Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour and thankfulness

For Earth Hour I spent the hour quietly chatting with my wife, reading Genesis 1, Psalm 104 and thinking.

It was kind of odd really, no internet, no TV and reading by candlelight. It wasn't easy, thought it wasn't all that difficult. It made me thankful for electricity. Certainly the goal is not to be ashamed of electricity or the advantages it brings - heating, cooling, refridgeration, power during operations, etc. The point of these occasions is not shame per se of great discoveries, but of their profligate misuse while much of the world does not have the advantage of it. We look to undo the environmental damage of too much carbon released by our burning of fossil fuels, limiting our own emissions and enabling the developing world to attain a better standard of living, hopefully leapfrogging our own carbon fixated stage. One hour will not do that - but just as baptism introduces someone to the church community, and repentance leads to a new start in life, so Earth Hour should be a step forward, a time to reflect, be thankful, repent and move forward.

I read somewhere of someone wanting to celebrate Energy Hour by turning on all of their appliances. Such facetiousness other than reflecting a degree of scepticism towards the science of global warming and the event, mistakes as I pointed out above shame for excess with shame for possessing these assets at all. Thankfulness is expressed in care and conservation of valuable resources, not in profligacy and waste - this is carbon gluttony.

It is worth noting that few Christians I know are primitivists in the sense that they want to go back to living in caves wearing skins, or at least eking out an existence on the land and living by candlelight at night. Yet Luddites are interesting in critiquing technology for its own sake and evaluating its impacts on their lives (and those of others). The happy middle (oh good Anglican that I am) is neither sackcloth and ashes nor 'peace peace, when there is no peace', but facing up to the issues before us and seeing how we can best care for creation, love neighbour and preserve civilisation as God's people in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment