THE FUTURE OF THE EARTH
I remember My first earth ball… It was a huge beach ball about 10 feet across, painted to look like the earth… And the idea was to climb on it, and as it rolled try to stay on it, and then others would try to climb on it with you, and stay on to it. It was wild and crazy and hilarious.
The first Earth Day celebration… April 22, 1970… Proclaimed by Governor Gay lord Nelson of Wisconsin, It was celebrated that first year by 2000 colleges and universities and 10,000 primary and secondary school kids across the United States. That first day was the impetus for the clean air act, and the clean water act and initially celebrated because Governor Nelson and others recognized the need to take care of the environment. With that in mind today 193 countries around the world are celebrating Earth Day and Earth Week. So, this morning, in the midst of climate change deniers, and resisters to clean energy development,… I want to share some really good news.
For instance, in 2916 there were in the United States 50,000 coal industry employees… 102, 000 wind industry employees… and 260,000 solar industry employees… If anybody asks you. And in terms of 100% renewable energy Atlanta has set a goal of 2035, San Francisco by 2030, and the state of Hawaii to be completely powered by renewable energy by 2045.
Also we are going to hear a lot more from Georgetown, Texas… The mayor there is something else. It’s town of 67,000 in the heart of oil and gas country Texas, and Republican as well. The mayor Dale Ross with 72% approval at the last election, has led be the largest city in United States entirely by renewable energy, green power… And close behind with green power is a city in Vermont called Burlington with 42,000 people lead by Bernie Sanders. So we have to work hard in Hampshire and our local cities and towns and our utility companies… who are required by state law to regularly update their energy plan.
So don’t give up. There is much we can do, green power green power. There is even a Biblical mandate for our responsibility… Genesis, in the very first chapter…
“So God created humankind in his own image in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. God blessed them and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth- and take care it… Be responsible for the fish of the sea, and- the birds of the air, and plants using seed, and every tree with seed in it’s fruit… And everything that has the breath of life…”
On this earth day, April 22, 2018, we renew our vows to take care of the earth.
* Little Billy watched his mom and dad through a regular day’s routine. He thought of many things the family could change to be a little more green. The morning begins by brushing teeth… With an electric toothbrush machine… we could use sandpaper instead on our pearly whites. Mommy fixes her frizzy hair that goes straight with the plugged-in hair dryer. we could all shave our heads. Daddy takes an elevator from the first to the second floor at work – he could take the stairs… stand to lose a few pounds… or four. Mommy loads a few dishes into the dishwasher and runs the whole cycle… Why not take a few dishes with her into the shower? Daddy drinks water all day Long from plastic bottles he buys at the store – he could drink from his wineglass, he Seems to like that much more. Mommy hops in a car to drive a couple blocks for groceries… she would be cool if she brought the milk and bread home in the basket of her bike. Well what Billy really wants is for us to go in sit down at a table and make a list of what we might do to make our home more green… thanks Billy.
Earth Sunday has always been about more than the environment… It’s been about world peace. Peace on the land, peace in the waters, peace and the air is reflected by peace between The nations, peace among all mankind .
This is David Water’s syndicated column (columnist for the Memphis, Tennessee Commercial Appeal)…
“What if leaders of the world’s major religions got together one day and denounced all religious violence? What if they unanimously agreed to make this statement to the world?:
“Violence and terrorism are opposed to all true religious spirit sand we condemn ail recourse to violence and war in the name of God or religion.” It could change the world. it could save the planet. At the very least, it would be huge news, wouldn’t it? Apparently not! More than 200 leaders of the world’s dozen major religions did get together Jan. 24, 2002 in Assisi, Italy. Maybe you missed the story about it the next day. Most newspapers, including the New York Times didn’t carry it. And it was hidden inside the few of those that did. There was a lot of other news that day. The Enron hearing opened in Washington. John Walker Lindh made his first court appearance. It’s no wonder the largest meeting of world religious leaders in history couldn’t even make the front page. Pope John Paul Il and a number of cardinals were at the meeting. So was Bartholomew l, spiritual leader of all Orthodox Christians. So were a dozen Jewish rabbis, including some from Israel. So were 30 Muslim imams from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan. So were dozens of ministers representing Baptists, Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Disciples of Christ, Mennonites, Quakers, Moravians; the Salvation Army and the World Council of Churches. So were dozens of monks, gurus and others representing Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Zoroastrians and native African religions.
They ignored the personal and political risk of attending such a high-profile gathering. They convened and talked and prayed. They unanimously agreed to condemn “every recourse to violence and war in the name of God or religion.” They also said: “No religious goal can possibly justify the use of violence by man against man.” And that “Whoever uses religion to foment violence contradicts religion’s deepest and truest inspiration.” They called their statement the Assisi Decalogue for Peace. It consists of ten mutual commitments to work for peace and justice in the world.”
“On February 24, a week later, the Pope sent a copy of the Decalogue to all of the world’s heads of state. Maybe you missed the story. It didn’t even make the newspapers the next day, hidden inside or not. There was a lot of other news that day. Seven American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Israeli troops killed seventeen people in the West Bank. Mike Tyson got a license to box. What if leaders of the world’s major religions got together and denounced all religious violence – and no one cared?”
We never even heard about it! It wasn’t considered newsworthy! 200 of the world’s religious leaders from 12 major religions and scores more… and listen to what they said:
“Violence and terrorism are opposed to all true religious spirit, and we condemn all recourse to violence and war. in the name of God or religion.”
They called it the Assisi Decalogue. Do you suppose this year, 2018, Pope Francis, who took his name and challenge from Francis of Assisi, might call the world together again? And Earth Day becomes again, peace for the environment and peace for mankind?