Wednesday, March 31, 2010

{A Tolerable Planet}

"What's the use of a fine house, if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"

Just a warning in advance. I'm going to get up on my soap box for a minute...I'm dragging it over now...setting it in place...ah, yes, here I am standing atop it.

I'm so tired--so tired--of hearing people say that global warming is a lie...and frankly, that belief seems to be most prevalent among the religious right. And THAT is the part that I find hardest to swallow. Of all people, those who recognize the Earth as a precious, remarkable, beautiful gift from God should be the ones who are most desirous to take care of it. Instead, we attack those who try to encourage others to care for the environment by saying they operate behind the "lie of global warming". To me, global warming seems like a moot point. Regardless of whether or not global warming is a real issue, my inner hippie--the part that loves Thoreau, and the part that marvels daily over the remarkable diversity and beauty of God's creations--hopes to care for this planet.

Not so very long ago in a church meeting, the discussion led the Sunday School class to Doctrine and Covenants 104: 13, 16-18.

It reads:
"For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.

"But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold, this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.

"For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare [...]

"Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made and impart not his portion according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment."

After reading that passage, someone went all Fox News on us and said, "See? This just proves that global warming isn't real at all." I almost passed out. Let me repeat...whether or not global warming exists is not the issue. Taking care of God's beautiful creation--the creation that will ultimately be glorified into the celestial kingdom--is the issue.

I'm obviously talking the Gospel according to Myself here, but it seems to me that if we are appointed stewards over the earth, we are charged with the CARE of the earth. Just as we are made stewards over our children to care for and protect them, we are given that same responsibility over the planet. And yes, the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, did create a world of plenty, but that plenty must be stewarded over in HIS way--giving to the needy and providing for the care of all. But rather than face up to that, we drink our Fiji Water, we buy cheaply made-in-sweatshops Chinese products from WalMart, drive our enormous, gas-guzzling SUVs, and dump our plastic waste on the ground to kill off other animals.

It really isn't that hard to be a little better. There are so many small things we can do to make at least a small difference. Maybe we won't change the world on our own, but I do believe that changing behavior can also change attitudes. If we become more aware and thoughtful of our actions, small steps can turn into great strides...and maybe someday I'll finally get to live on a little farm milking goats and collecting chicken eggs. We're not there yet, but some of the things we have integrated (though not always perfectly) are:
*cloth diapering our kids
*using re-usable water bottles
*taking re-usable grocery bags to the store
*switching CFL lightbulbs
*washing clothes in cold water
*shorter showers
*buying American Made whenever we can find it
*buying or making handmade gifts instead of store bought items
*cutting back on fast food
*buying used for anything we can (kids items, cars, clothing, etc)

Truthfully, all these things are actually better for our pocketbooks and our health, so they are worth doing in more than just the spiritual sense.

Let me now add here, I am NOT perfect. My friends and family can attest to that. I think that my own struggle with consumerism is part of the problem. By buying and buying, I simply create more waste; that fact is a major reason behind my desire to change and the metamorphosis our family has been going through. There are small things I forget to do (like remembering my re-usable grocery bags). There are bigger things I just can't bring myself to add to our lives (like family cloth). But like Thoreau, I would rather have a modest home in a world where I can appreciate God's grandeur than a mansion on a desecrated planet.

Ok....climbing off my soap box now...sliding it back into it's corner....go about your business people, nothing to see here...

I've shared this before, but hey...have you seen this video yet?


  1. I 100% agree with you. I do actually think global warming is real, but that is not the point. If we are given something, especially as valuable as this world, we definitely need to take care of it. I can't believe that a lot of conservative Christians think that life is sacred but think we can trash our planet without a second thought. I am kind of laughing, as an Idaho native, I know what you are up against! We don't have Sunday School arguments like this in Seattle!

  2. This is my stand EXCATLY. And this is also why some of my family thinks I am "liberal" and I think, "Are they kidding?" It doesn't seem like a hard concept to understand!

  3. That's it for me too, me, it just seems SO common sense. It hardly needs explaining, but I feel like the crazy hippy crying for the death of the trees in the wilderness...

  4. Wonderful post, Kierra! I have been trying to look at things in this way too; that the issue is not whether or not it is "real", or even what the answer is to solving it. The issue is that we've been given one earth and one body and we need to care for each of them as a precious gift.


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