The inspiration behind the development of the Genesis Environmental Center was the growing need for a place in our local community to educate, to advocate, and to instill a desire to participate in issues that affect our environment. Understanding these issues is a critical first step toward our ability to take action.
The continuing destruction of human and animal life, as well as the destruction of our ecosystems, should be unacceptable to anyone of good conscience. Our ecosystem supports our life on Earth; its continued degradation threatens our continued existence as population grows exponentially while we reduce our environmental capacity to support ourselves.
As our mechanistic view of the earth and its life forms has taken hold, we have witnessed a decline in human health and ecological balance. We have considered one part of the biblical equation, the injunction to “subdue the earth.” It is part of our Western theology for it states clearly in Genesis 1:28 that we are to be “fruitful and multiply,” and to “fill the earth and subdue it.” But is this the only teaching that has come down to us? Absolutely not! In balance, we are specifically instructed to be guardians and workers. We are to guard the earth and remember the words of the prophet Isaiah who said, “take care of my world, for if you destroy it there will come none after you to set it aright.” The biblical tradition that has come down from master to disciple, from teacher to student, has been clear on this point. We are prohibited from any type of willful destruction of any object from which someone may benefit.
In the confrontation between Pharaoh and Moses, we are told that ten plagues were visited upon Egypt, and throughout history mankind has faced a series of devastating plagues. The plagues of the past were attributed to God or to nature. Today’s plagues may be attributed to man.
What Are The “Plagues” That We Face Today?
On The Land:
the disappearing soil; the shrinking forests; encroaching desert; starvation (the disease of world hunger).
The Global Elements:
the greenhouse effect; climate in chaos; holes in our ozone map; nuclear waste; fossil fuel crisis.
The Web Of Earth:
The destruction of diversity; genetic erosion; destruction of an irreplaceable heritage.
Exponentially exploding population growth; a rising health crisis; a diminishing of literary and educational standards (an uneducated and uninformed citizenry).
The chaos in our cities; the widening chasm between the have and the have-nots; growing poverty; unstable world markets; growth of the Great Lie.
Living on a violent planet; the threat of nuclear and biological war. We can be in denial of these challenges or we can take responsibility. Where shall we begin? The task of fighting governments and multi-nationals, of political leaders and industries is daunting. We can be activists and we can advocate, but more importantly we must educate. We must drastically change our perception, at the way that we perceive our planet and our relationship to it. The web of life is interconnected and as we change ourselves, our own internal world, our mind and our body, we may begin the journey toward healing ourselves and our world. The wound is the great rift that we have created between ourselves and the earth. Become educated, become aware, be an example to others, take action, speak out. It is our future and our future very quickly becomes our present in which we have to live.