http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/jul/07/research.waste - 'Earth will expire by 2050', I am left wondering if there will be any planet left for me (perhaps!) or my children to enjoy.
I have to admit to secret imaginings of how we can become (more) self sufficient, as currently we are not at all and how I can use less natural resources. My plans for a vegetable garden are slowly taking shape and I compost (when I empty the container!). But unfortunately I also have to admit that most of my motivations in this department are monetary, rather than environmental or practical, as having a bin full of overflowing rubbish does not appeal in anyway!
It does seem like the very little I can do at all, when compared to the size of the carbon footprint of one person in the UK, will make very little difference. In fact, when compared to the size of the carbon footprint of the average person in the US (double that of the UK), I might as well use my tumble dryer all day long rather than ration myself (if my electricity budget allowed of course!)
I imagine that I am not alone in this thought and in fact, if we are all as selfish as I fear we are, unless it does indeed benefit us (monetarily, practically or even in an image boosting way) I cannot see that we will be able to stop this 'wasteful lifestyle of the rich nations' which is 'mainly responsible for the exploitation and depletion of natural wealth. Human consumption has doubled over the last 30 years and continues to accelerate by 1.5 per cent a year'. Perhaps I am underestimating what the human race can do when overwhelmed and moved by the plight of whole nations starving from lack of food, brought about by our waste? I think not.
The Bible opens and ends with God as the creator and sustainer of creation. Throughout the big picture of the Bible people are commanded to care for and enjoy creation and all the blessings it provides. The end of the Bible pictures a new heaven and new earth - in which creation is perfect, unspoilt, overflowing with plenty and better than we can imagine. I have to say that it would be easy to despair having read this article. I have no great confidence that next months Earth Summit will create any plan to save the earth from human consumption. But I do have great confidence that the earth will not end by humans destroying it, rather, it will be on Jesus' return. I also have great confidence that although we cannot save creation by our own efforts, God has a grand master plan to create a new earth that will even surpass the most beautiful splendour of this one.
So what should my response to this article be? Should I wallow in despair - the earth as we know it will be gone by 2050 and my grandchildren may well live in space? Or should I redouble my efforts to 'save the planet' and throw out my tumble dryer and only eat food I have grown (i.e starve?!) Neither. I must recognise that while I cannot save this earth by my own efforts, Jesus is the only one who can transform our hearts and this world. It is only through knowing Jesus and his transforming power that I will be able to receive forgiveness for my selfishness and waste and have the strength to follow Gods command to care for His world to the best of my ability. So I will strive to know Him more and care for His world better in all the ways I can. I am sad that this area of mission is one which I have overlooked. As part of God's community I need to remember my calling to care for His creation, but also remember that the only way the world will change is if it knows Jesus.