"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.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Creation in Crisis; Christian Perspectives on Sustainability

How many books have to be written on the related issues of climate change, environmental sustainability and the growth economy before people sit up, take notice, accept the facts and do something to pay back the next generation for our own profligacies?
When I go to bed I rarely manage to read more than a page or two of a book, even a really good one, before sleep overcomes me. Some will envy me this gift - I know that a few of my friends struggle to sleep for most of the night, fall asleep in the early dawn and then wake up feeling lousy.
Last night for me was an exception from my normal pattern. I was reading Creation in Crisis; Christian Perspectives on Sustainability. An impressive cast of acknowledged experts in their fields, scientists and theologians, had got together for a workshop in the summer of 2008 at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, in Cambridge, UK. The purpose of this gathering was to explore the root causes of environmental unsustainability. Why, they asked, do we continue on a fast track to ultimate and total environmental degradation. Is it ignorance? Partly perhaps. Is it denial? Quite possibly. None of us want to give up our "comfortable" lifestyles for a perceived drop in standards of living. Is there procrastination? Almost certainly. And where does ethics come into the equation?
This book was born out of the cross fertilization of ideas at that event. And it is essential reading for all who really do want to change the world for the better. It brings together many essays, and explores possible solutions and ways forward, within a context of Christian thinking.
Then I started tossing and turning and could not sleep. Because I couldn't stop thinking over this question. So many excellent books have been written on the concerns we have about these issues. But the sad truth is that most people would rather bury their heads in the sand, ostrich style, and would rather be entertained than worried into action by stark facts, when of course there is room for both in our lives.
Witness also to this is the huge following of what I would call the frivolous blogs, clearly addressing only the here and now, against those blogs that try to be more serious about our perilous futures.
In the magazine of Christian Ecology Link, John Mead wrote in 2007 in an article Letting Loose Despair:
"What we in the rich countries are doing to people in poor countries, to future generations, and to the planet, is beyond all argument morally outrageous."

Come on everybody wake up!

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