HAVE A CARE FOR THE PLANET
But the earth will be desolate because of its inhabitants for the fruit of their doing (Micah 7:13 NRSV)
It was an article in the July/August 2015 edition of Reform by Susan Durber that drew my attention to this verse from Micah. It seems to describe so well with our current relationship with the environment and with global warming. There are cosmic catastrophes we have no control over yet our current ecological crisis is to a major part the result of human activity. The earth will be desolate because of what human kind has done.
In the 1980s I spent three years working in the power generation industry, I was involved in air pollution monitoring and research, at that time the major concern was the production of acid rain. When fossil fuels are burnt all sorts of nasty chemicals are thrown into the atmosphere, in the case of acid rain the main concern was to do with oxides of sulphur and nitrogen producing acid rain which caused de-forestation around Scandinavian lakes. My own research took me in another direction we were concerned about a hole in the ozone layer but this issue was also to do with the burning of coal, gas and oil and the resulting particles and chemicals thrown up into the air.
We do not seem to have learned, for the burning of fossil fuels continues to cause damage to the environment. Increasing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has led to severe global warming.
Global warming, acid rain and ozone depletion are linked scientifically, the chemicals that deplete the ozone layer and the particles that are involved in the formation of acid rain also contribute to global warming.
It is considered that a rise in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius is the most the world can cope with without causing severe changes to world food production, sea levels, wild life, deserts and water reserves. Even pegged at 2 degrees most coral reefs and glaciers will be destroyed. The fear is that we are not going to meet the 2 degree limit. There are mixed views among scientists some think that we have already reached a point of no return others argue that we have the technologies and the resources we need as nations to make the commitment.
The prophet Micah is not speaking about environmental catastrophe but he does describe the total corruption of the people and calls for penitence and trust in God, the actions of the people has caused desolation, but the prophet still speaks words of hope in a faithful God. God will indeed have compassion upon the people.
We need to open our ears to the modern day prophets of climate change and transform our behaviour accordingly, let us pray to our compassionate faithful God to grant us wisdom for the future.
Advent is period of penitence, let us use this period to examine the way we live our lives and change what we are about.
Creating God, you give light and life,
and express delight in your creation.
You gave the command to till and care for your garden,
but we have abused the beauty of creation and the keeping of your word.
We confess the plundering of finite resources.
We confess to stealing our descendants’ birthright to life.
We confess the flagrant pollution of land, sea and air.
We confess the churches’ lack of concern for the well-being of creation.
We confess the excesses within our own lifestyle.
Creating God, we have desecrated your creation and darkened your light.
In a moment of quiet we confess our profligate lifestyle and human greed………
From Eco-Congregation Module 2 Celebrating Creation