Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Family Tree: Rooted in the Earth

In response to Sarah Palin's recent claims that climate change is based on "junk science and doomsday scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood," Al Gore said that "global warming is not a political issue but a moral one,” he said. Which is it? Is it immoral to do nothing about global warming?

A Family Tree: Rooted in the Earth
One of the most foundational stories in Christianity is the story of Adam and Eve. Their story begins as God forms humanity from out of the dust of the earth. For Christians, our identity is derived from our origins found in the dust of the earth. Humans are irrevocably tied to the earth and to all of creation which was brought forth from the same earth. We are tied to the waters, to every animal of the field, and to every bird of the air. And for this reason Christians and humans have a moral imperative to act against global climate change. We must act to preserve the earth because the earth is who we are.

We are becoming increasingly aware of our lineage, sprung forth out of the earth, as climate crisis threatens. As the earth warms, both drought and flood inhibit the ability of farmers to produce crops. And with the pangs of hunger and starvation our relationship with the earth and our common ancestry from the dust become agonizingly apparent. As glaciers melt, communities around the world will find that the nourishing waters are no longer springing forth from the earth. And with the pain of thirst, our common ancestry from the dust becomes more readily apparent. As global water levels rise, many communities’ ability to merely dwell on the dust from which they came is threatened. And in the midst of exile we are reminded again of our common ancestry from the dust.

It is our moral duty and imperative duty as humans to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsting, and to give shelter to the homeless. We do this because the hungry, thirsting, and homeless are who we are, they are human. In this same way, it is our duty as humans to act to alleviate climate crisis because the earth is who we are.

The beginning is important because it tells us about the end. Not only is our past tied to a relationship with the earth, but our future as well. Our future and hope lies in our terrestrial identity. Our hope is that life will again spring forth from the earth. Especially in this time of ecological distress, our future rests on the earth’s ability to nourish us. Therefore, humanity must move forward aware of our earthly identity and act to combat global climate crisis.


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