“The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord; for He laid its foundation on the seas and established it on the rivers.” (Psalm 24:1–2, HCSB)
Genesis 1: 26-31
26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind[c] in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,[d] and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue (calm, placate, soften, mollify) it; and have dominion (control, authority, domination, power, rule) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
With the living creatures now in place, our sacred story continues,
Global Warming noun
- a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants.
- the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc., so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.
- Fracking uses huge amounts of water, which must be transported to the fracking site, at significant environmental cost.
- Environmentalists say potentially carcinogenic chemicals used may escape and contaminate groundwater around the fracking site. The industry suggests pollution incidents are the results of bad practice, rather than an inherently risky technique.
- There are also worries that the fracking process can cause small earth tremors.
strip mining meaning: a method of obtaining substances such as coal from the ground that involves removing the top layer of soil instead of digging deep holes …
Trash/waste just tossed aside anywhere –
An issue that has been debated since 1953…
1953 – 1970
- 1953: National Advisory Council organizes.
- 1956: First public service announcement (PSA) about litter prevention appears.
- 1960: Keep America Beautiful begins its more than 50-year relationship with the Ad Council.
- 1965: First Lady of the United States of America, Lady Bird Johnson, joins Keep America Beautiful in promoting highway beautification, stating “Ours is a blessed and beautiful land. But much of it has been tarnished. What can you do? Look around you: at the littered roadside; at the polluted stream; the decayed city center. We need urgently to restore the beauty of our land.”
- 1967: Canine TV star Lassie appears as mascot for an anti-litter campaign.
- 1970: In partnership with the Ad Council, launched what became known as the “Crying Indian” PSA campaign, iconic symbol of environmental responsibility and one of the most successful PSA campaigns in history.
Bakelite. The first plastic based on a synthetic polymer was made from phenol and formaldehyde, with the first viable and cheap synthesis methods invented in 1907, by Leo Hendrik Baekeland, a Belgian-born American living in New York state. … Bakelite was a purely synthetic material, not derived from living matter.
Plastics are generally made from petroleum. If the plastic is incinerated, it increases carbon emissions; if it is placed in a landfill, it becomes a carbon sink although biodegradable plastics have caused methane emissions. [
Plastic straws are really bad for the ocean. We use over 500 million every day in America, and most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life. We want to encourage people to stop using plastic straws for good. If we don’t act now, by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
AREN’T PLASTIC STRAWS RECYCLABLE?
Most plastic straws are too lightweight to make it through the mechanical recycling sorter. They drop through sorting screens and mix with other materials and are too small to separate, contaminating recycling loads or getting disposed as garbage.
Plastic straws end up in the ocean primarily through human error, often 1) left on beaches in coastal communities and seaside resorts globally 2) littered OR 3) blown out of trash cans (oftentimes overfilled) or transport boats and vehicles.
Storm Drains – lead to the ocean
WE NEED TO STOP MAKING PLASTIC STRAWS
In the United States and Canada, the colloquial use of the word styrofoam refers to another material that is usually white in color and made of expanded (not extruded) polystyrene foam (EPS). It is often used in disposable coffee cups and coolers, and as cushioning material in packaging. The term is used generically although it is a different material from the extruded polystyrene used for Styrofoam insulation.
In 2015, researchers discovered that mealworms, the larvae form of the darkling beetle Tenebrio molitor, could digest and subsist healthily on a diet of EPS, commonly referred to as “Styrofoam” colloquially. About 100 mealworms could consume between 34 and 39 milligrams of this white foam in a day. The droppings of mealworm were found to be safe for use as soil for crops. Superworms (Zophobas morio) are also reported to eat EPS.
Air pollution occurs when harmful or excessive quantities of substances including gases, particulates, and biological molecules are introduced into Earth’s atmosphere.
Smog hanging over cities is the most familiar and obvious form of air pollution. But there are different kinds of pollution—some visible, some invisible—that contribute to global warming. Generally any substance that people introduce into the atmosphere that has damaging effects on living things and the environment is considered air pollution.
I WILL ONLY BE DISCUSSING THE USA TODAY
Why is this a Spiritual Issue?
What has garbage to do with our walk with God?
