The Earth is the Lord’s, Not Ours to Wreck
January 10, 2021
Susie Claxton

I recently learned of the 2017 Resolution of the UCC National Synod, which proclaimed, “The Earth is the Lord’s, Not Ours to Wreck.”

Well, that is plain speaking…not too lofty language. It appears that while God is holding our lives, we are holding responsibility for God’s Creation. The resolution declares in its Summary, “God’s great gift of Creation—the context in which all life seeks fulfillment—IS IN CRISIS ...humanity’s use of fossil fuel since the Industrial Revolution has broken Creation’s balance.”

I have learned in college Earth Science classes and readings for the past 20 years that creation’s demise due to global warming from burning fossil fuel is evident and accelerating. For example, arctic ice is melting, and not refreezing, not only contributing to sea level rise, but changing the salinity of the ocean. Ocean temperatures have risen. Increased carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere dissolving into the ocean causes acidification, creating the die-of of the ocean’s coral reefs, and most certainly all kinds of other aquatic organisms. Scientists estimate that 50-80% of the oxygen production on Earth comes from the ocean. The majority of this production is from oceanic plankton — drifting plants, algae, and some bacteria that can photosynthesize. What will happen if the rapidly warming ocean kills plankton, which cannot adapt quickly enough? The Sixth Extinction, of which scientists warn, is the Anthropocene extinction…caused by human activity. The Sixth Extinction will include humans. That is, UNLESS humans use their God given ingenuity to change course.

Leaders of 190 countries recognized this reality, bringing about the Paris Climate Accord. The US left the accord in 2017, due to an administration that ignored science, wasting PRECIOUS time. Fortunately, cities states and some corporations in the US have forged their own climate plans to reduce greenhouse gasses, regardless of the lack of US leadership.

Biblical Theology contains John 18: 37–38, when Pilate asked Jesus, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the Truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

We Christian humans have to amplify Jesus’ TRUTH about the demise of the Creation - to be stewards of the Earth instead of wrecking it!

As individuals we can protect the Earth by: eating lower on the food chain, purchasing less, reusing more, refusing plastic, getting out of our cars, walking, bicycling, using public transit, and choosing renewable energy for our homes.

The resolution declares, “as communities, let us commit to making decisions of integrity in our energy choices, undoing the disproportionate impact of climate change on communities of color, indigenous communities, and poor white communities around the world even as we commit to hold all our religious, political, corporate, and global leaders accountable to do the same.“ Our faith commands us “…let us pour ourselves out to bend the moral arc of justice, with joy in our hearts, beauty in our sights, and hope for the children."

The entire 2017 UCC Resolution may be found here: UCC Ewaolurion

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