THE recent bushfires have made us realise how fragile our natural environment and community structures can be.
We mourn the loss of lives and dwellings, animals and habitat, and infrastructure, and we grieve over the threatened extinction of some towns and plant and animal life.
We have been made aware of damage to the beauty that surrounds us.
Louis Armstrong once sang ‘what a wonderful world’ to try to bring hope to the millions of victims of the Vietnam War. He sang of trees of green, red roses, skies of blue, clouds of white, blessed days
and sacred nights, the colours of the rainbow, people showing love to one another and babies growing up, and he thinks to himself, “what a wonderful world”.
God created our world, in fact our universe, and at the end of this creation God said that it was very good.
Creation has gone astray from God and decay has set into our world. This decay affects all of life, humankind and the natural environment.
Humankind was charged to be a steward over creation, yet often humankind has abused creation through greed and lack of understanding.
Precious aspects of our world have been degraded and it is now up to us to restore creation as best we can.
We have hope that in the risen Christ creation will eventually be renewed, but that does not mean that we are to sit back and wait for this to happen.
We have a job to do and we should not waste any time.
We have become aware through scientific research that increasing greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming.
We need to try and reduce these emissions so that the world environment does not continue to degrade at such a rapid pace.
Increased temperatures on our planet have already caused ocean levels to rise and threatened human life on some Pacific Islands and caused bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.
Those who work on the land in Australia know that yearly temperatures are increasing, and some have moved south so that crops and livestock will fare better.
The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transportation. This is why there is such a push for the use of renewable energy.
It is now up to us as a global community to restrict greenhouse gases as best we can.
We know this will take time, but we can encourage the use of renewable energy with solar, wind and hydro power and its storage.
Some of us may already have solar panels on our homes or possess an electric or hybrid vehicle. Others of us may choose to walk or ride a bike when we can, rather than hop into the car for transportation.
In the cooler months we may wear another layer of clothes before we turn the heater on. If we all work together, we will make a difference. As Costa from Gardening Australia recently said, “small local action can spawn huge global change.”
We live in a wonderful world, so let’s do our best to restore the home God has blessed for us and let us show God that we can be good stewards of God’s good creation.
Michele Lees, Echuca Moama Uniting Church