• Environmental Ethics

Living in a Snow Globe

Greetings from Holden Village, where we have had approximately 13 inches of snow in the past day! Now the Village is starting to look like we were all expecting it to. All of the trees and roofs are covered in snow, and as the fluffy flakes continue to fall, it looks like we are living inside a picturesque snow globe!

Here is an update on what we have been up to since Wednesday the 8th:

We continue to read thought-provoking chapters and have interesting discussions in class. We are using case studies to apply theoretical concepts about ethics to realistic situations. The case that we are contemplating now is whether a family that received an inheritance of land and money should build a modest lake cabin, and what the ecological and social consequences of this action would be.

Everyone in the class is currently working on a group project to present some aspect of the history and life at Holden Village to the class. One group is researching the history of the mine, while another researches the on-going remediation project. A third group is researching the sustainability of business and purchasing practices in the Village, and a fourth is looking at the role of the environment in worship and spiritual life. We all have had many interesting conversations with members of the community and researching in documents in Holden’s library to prepare.

Several people have gone snowshoeing and cross-country skiing now that the weather is finally cooperating. There is an abundance of great trails and scenic locations for us to explore! Many people in the class have traveled down to the creek and the footbridge, while others have hiked out to a waterfall.

There is no shortage of fun and entertainment for us in our non-class time! On Friday evening we had game night, and many intense games of Bananagrams, Uno, Ping Pong, Jenga and 500 were played! Last evening the Village had movie night and several of us watched the film “In America.”

Many of us have tried out the sauna, which is quite an experience! The sauna is heated by a wood stove, which must be started about an hour before the sauna is ready. The sauna consists of a small room with wooden walls and two layers of benches for people to sit on. The temperatures in the sauna can reach 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and once one has sweated enough, one can jump in the dunk tank of freezing water next to the sauna, or run outside and make snow angels. I know it sounds awful, but many of us have found it to be relaxing and refreshing, like jumping in a swimming pool on a hot summer day.

Unfortunately, I am not able to upload pictures to accompany this blog because the internet is too slow here. I will, however, post some pictures after we arrive back in Seattle and have faster internet.

Thank you for reading!

Snowshoeing on a hike
Snowing near the Dining Hall/Hotel
Snow on a tree near Lodge 1
Beautiful snowflakes by Railroad Creek