A couple of months ago I decided to pick up a subscription to Wired magazine. I’m glad that I did.
In the January edition a short article by Clive Thompson entitled “Global Mourning” caught my attention. You can read the complete text here.
As modern people it is a rare occasion that we take the time to pause and reflect on the beauty of the landscape that surrounds us. What is it that makes home, home? As a Texan the mythology of Travis, Crockett, Boone, and others carries obvious significance, but so does the nature of the landscape. I can remember learning that the state of Texas encompassed five distinct types of landscape–the plains, the piney woods, the coastal region, the hill country, and mountains in the far west. As I grew up in the state I not only increased in my appreciation for the stories, but for the land as well.
Thompson notes that the changing Australian landscape is having a profound effect on the psyche of the people who live there. Glenn Albrecht, a philosopher cited in the article, describes the people as “feeling displaced.” He further describes the situation by saying, “They’re suffering symptoms eerily similar to those of indigenous populations that are forcibly removed from their traditional homelands. But nobody is being relocated; they haven’t moved anywhere. It’s just that the familiar markers of their area, the physical and sensory signals that define home, are vanishing.”
Such stories surely cause us to ask if these changing global conditions speak to our failure to steward the creation which God called, “very good.” There are many ways in which I can “go green” at the local level, but effecting global change will require leadership and vision at the level of government. As a Christian I will do my best to live in a way that reduces the impulse to consume and increase my efforts to decrease waste. Widespread change, however, will require a movement.
Some churches have recognized this need and have begun to move in this direction. My hope is that this will continue. I remember one of my professors, Howard Hendricks, remarking in class that Christians should be more concerned about the environment that the environmental lobbyists. And Hendricks is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.
The future of our planet hangs in the balance, and there is no better day than today to chart a new direction. I’d rather begin now than await a (greater) crisis.