Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dying A Slow Death in the Gulf

The sad news continues as thousands of gallons of oil continue to flow into the Gulf of Mexico though the latest cap is capturing approximately 650,000 gallons of oil a day. The nightmare doesn't seem to end for the Gulf Coast of the U.S. The Gulf of Mexico is still in crisis. The leak has lasted for 54 days. The fish and wildlife who depend on the clean waters of the Gulf for existence as well as the livelihoods of the fishermen in the area, are dying a slow death. Some scientists think it will take decades to clean up the mess and that's once they've stopped the flow of oil. It's an ecological disaster of apocalyptic proportions. In one article I read a rig worker said, "That oil rig and oil well gave us trouble from the start. It was one problem after another. It's as if Mother Nature didn't want it to be built." And now we know why. The worst case scenario has happened. The oil well was too deep to begin with-5,000 feet below the water's surface and that's one reason it's such a problem to control.
I made a comment at a meeting recently that people without faith or without belief in the power of prayer, would think ridiculous (I imagine). But it's not ridiculous to me or the believers at the meeting. I was wondering if large corporations who were going to have to alter land or the sea to extract energy, considered that they were dealing with a divine creation, God's creation and considered treating it carefully, considering every implication for the natural environment. After all, they would not only have to deal with the President or Congress, the shareholders of their company, or the Coast Guard or environmentalists, if something went wrong but they would also have to give an account to God.  What if leaders and administrators prayed to the Creator before plans are drawn to drill, dig or extract energy, praying for wisdom and God's guidance? I'm serious.  Do I think the outcome would be different if people would pray about these monumental decisions beforehand? Definitely.  Is consideration given to the sacredness of the natural world and the environment? Is it viewed as a divine creation, a gift from a generous and loving God? The Bible clearly states over and over again that God's creation is sacred and should be protected and cared for. There is much wisdom in the Bible, which is why I read it everyday and pray with it as well, as millions do. Sacred wisdom and guidance should not be ignored, even by the secular world, because to ignore the wisdom of the Bible or God's will, is to open the door to uncertainty, problems and even chaos, as we are seeing unfold. There are many warnings about that in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures as well.  
I know we need energy, I understand that for now, at this time, until other forms of renewable, "green" energy can be developed we have to depend on oil. But this catastrophe we are living through and the consequences of not giving a high priority to the environment, in all decision -making, are severe.  I can only imagine what the people who are directly affected are going through. And tragically, it's still not over.