"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Another Book - Echlin's Climate and Christ

Having finished Ancient Futures I am now dipping into another good book - Climate and Christ: A Prophetic Alternative, by the ecological theologian Edward Echlin. I have to say I have not always found Echlin's books easy to read (note to me - must go back and find out why!) but this one is OK on that score. And don't be too put off by the title. This is a book that rewards the effort in getting to the end; a book whose message is urgent but also hopeful. Although written primarily from the Christian perspective, it includes plenty of the author's own stories of his organic and green life style, and some of the history and science behind climate change. It also describes the process of evolution and proposes an integration of evolution with christian ecology. Whilst clearly inspired by Christ, this book may well be appreciated by any "of faith," all those who want to learn why they need to change their lives, and how - how to find alternative lifestyles and walk away from the "individualised, consumer, globalised, "growth" economies that are destroying the earth" - to find a better path. We owe it not only to ourselves but most importantly to our children and grandchildren.
I love the Jewish story (here told by Peninnah Schram) he relates from the Babylonian Talmud Ta'anit 23:

"Honi the Wise One was also known as Honi the Circle Maker. By drawing a circle and stepping inside of it, he would recite special prayers for rain, sometimes even argue with God during a drought, and the rains would come. He was, indeed, a miracle maker. As wise as he was, Honi sometimes saw something that puzzled him. Then he would ask questions so he could unravel the mystery.

One day, Honi the Circle Maker was walking on the road and saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked the man, "How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?"

The man replied, "Seventy years."

Honi then asked the man, "And do you think you will live another seventy years and eat the fruit of this tree?"

The man answered, "Perhaps not. However, when I was born into this world, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees."

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