Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Earth-keepers - Nesdoly

"You have made him (man) to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet..." says the psalmist. But we humans have blown it. Literally. Since April 20th, oil has been pouring from a blown oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. Look at the devastation.  All efforts to cap it have so far failed, and oil continues to spew out at the rate of thousands of gallons a day.

It's not only human-caused accidents like this that soil the environment. It's our regular behaviour over months and years that shows up in places like the stomach of a grey whale washed up on the shore of Puget Sound April 20th: contents: "20 plastic bags, small towels, surgical gloves, sweat pants, plastic pieces, duct tape, and a golf ball."

Though on principle I get my back up at the message of tree-hugger, save-the-earth types like the Sierra Club, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society etc., many of their warnings are worth listening to. Their  methods are often extreme but they are definitely on the side of preserving nature from mankind's carelessness and greed -- something God gave humankind responsibility for when He said to Adam: "…have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:28). As a sidebar article in my Bible puts it:
"The world literally stands or falls based on the actions and stewardship of human beings….we should never be satisfied to dwell on a mere lower level of creaturely existence, but strive to live at the highest and fullest level of our human nature. God designed for man a more noble destiny than creation could ever bestow. We should continue to explore what it is to be human, made in the image and likeness of God and given dominion (stewardship) over all the Earth."
Charles Blake /Jesse Miranda "Twin Truths: Man's Dominion and Responsibility" New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 691.

It's not hard to find green initiatives with which to align oneself. The trouble is, many of them arise out of world views that are anti-Christian in their origins (Naturalism, Materialism or Pantheism for example) and lead finally to their own brands of idolatry (e.g. the reverence with which our society treats animals).

Still, the fact remains that in general we humans (Christians included) are doing a lousy job of stewarding the earth. Which is why I think we're wise to go along with local initiatives that are for stewardship wherever, in good conscience, we can -- things like recycling, obeying bans on cosmetic pesticides, treating pets and work animals with kindness, picking up after ourselves etc.

Eating foods produced close to home is one green initiative that is growing in popularity. It's based on the desire to limit the need for transporting foods from afar and all that that entails. The 50-mile Diet encourages people to eat only things grown within a 50-mile radius of where they live.

Simply In Season carries a similar message. This colourful (and gorgeous!) spiral-bound cookbook was commissioned by the MCC, and helps North Americans identify and prepare foods that are local and in season.

As each of us does his or her part, we can make a difference. In this one thing, at least, we find ourselves on the side of political correctness, even though our actions may flow from a motivation many eco-warriors would find unacceptable. 

(First published at Other Food: Daly Devo's)



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