“Be Fruitful and Multiply–Everybody

This is a cross-posting from our good friends and fellow creation care laborers at the A Rocha USA blog.  

By Tom Rowley, A Rocha USA Executive Director

American bison. CC License.

Last Wednesday, PBS launched a terrific new television series: EARTH A New Wild. Done in collaboration with Conservation International and Nature Conservancy (both of whom have partnered with A Rocha in the USA and abroad), the show focuses on the inextricable link between humans and nature. We are part of nature. We are mutually dependent. And neglect of one hurts the other.

All of which is a bit of a shift in secular environmental thinking. For decades, the predominate view saw humans as the problem and keeping us away from nature as the solution. The tools: fences, regulations and lawsuits.

It didn’t work so well.

An example from Wednesday’s show illustrates the revised thinking. Livestock have long and widely been considered by some hard-core environmentalists as a plague on the land. They overgraze, compact the soil and ruin the streams. True, but…According to Allan Savory, the problem isn’t the livestock itself, but they way in which we have managed livestock. And the counterintuitive solution isn’t to remove cattle and sheep from the land. That, says Savory, will only further the damage. Rather, we need to increase their numbers, keep them grouped and keep them moving just like the original herbivores on the land— whether bison, antelope or elephants. That way they turn the soil over, fertilize it, water it and mulch it, making it better for growing vegetation and all the other insects and animals that need it to survive. Good for wildlife. Good for livestock. Good for humans. Check out Savory’s compelling story and ideas in his TED talk.

While perhaps new to some, the idea of mutual benefit shouldn’t be surprising. God, who told humans AND other species to be fruitful and multiply, didn’t create a universe where humans flourish only at the expense of the planet or vice versa. (Genesis 1:20-28) He created one in which everything works together—for mutual benefit and his glory.

And speaking of interacting with nature, sign up for the Great Backyard Bird Countand help count (and care) for creation just outside your backdoor.

Next week: More on the show—and good as it is—where the new environmental thinking is a bit off track.

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