The Washington Post, 11/29/2010: Cancun talks start with a call to the gods
[Excerpts]--With United Nations climate negotiators facing an uphill battle to advance their goal of reducing emissions linked to global warming, it's no surprise that the woman steering the talks appealed to a Mayan goddess Monday.
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, noting that Ixchel was not only goddess of the moon, but also "the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you--because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools."
She called for "a balanced outcome" which would marry financial and emissions commitments from industrialized countries aimed at combating climate change with "the understanding of fairness that will guide long-term mitigation efforts....
"Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skilful interlacing of many threads," said Figueres, who hails from Costa Rica and started her greetings in Spanish before switching to English. "I am convinced that 20 years from now, we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of Ixchel."
Delegates from 193 countries are gathered in Cancun for the two-week meeting. Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a major proponent of action on climate change, attended the opening. Two weeks from now, we'll have a sense of whether Ixchel--and the delegates--were listening to Figueres's appeal.
[TBC: We are also curious to know how the evangelical Green and Environmental movements will handle Figuere's appeal to her pagan goddess.]
The Quarterly Journal, January-March 2011 [excerpts]--For several decades the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been on a mission. Its objective has been to shed the label of being a cult and to appear as just another Christian church down the street.
Last summer, a new television ad campaign was launched in nine test market cities which presents Mormons as regular folks. Billboards along Interstate highways and bus stop placards in the metropolitan test markets are also part of the massive blitz.
Scott Swofford, the director of mormon.org, says, "We hope the spots portray Mormons as diverse people who are united in their belief in Jesus Christ....We hope [Americans] see that Mormons are friendly, charitable, giving to others." Swofford said after the advertisements began airing, their Website experienced "huge traffic jumps."