Monday, March 9, 2009

Living Through "The Great Disruption"

As noted in a New York Times article this Sunday by Thomas Friedman titled, The Inflection is Near?, 2008 will be remembered as the year when things started to-dare we say- fall apart. He quotes an Australian environmental business expert who has a name for this moment in time-"when both Mother Nature and father Greed have hit the wall at once-"The Great Disruption."
Stated in the article, "Over a billion people today suffer from water scarcity; deforestation in the tropics destroys an area the size of Greece every year-more than 25 million acres; more than half of the world's fisheries are over-fished or fished at their limit."
"Just a few lonely economists warned us we were living beyond our financial means and overdrawing our financial assets, scientists are warning us that we're living beyond our ecological means and overdrawing our natural assets," argues Glenn Prickett, senior vice president at Conservation International. He warns, "Mother Nature doesn't do bailouts."
How to make sense of all this? Gilding is quoted in the article as saying, "When we look back, 2008 will be a momentous year in human history. Our children and grandchildren will ask us, 'What was it like? What were you doing when it started to fall apart? What did you think? What did you do?'"
As people of faith, people who believe in the power of prayer, what is our role, what is our mission, in all this? If this is the "Great Disruption," how can we help to turn things around? I'm not sure what the answers are but certainly we need to pray for God's wisdom. We need to conserve and educate. (Some countries have started making investments in clean power, so there is some positive news.) We need to help those who are suffering. Christians are a hopeful people, I guess with all this negativity one thing we can do is offer hope to others, a positive attitude, a smile, encouragement and a helping hand. We can proclaim that, "With God all things are possible." Even getting out of this mess, is possible with God's help and guidance. And in the Northeast where I live, Spring is around the corner, which means the return of songbirds, flowers, abundant sunshine and budding trees. There are some things to be optimistic about.