Good On Ya, Australia
Australians took a stand and have shown the world they will not give in to Islamophobia following the hostage crisis in Sydney. “Many of Australia’s Muslims are understandably anxious about facing retribution. But instead, Australians have banded together on Twitter with #IllRideWithYou, a hashtag showing their solidarity with fellow countrymen scared of being attacked on public transportation.” The hashtag generated over 150,000 tweets in just 12 hours.
Australians speaking out and standing up against Isalmophobic violence is a powerful lesson for other countries like the United States, “where hate crimes against Muslims spike whenever there’s a criminal or terrorist incident involving Muslims, or even when something innocuous happens like debating the placement of a mosque in New York City. Australian social media users are showing Muslims they’re safe in their home and shouldn’t fear retaliation for an incident they’re not linked to.”
From Waste to Fuel
National Geographic featured a story on Sanga Moses, one of the magazine’s 2014 Emerging Explorers, “a designation that honors tomorrow’s visionaries—those making discoveries, making a difference, and inspiring people to care about the planet.” Moses grew up in a small village in Uganda and was his clan’s first college graduate. When he returned home for a visit in 2009, he saw his 12-year-old sister on the road. Moses recalls, “She stood there crying, with a heavy bundle of wood on her head. She was upset because, like most rural girls, she missed days of school each week searching for fuel wood. My sister…was losing the only opportunity she had to make her life better—education.”
Moses realized that his hometown was losing its natural forest, and the children now had to walk longer distances to find wood. Moses quit his job and began searching for answers, learning all he could about renewable resources, such as turning organic waste into fuel.
“Four years later, 2,500 farmers use his kilns to turn farm waste—coffee husks and waste from sugar cane and rice—into charcoal. A company that Moses founded, called Eco-Fuel Africa, buys the char and turns it into briquettes for cooking that burn cleaner and cost less than wood. The company takes those briquettes to market, providing fuel for more than 19,000 Ugandan families.
The problems that wood burning created for Moses’s family and in his hometown can be seen across sub-Saharan Africa. Eight in ten people in the region depend on wood to cook and to heat their homes. As more forests are destroyed to feed that demand—in Uganda, 70 percent of protected forests are gone—families must walk more miles every day to buy increasingly scarce and costly wood.
Families in the developing world spend up to 40 percent of their income on cooking fuel. Besides leaving children with less time for education, it means that poor farmers are less able to afford fertilizer, causing harvests to suffer and malnutrition to rise. And wood burning takes a huge toll on human health, creating smoky indoor air that leads to respiratory diseases that kill more women and children each year than HIV/AIDS. Moses’s cleaner-burning green charcoal reduces indoor air pollution and has already saved more than three million dollars in energy-related expenses for Ugandans.”
Mormons in the News
The following is a breakdown of a selection of stories from Mormon News Report. Be sure to check out more here.
Renowned Mormon poet Emma Lou Thayne passed away Saturday morning of congestive heart failure, surrounded by family at the St. Mary’s neighborhood. Thayne was 90 years old. Emma Lou Thayne wrote hundreds of poems, 13 books, and a collection of essays with Mormon historian and feminist Laurel Thatcher Ulrich titled “All God’s Critters Got A Place in the Choir.” Thayne also wrote one of the LDS Church’s most famous hymns, “Where Can I Turn for Peace.” President Thomas S. Monson said, “I am saddened at the passing of my friend, Emma Lou Warner Thayne, a multi-talented and caring individual whose outstanding contributions in literature, in education and in other endeavors have done much to enlighten and to inspire…She will be greatly missed. I join with countless others in extending my deepest condolences to her dear husband Mel and to her entire family.”
Peggy Fletcher Stack from the Tribune returns to discuss race and Mormonism, focusing on the black experience at the LDS Church. “A year after the LDS Church published a landmark essay about its past priesthood ban and amid a nationwide uproar over police shootings of blacks, many black Mormons yearn to discuss, debate and defuse racial tensions. They do so in school, at work, on the Internet. One place, it seems, they don’t come near the topic: in church. And that, some say, needs to change.” Stack looks at the original Race and the Priesthood essay released a year ago, and notes that “Black Mormons cheered the essay, and many hoped it would prompt wide-ranging and candid conversations among Latter-day Saints about their faith’s tortuous racial history. That hasn’t happened.” This is a great
thought-provoking piece, especially for those of us in racially diverse areas.
ICYMI on YMF
December 4- R***
December 6- you might be a woman living in patriarchy if…
December 7- sunday spotlight: tinesha
December 7- what do we do with a firm foundation?
December 10- silence on the torture report: don’t talk to me about coffee and sex
December 13- gift ideas for the feminist in your life: 12 days of ymf-mas
December 14- sunday spotlight: gelaina
December 14- island of misfit mormons: 12 days of ymf-mas
December 15- the queer mormon’s guide to surviving the holidays: 12 days of ymf-mas
December 16- caroling with the catholics: 12 days of ymf-mas
December 17- joyeux noel: 12 days of ymf-mas
December 18- putting christ back: 12 days of ymf-mas
Quote of the Week
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Lindsey loves listening to indie rock, watching movies, reading comics, traveling, and designing geeky graphics. She is an alumnus of BYU-Idaho and Bond University in Australia, where she received her master’s degree in communication. She currently lives in Rexburg, Idaho.