November, Argo says organizers have already begun to reach out to involve a wide range of people throughout the community.

“This is not limited by the silos of religion,” she says. “It’s really thinking about how we as humans have a spiritual and environmental responsibility to the earth and the soil and all the things that intertwine with that — food, nutrition.”

Argo says author Wendell Berry is already scheduled to appear at the November festival.

Argo says Thursday afternoon’s kickoff will include food and live music at the center’s garden at 415 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard. It starts at at 4:30 p.m.

State of Affairs

Grandmother Wisdom

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Grandmother Wisdom
If you’re a grandmother, chances are you worry about your grandchildren, possibly fretting over their future. What will the world hold for them? How will they be able to make their way? You try and impart your wisdom, and your love, to help them along life’s path. But what if you were a grandmother to the world? Well, chances are you’d have the same worries and try to do the same for everyone. Join us on Wednesday when we talk with four of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers about their mission and being the world’s grandmothers.

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Arts and Humanities Local News

Annual Festival of Faiths Focuses on Water

This year’s Festival of Faiths is underway in Louisville and it’s exploring the subject of water. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

Now in its 14th year, the festival features exhibits, lectures and art that link diverse faiths and community-based organizations under themes. The title of this year’s festival is “Sacred Water: Sustaining Life.”

Mark Steiner is the festival’s director of programming.

“We’ll explore water from both faith traditions’ perspectives as well as the various not-for-profit organizations that are out there dealing with the issues surrounding water,” Steiner says. “Water rights, water pollution — it’s the global issue that’s emerging right now. As well as being significant to life on planet Earth, it also has great significance in faith traditions and in spirituality.”

The annual festival has brought in leading scholars of faith as well as environmental and civil rights activists. Among this year’s many invited guests are 13 grandmothers who since 2004 have traveled the world.

GrandmothersSteiner says the grandmothers are from the Americas, Africa and Asia.

“They represent indigenous wisdom from across the globe,” he says. “And they are 13 women who were called together to speak out about the way the planet’s being treated and for generations to come.”

A documentary about the women will be shown Sunday at the Kentucky Center. The festival continues through Nov. 13 with lectures throughout the city and more than 60 exhibits and displays at downtown Louisville’s Henry Clay Building. Dozens of local houses of workshop are also participating.