These are the words of the prophet Jeremiah six centuries before the birth of Jesus:
How long will the land mourn, and the grass of every field whither? For the wickedness of those who live in it the animals and birds are swept away, because the people said, “He is blind to our ways.” Jeremiah 12.
Jeremiah lived long before modern science produced anti-biotics, automobiles, refrigerators, televisions, cell phones and the knowledge that humans are responsible for irreparable damage to creation. But Jeremiah was astute enough to connect human evil and its impact on the earth, animals and birds. Our scientific knowledge is greater; our spiritual perception is impoverished by the ideologies of consumerism and exploitation.
This was a bad week for creation care. Antarctic ice continues to melt at an unprecedented and frightening rate. The melting of polar ice caps will mean higher sea levels. Closer to home, the state of California, having suffered four years of drought, is inundated with rain causing flooding and landslides. Intense rain storms are expected in the north section of the state in the coming days. These are not absolute evidence of human caused climate change. However, these kind of conditions have been predicted by climate scientists using modeling technology.
President Trump has already called climate change “a Chinese hoax.” This week he loosened regulations on the coal industry. The result is predictable. The US will put more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere consolidating its reputation as the number one agent of climate change. Scott Pruit was sworn in to provide leadership for the US Environmental Protection Agency. If I may quote a former Canadian politician John Crosbie, “Dracula is now in charge of the blood bank.” Pruit has been a climate change sceptic and has initiated court changes of EPA policies.
I live in Winnipeg, Canada, Our provincial premier refuses to join Canada’s national carbon reduction plan. He holds it hostage to other negotiations with the federal government. Our province does not even have a dedicated minister of environment. In our city, the mayor has delayed again consideration of a organic waste composting program. The evidence is clear. Organic waste in landfills adds to greenhouse gases. Other Canadian cities, much larger than Winnipeg, have developed programs. Our city and our province will have to answer to my grandchildren for delaying action.
People of faith should be the first to enjoy nature and respect God’s created order. We should be on the frontlines of those who protect the planet. Unfortunately most of us are numbered with those that exploit and destroy.
I try to pray daily for those who work to protect creation. I ask God that their lives and work may be fruitful. I ask that they may receive support and encouragement from Christian congregations. I pray that God will give them steadfast endurance so that they can deal with discouragement and still praise the Lord for the beauty of his creation. I ask my readers to join me in these prayers to the Creator of all life.