What is Nature Worth?


I discovered the work of Robert Costanza that asks “What is nature worth?” Costanza attempts to put a dollar value on global ecosystem services recently while listening to a Radiolab episode called Worth. I’m not sure how I feel about this kind of work. It may benefit us in the short term to describe ecosystem services […]

The High Holy Days Approach


Last year around the same time that our annual consumer frenzy was reaching a fever pitch I was wrapping up a series inspired by fellow Truett grad, preacher extraordinaire and soon-to-be published author, Kyndall Rae Rothaus, about the nature of our purchases and how they function in the consumer religion (Holy Purchases). I’ve just gone […]

The Economy of Smallness


She envisions “a new economy based on smallness” made up of independent businesses and decentralized farms that work cooperatively, invest in each other, and pay attention to a triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. Through her work at the Social Venture Network, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies BALLE, and other organizations, she […]

Growing Strength to Grow Food


“Instead of foreigners sending us food, they should give us the chance to do our own agriculture so it can survive.” So said Rony Charles, a rice grower and member of the Agricultural Producer Cooperative of Verrettes, in Haiti.Giving domestic agriculture the chance to survive would address four critical needs: 1. Creating employment for the […]

Cultivating Economic Peace in an Age of Instability


This story is similar to my own journey in understand the relationship of economics to the purpose and mission of the church. We tried to imagine an economy informed by the narratives of scripture, one bearing witness to the reign of God. It would be made of the same ingredients as the dominant economy: the […]

Why Food Should be a Commons not a Commodity


Food is treated as a private good in today’s industrial food system, but it must be re-conceived as a common good in the transition toward a more sustainable food system that is fairer to food producers and consumers. If we were to treat food as a commons, it could be better produced and distributed by […]

How to divest from fossil fuels


What if you want to root out petroleum investments in your own life? Could you? Granted, your contribution may be small as ever, but divestment is picking up steam. It got name checked by the president during his now-legendary Sweaty Forehead Speech, and it’s getting attention from the mainstream media. Here’s The New York Times […]

Does the Church Need to Build Alternative Economies?


Excellent and challenging article that questions our assumptions about economics in the church while also offering some alternatives that we can begin to live out in our churches and communities. I’m proud to say that our community (though imperfectly) is already practicing these alternatives. I would add the sharing economy to the list of alternatives. […]

What 11-Year-Olds Get—and Adults Forget—About Child Labor in Chocolate


Marie was only 11 years old when she spoke at the “Raise the bar, Hershey!” rally in 2010. She’d seen videos of children in Ivory Coast and Ghana lugging around heavy sacks of cocoa beans and wielding machetes to open cocoa pods. She heard that these malnourished children in forced labor are often whipped or […]