Care for the planet

Nov 20, 2017 by

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Fire season in California was worse than ever. We packed a couple of bags with essentials. Chickens and the cats would have to fend for themselves if windswept fire blasted through our redwoods and homes. For­ests were burning. Charred chimneys and car hulks were all that remained in major parts of California cities. We prayed for rain, while those in the eastern United States prayed for an end to horrendous rainstorms. Just this year, along with the most devastating fires in history, there have been thousands of years worth of apocalyptic hurricanes.

“Pollution around the world claims an estimated 9 million lives a year, more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined,” according to data from 130 countries from a study by an international team. Air pollution is the biggest culprit: In 2015, 6.5 million fatal cases of heart disease, stroke and lung cancer were tied to sources such as cars, power plants and wood-burning stoves.

It gets worse: At the Paris Climate Change Conference it was generally agreed by representatives of all nations except the United States, Syria and Nicaragua that climate change is the worst health crisis of our time. We are faced with a malignant disregard for protection of the water we drink, the air we breathe and the intricate structure of this beautiful planet. Meanwhile, billionaires grope around on Capitol Hill, hoarding money and power. Why do most media networks and periodicals avoid featuring man’s complicity in the climate calamity?

The heart of a familiar prayer in Matthew 6 reads, “Thy will be done on Earth.” Yes, the divine mandate should be a blueprint for Planet Earth, God’s masterpiece, beautifully expressed in the balance of nature. It’s not about pie in the sky. The Christian way is the natural way. Get with it, because Jesus is coming. Yes, Jesus is coming in the Spirit (Matthew 25). Save a river. Plant a tree. Be a giver. Back Mennonite Central Committee!

John Wiebe
Trinidad, Calif.

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