Written by Diane E. Shallue, Christ the King Caring for Creation Member
Last Wednesday was the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. As people of faith we believe that God created the earth and its wonderful diversity of life forms. Nature provides us with oxygen, pollinates crops, produces our food and regulates our weather patterns. Keeping nature diverse and flourishing supports human life yet human activity has altered almost 75 per cent of the earth’s surface.
God cares for animals, humans and all of the earth. Psalm 35:6 says, “Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgements are like the great deep: you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.” As Easter people, we know that God saves and brings new life. In Revelation 21:5, the one who was seated on the throne said, “See I am making all things new.” Can God renew the earth? Does God want us to help with this task?
With the reduction in transportation activities during the Covid-19 lock downs, the atmosphere has cleared in remarkable ways. Scott Collis, an atmospheric scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, said satellite imagery and other atmospheric monitors are already showing a dramatic reduction in pollution. “Over China there was a 50% reduction in things like nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide due to the shutting down of heavy industries and factories,” he said. The decline in air travel is also reducing pollution.
It is amazing how quickly the atmosphere has improved. It seems that we humans have a profound effect on our environment. Better air quality is good for all of creation. Yet some aspects of the “Stay at Home” orders are creating more pollution in other ways. People are using more disposable plastic bags, on-line ordering produces more packaging waste, and take-out meals use throw-away containers. In what ways can we be stewards and work with God to care for the earth?
Although we can see the resiliency of the atmosphere, earth care remains a challenge for all of us. The Caring for Creation Team at CTK has been working to encourage recycling, reduce energy use, improve water quality, and create pollinator friendly environments. Please join the movement to renew the earth in whatever ways you can.