I have been attempting, these past 10 years, to alert the public of the consequences of our greedy demands on the natural world and the probable effect it has upon the Earth community. It is apparent, particularly today, that profit making out weighs efforts to prolong human life on our planet. There are some that hold out hope of locating another planet that will support life when we have destroyed Earth. Personally, I believe properly managing our existing planet, Earth, offers the best opportunity for future generations however, it will necessitate serious adjustments. I have stated before that the most important environmental element in the Story of Creation is DIVERSITY! Diversity is the one critical element that allow our planet to function and this is true for every living system that exists.
The two top issues we face worldwide are population expansion and deforestation. There have been efforts to control birth rates in the past, with unacceptable results. It is true that the birth rates in developed countries are declining however, people are living longer thereby slightly off setting the reduced birth rates. We are told today, that the fastest growing age group worldwide are people 90 and over.
Deforestation rates are also slowing somewhat but, we have already deforested over half of the original forest cover leaving only 30% of our land base still covered with trees. Current rates of deforestation will still result in serious issues related to survival of life systems within the next 100 years. The picture is even more concerning when we realize that in addition to lose of forest cover, we are rapidly destroying the bio-diversity of the remaining forested acreage. After a life-time of observation and study, I have come to realize that the most critical element in the story of creation is "DIVERSITY". This is how every species was created and able to survive on this planet.
Forest science is focused on a sustainable flow of products from our remaining forested lands and we can do this by following an simple agricultural process where we harvest no more than we grow annually. I am sorry but, that will not result in the acceptable desired future we seek. We must realize the importance of our reliance upon the natural world for the sustenance of life and develop management systems that rebuild the diversity of our natural surroundings. This will only occur when the scientific community and spiritual community come together and re-establish our spiritual relationship with our natural world!
In my effort to research the subject, I discovered a paper prepared by the United Methodist Conference in 2006, entitled, " Social Principles: The Natural World". The paper starts by saying, " All creation is the Lord's, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it." It goes on to state that " God has granted us stewardship of creation". The paper provides the position of the Church on numerous environmental concerns such as water, minerals, plants, animals, energy resources, global climate, food safety and science and technology. It states," We find that as science expands human understanding of the natural world, our understanding of the mysteries of God's creation and word are enhanced".
I am impressed by the words and intent however, I found no knowledge of this position from church members including local pastors. In 2012 the same National Conference passed a resolution #3324 entitled, " Trail of Repentance and Healing". This resolution is intended to reach out to our Native American people and re-build relationships. Again, beautiful words and intent. These two papers convey the exact path I have been emphasizing for years. The problem is, that unless you have some awareness of the Conference work and dig to find these papers, no one seems to be aware of the official position of the United Methodist Church. Words are great, and I am sure well intended, but until they are converted into actions nothing changes. Greed and individualism seems to take precedence over the need to join hands and follow the 7th Fire Prophecy of the Anishanabe by choosing the path of spirituality and balance. We need your help!