Skip to main content

It's About Humility and Gratitude

April 8, 2013 – Today’s article will not be everybody’s cup of tea.  This particular pot has been brewing for quite some time, however, and I’m realizing that if I don’t say anything, I’m not being faithful to the person I am.  Comments are always welcome; share your reaction, if you care to.
Perhaps it’s people’s lack of imagination that perplexes me, at least in part.  But no – that’s fudging.  If I’m going to be honest with you – and I am – it’s people’s faith in anything but God that has me stymied.  Here we are, in the hottest water (hmm, this tea theme seems to have a life of its own) humanity has ever gotten themselves into, but we still fail to see how destructive and chaotic climate change will eventually become.  We talk about nature, as if It were the thing in charge.  Nature does not love us, even when we fail.  Nature is not determined that we will learn our lesson, no matter how many times we fail.  Nature does not wreak havoc-with-a-purpose.  Here’s the rub:  nature is only a tool. God is the wielder of that tool.

Many humans accept the inevitability of climate change, but the climate change they fear is really Climate Change Lite.  No – that isn’t fair.  The 20 million Pakistani’s who were displaced by flooding almost three years ago know about what’s coming.  Australian’s have developed a keen appreciation for the dire outcomes awaiting a climatically disrupted world.  Fire and flood, flood and fire.  And famine?  Ah yes, that would be the millions who rioted about lack of food, also three years ago.  (Meanwhile, we intend to plant more corn than ever this year so that we can turn it into ethanol.)
We view it all on TV, pretending the screen creates a barrier behind which we can hide.  We remind ourselves that Our God is a Heck of a Nice Fellow, who would never be mean to Western Civilization.  We ignore what we dislike, we spend our money on baubles, we lament the unjailed bankers and the unpassed climate legislation for which our money-hungry Congress refuses to accept responsibility.  All the while we grub around for what further lucre can be stripped from our paradise.  You remember – the one God made for us.  Call it the Garden of Eden, if that’s how you know it.  I know it by looking out the window, by searching for birds with my binoculars, by planting my flowers and vegetables.  I know it, and I love it, deeply and passionately.  When I remember that God loves us enough to have given us both Paradise and Free Will, I am struck as if by a bolt of lightning.

Our problem arises because we have forgotten who is God, and who is not God.  We are not God, though we love to play at being God.  Look – a new hair rinse!  Look – a faster car!  Look – we’re divesting the earth of its treasures a thousand times faster than we ought to!  We just get better and better all the time!  We have lots of money!  We don’t care if we steal from our own children!  We don’t care if the atmosphere is unbreathable!  We love turning our inheritance into garbage!  Oh my – oh dear – oh no …..

We are exactly on track to learn who is God, and who is not.  Try imagining what THAT will be like.


Popular posts from this blog

New World Environmental Leader?

March 5, 2017 - China's coal consumption dropped for the third year in a row in 2016.  This, coupled with the country's shift away from heavy industry, could well portend cleaner air and water. As you know, cleaner air in China means cleaner air everywhere. With a population of 1.35 billion people, China currently produces twice as much carbon dioxide in the form of emissions as the United States.

Given that the US has a population less than 1/4 the size of China's, their emissions would quadruple our own, if their standard of living matched ours. Thank goodness it doesn't. Be aware, however, that the government of China is transitioning to an economy based on consumer spending. That could spell trouble.

In the meantime, China's National Bureau of Statistics indicates that China's coal consumption fell by 4.7 percent in 2016. Coal's share of total energy consumed fell to 62% in 2016, from 64% in 2015. In the United States, by contrast, the government pledge…