Does the Earth Care What We Do To It?

One of my most favorite social commentators is George Will. Recently I read an article from him that said that the earth doesn't care what is done to it or for it. His main point is that over "geologic" time (i.e. extended time millenniums, millions of years, etc..) what we do to the earth is so minimal as to barely register. He notes the amount of rain that falls on the earth to illustrate that we should all be flooded out yet we are not drowning on a global scale.

The article raises some good points when one thinks about the big picture and that is necessary from time to time. Comparing our present few generations to geologic time, George Will is right (i believe) that whatever happens will just be a blip and the earth will survive. After all the earth survived ice ages. We can be so short-term near future focused that we forget to look at history or  into the future 20,30 even 1000 years. 

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Churches and Environmentally Friendly Facilities

On occasion, I've asserted that churches should have the most environmentally friendly facilities in the world! The pushback that I get at times is that it is too costly and would take money away from reaching people.

These frequently vioced concerns touch on two aspects that I would like to respond to:

1) Being environmentally friendly is expensive, and

2) Taking care of the environment is inferior to reaching (or perhaps taking care of) people.


While my response to these two points is not intended to be exhaustive or perfect, I have at least four things Christians should think about:

 

1) Yes, there are very expensive, environment things one could do, like installing solar panels or a windmill. Many of these things are, unfortunately, currently cost prohibitive for many people and churches. However, awareness and intentional behavior modification goes a long way. Being environmentally friendly can help churches reduce costs! My church, Eastwind Community Church in Boise, Idaho (www.eastwindcc.com) has had three people from local businesses (a power company, a recycling company, and an electrical installation company) come to our church and help us develop a system that reduces our impact on the environment and helps us save money as an added benefit. During an economic recession, every little bit helps.

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