Today is the 45th celebration of Earth Day. Monday of this week was the fifth anniversary of the worst environmental disaster in US history, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The damage to the Gulf was more severe and longer lasting than even the pessimists predicted:
Cynthia Sarthou, executive director of Gulf Restoration Network, says that after five years, there are more questions than answers about what the lingering impact of the spill means.
“Dolphin deaths continue, oil is still on the bottom of the ocean, tar balls keep coming up,” she says. “And nobody really is able to say what we may find in five years, 10 years. It’s really distressing to me.”
Sarthou says there’s no certainty the spill won’t be a problem for generations to come. (NPR)
So, five years after this disaster, and 45 years after the nation started trying to do something about this kind of thing, we ask again, “How long?” Below is a repost of one of our original commentaries on the oil spill from May 20, 2010. The oil well had been gushing for a month already, and we asked:
How do you pray about an oil spill?
It’s a legitimate question: The news is getting worse by the day for those of us many miles away, and no doubt by the hour for those living in the area of impact. This morning we learned that some experts believe the amount of oil leaking may be much more than even the revised estimate of 5,000 barrels per day. More worrisome than that, there is now real concern that the oil may join the Gulf stream ocean current, which would send it around the tip of Florida and all the way up the East Coast of the United States, staining beaches and killing wildlife as it goes. Continue reading →
I’ve just come in from a walk around our office’s neighborhood. Even though winter is technically over, the landscape is brown and dead. There are no leaves on the trees. There are no leaves on the bushes. Flower beds are empty, some still covered with winter mulch. If you dropped in from, say, Florida, your reaction might well be, “Why do you guys live in a place like this? It feels so… dead!”
But it isn’t winter any more. The air is warm. Those bare branches are teeming with birds whose songs seem even louder in the stark, brown landscape. And if you know where to look, you can see buds on trees and bushes getting ready to explode with new green leaves, and pointed green sprouts in otherwise dead flower beds. It isn’t quite spring, but it isn’t winter any more – and we, having lived through another long, cold Wisconsin winter, breathe deep and rejoice. Continue reading →
Do we live in a world of limitations or one of potentially inexhaustible resources?
Wayne Grudem, writing in Politics According to the Bible, makes this rather astounding statement in an attempt to persuade his reader that there’s really nothing to worry about with regard to the global environmental crisis:
“Long term trends show that human beings will be able to live on the earth enjoying ever-increasing prosperity, and never exhausting its resources.” (p. 332)
I’ll be doing an in-depth review of Grudem’s book in the near future – let’s just say for now that it’s kind of hard to believe that he and I are living on the same planet. Case in point: two different news items over the last couple of days: Continue reading →
Like many kids, young and old, I used to enjoy playing with dominos. Not playing the game, you understand, but playing with the tiles. Setting them up in long chains, and when all was ready, carefully knocking the first one over. If all went according to plan, each domino would knock the next one in the line, and one by one, all would fall over. We used that image above to describe the series of relationships shattered by Adam and Eve’s disobedience. As we think of how they are restored by redemption through Jesus, the same domino imagery is useful again. As the domino tiles fall, each pushes on the next, and eventually all are lying flat. But if you want to pick them up, you have to start with the first one that fell over, not with the last one. They have to be set up in the order in which they fell. The same is true as we begin to restore relationships broken by sin. Continue reading →
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Setting aside theological mysteries and controversies for another day, what has preoccupied me for that last month and a half has not been immortality, past or future, but increasing intimations ofmortality: My own,as I have experienced an unusual and thought provoking spell of genuine illness, something unusual for me; but also increasing intimations of mortality in the world in which we live, highlighted by the Gulf oil spill but buttressed by a host of other events. Continue reading →
Originally posted Nov. 29, 2011. Not much has changed, except that stores are now starting their Black Friday sales at 6 pm on Thanksgiving.
Last Friday was “Black Friday”, when the world goes crazy over shopping. There was a lot of controversy in the days leading up to the event concerning stores openingnot at 5 am, not at 4 am, not even at midnight, but as early as 10 pm the evening of Thanksgiving. This controversy was misguided. The issue should not have been Black Friday “invading” Thanksgiving’s time slot, but Black Friday happening at all… As for me, my experience of Black Friday was different and unexpectedly blessed. What did I do on Black Friday? I went to a funeral.
I am an incurable news-addict, so I suppose it’s my own fault that I had heartburn before breakfast on Black Friday. I woke up to a story from the Los Angeles Times that many of you probably saw in some form sometime during the weekend:
Matthew Lopez went to the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch on Thursday night for the Black Friday sale but instead was caught in a pepper-spray attack by a woman who authorities said was “competitive shopping.” Continue reading →
A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation