Friday, April 22, 2005

Earth Day

Against Poverty - Wangari Maathai

Poverty is both a cause and a symptom of environmental degradation. You can't say you'll deal with just one. It’s a trap. When you're in poverty, you're trapped because the poorer you become, the more you degrade the environment, and the more you degrade the environment, the poorer you become. So it's a matter of breaking the cycle.

We cannot solve all the problems that we face: we don't have water, we don't have energy, we don't have food, we don't have incomes, we're not able to send our children to school. But we can do something – something that is cheap, that is within our power, our capacity, our resources. And planting a tree was the best idea I had. For me, it became a wonderful way of breaking the cycle.

[For Earth Day, thoughts from an African woman on overcoming environmental degradation - and poverty. Source: From an interview with Amitabh Pal, The Progressive Magazine - Daily Dig]
One of the things that has struck me over the years is that there are so many "liberal" causes, like the environment, that get belittled by "conservatives". But most of the time, both sides tend towards being wrong, don't they? In putting together environmental issues with poverty, maybe it gets filled out a little more, maybe it needs more attention. I received the Daily Dig in my email this morning, and really had no idea today was "Earth Day", what's always been a "liberal agenda" thing for me. But, what if the church began to stand up for things like clean water, safe economic practices, and even just planting trees - taking care of the creation that cries out as a witness for the Lord? What would that look like in our culture/world today?


Blogger janet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

22/4/05 11:46 AM  
Blogger janet said...

Let me try this again... :)

I'm not perfect in this area, but one thing God has continually been bringing to the forefront for us is stewardship. The problem is that Christians tend to automatically switch to finances when they hear that word. They forget things like time, the environment, and our physical bodies. I have a friend who was actually outwardly laughed at when she said she considered her physical fitness a form of stewardship. I can't see how taking care of the entire creation is any different, whether it's water, air, soil, or animals. It's just can't be respectful to the Creator to destroy the created in any form.

It seems to me when believers get truly serious about the right things (an all-encompassing faith)... THEN the culture might begin to take us more seriously.

22/4/05 11:49 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

well said. and tracking right along my thought when i saw this quote this morning. there's so much more to most of these things, and we don't take it all seriously enough because we've got our own pet projects most of the time.

thanks for stopping by!

22/4/05 11:51 AM  

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