Wednesday February 18, 2015: Updated October 17, 2016
Taking Care of Our Earthly Home
Sometimes I am asked by people, "why it is necessary to be a good steward of the Earth?"
They say, "God gave us the Earth to have dominion over it. We should be able to live and thrive off of it, extracting all its resources for the betterment of all humanity. God knew what he was doing when he put us on the Earth, therefore no amount of human toil will ever impact the Earth in a negative way."
"And why should we care about pollution, recycling and taking care of the Earth, if the Earth is going to be renewed and receive its Paradisiacal glory?" (an LDS doctrine where the Earth will be refined into a perfect, Celestial form).
My reply is simple. We live on this Earth and as "God’s children", we should be good stewards of this creation which he/she has given us.
As with the Earth, the same could be said about our own physical bodies.
"Why should I bother living the Word of Wisdom, (eating right, avoiding alcohol, cigarettes and harmful drugs) and taking good care of my body if it is just going to be called up and resurrected anyway?"
"Why even exercise at all? Why not overdose on harmful drugs? Why not mutilate my body through unhealthy eating? Why not gorge myself on anything and everything unhealthy? It won’t matter one way or the other since I'm going to be resurrected anyway right?"
Just as it is better and right to take care of every part of our body, we too should be good stewards of the Earth and not prostitute it.
If the Earth is God's creation they shouldn't we treat it as such?
If our bodies are temples, certainly the Earth is also a temple. A gift from the Universe, the creator for all life, where all flora, fauna can dwell harmoniously, living healthy lives and finding joy therein.
It’s a bitter irony that all the environmental damage that we do to the Earth (directly or indirectly), ends up coming right back to hurt humanity in some form or another.
As a collective whole, all of the humanitarian aide that is rendered each year, (countless dollars and widow’s mites, sacrificed, donated toward the less fortunate), all that money and effort is indirectly negated through environmental destruction inflicted onto other innocent people. This environmental destruction comes from us, indirectly from our pollution, over-consumption and our otherwise messy/wasteful/careless destruction of the Earth.
Humanity’s negative impact on the Earth is now measurable and quantifiable in numerous ways.
- Elevated concentrations of lead in the air, water and land from decades of burning leaded gasoline. Followed by decades of industry cover-up and denial.
- Altering the carbon C12/C14 ratio found globally in all living things, caused by a couple of decades of nuclear bomb testing.
- Ozone depletion caused by decades of using CFCs, (Now that we have largely stopped venting these harmful chemicals, the Ozone layer is slowly on the mend).
- Trillions of plastic particles found in every part of the world’s oceans from decades of unbridled dumping of trash into the oceans.
- Elevated levels of Mercury found in fish and all creatures that eat fish.
- Increased CO2 in the worlds oceans, caused by human burning of fossil fuels.
- Mass extinction of aquatic species caused by increased CO2 levels in the oceans.
- Change in migration patterns of birds and insects caused by a warming climate caused by increased CO2 levels from humans burning fossil fuels.
- Increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, now passing 400 ppm, a concentration not seen on Earth in millions of years. Most of this increase has taken place in the last 50 years and is accelerating at the rate of ~2 ppm per year.
- Reduction of arctic ice caused by a warming planet, caused by increased CO2 levels.
How much longer will we continue to trash our only terrestrial home?