Genesis 1 PANENTHEISM Panentheism where all is in God; God/Universe are separate
God entrusted the care of creation to us
Plants animals air water earth
And let them have dominion over…”
Pantheism is the belief God and the universe can be equated; that God is the universe.
God is spiritual/divine Universe is spiritual/divine
What we do to the least of these…
Remember that from last week’s discussion of Immigration –
Loving one another
However we treat one another is how we treat God
believing that God/Universe are the same
means that “What we do to the least of these…”
What ever way we treat the world… we are doing that to God…
God created – said it was good
Then God entrusted the care of creation to humankind… telling humans
fill the earth and subdue (calm, placate, soften, mollify) it; and have dominion (control, authority, domination, power, rule)
HOW are we doing?
Let’s take a look….
Americans generate about 258 million tons of MSW MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE – or MANMADE SOLID WASTE annually,
53% is deposited in landfills Currently, 34.6% of MSW is recycled
and 12.8% is combusted for energy production. https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/cat-item/solid-waste/
Anyhow, take a look.
4.4 pounds: The amount of trash generated daily, on average, by every American. Packed in cubed feet it would be the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
254 million tons: The amount of trash that Americans generate in a year.
22 billion: Plastic bottles thrown out yearly.
12 feet: The height of a wall from Los Angeles to New York City that could be made from tossed office paper every year.
300: Laps around the equator that could be made in paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons disposed of annually.
2,000+: The number of active landfills in the country.
1000s: The number of inactive landfills in the country.
38.4 tons: the amount of garbage per person in Las Vegas landfills.
10 tons, or less: The amount of landfill waste per person in Idaho, North Dakota, and Connecticut.
The cost per ton that Alabama charges to take another state’s trash.
3.4 million tons:
The amount of out-of-state waste taken by Ohio each year at the cost of $35 per ton.
32 percent: The amount of Ohio’s out-of-state trash that came from New York.
The amount of garbage that Americans are now recycling yearly.
Recycling and composting prevented 87.2 million tons of material from being disposed in 2013, up from 15 million tons in 1980.
And let them have dominion over…”
Bible Translations Many use Dominion
- CHRISTIAN Standard Bible – RULE
- Living Bible – MASTER
- Message – Responsibility
- Good News – POWER
These words have been a struggle for people of faith to understand their role in creation…
DOMINION – definitions include
Power, control, rule, control, superiority…
And that is how the church has interpreted DOMINION – and taught this lesson of scripture
— control and power
Sadly, we were not taught that when God gave us dominion over all God created… the God probably believed in human goodness and entrusted us to care for the rest of creation.
I think God’s intention was for humanity to CARE for the rest of creation…
To be responsible for
to be in partnership with creation…
Protect preserve serve and love…
Scripture also uses the term SUBDUE –
HUMANS view the rest of creation as lower on the ladder of importance..
Thus, we have not protected God’s creation….
Water – became a place to dump waste
Air – carried away the dirt/toxins from our fires and incinerators
Land – raped for its many resources… gas, coal, minerals, oil, etc.
ANIMALS – meat eating – followed flood
Scripturally – Genesis 9: 3- Every living creature—birds, animals, fish—will fall under your spell and be afraid of you. You’re responsible for them. All living creatures are yours for food; just as I gave you the plants, now I give you everything else. Except for meat with its lifeblood still in it—don’t eat that.
Struggle with eating meat –
Was not original intention at creation
Animal Abuse –
Not seeing animals as living creatures
Abuse – scientific testing – neglect –
DOMINION — NOT DOMINATION
SUBDUE (calm, placate, soften, mollify)
to care – show compassion – protect
we were called to care for all that God brought into reality…
and remember the Bible stories in which God revealed God’s self THROUGH creation…
Parting of the sea
Nourishment from heaven/sky
IF we understand God as ONE wth nature/creation, us, the universe –
then when we refrain from waste, reuse what we can, recycle what we can’t and create with materials that eventually return to nature…
Aren’t we also caring for God?
Jesus followed this theme of ONE WITH CREATION –
This bread and cup are my body and blood –
AS we share this meal, remember we are all one in the Spirit, in the Universe and in Creation.