Christians Are Charged With Being Good Stewards of the Environment
Since the very beginning of Man, Christians have been charged with being good stewards of the environment. “And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it” (The Holy Bible, Gen. 2:8-9, 15). Man’s duty has been to work the land and protect it. However, in these simple tasks, Man has been faltering and therefore needs to take proactive measure to reduce resource consumption and develop renewable energy resources.
In some respects, Man has begun to understand how important the care of the Earth is to the survival of humanity. One only has to look at the reduction of the consumption of ozone depleting substances, over the recent years, to see that progress in some areas is being made. In 2002, the United States alone consumed 16,206.4 ODP tonnes. By 2007, that had been reduced to 8,516.5 ODP tonnes, a reduction of more than 47% (“Air Pollution”). Yet, so much more needs to be done. For example, CO2 emissions have continued to climb, despite advancements in technology reducing emissions from machinery and automobiles and legislation enforcing these reductions. In 2006, the United States produced 5,975.1 tonnes of CO2 emissions, an 18.1% increase since 1990 (“Greenhouse Gas”). With this disregard for the environment, the world has seen an increase in the number of natural disasters, as global warming takes effect.
In the United States, in the 1980s, there were 6 recorded climatological disaster events. In the 1990s, 29 climatological disaster events happened in the United States alone. As of October 2009, the United States had experienced 46 climatological disaster events (“Climatological Disasters”). These startling rises in disasters due to changes in the world’s climate clearly points to a need for Man to do more to reverse the damage he has done. By reducing the consumption of resources, developing renewable energy resources, and repairing the damage that has already been done to the Earth,
Reducing the consumption of resources is one significant way Christians can fulfill their duty as good stewards of the Earth. Energy consumption reduction can be done with simple, everyday tasks. Appliances that are seldom used should be unplugged. Chargers should be unplugged when not in use. Computers should be set to sleep or hibernate. Setting the thermostat in winter to 68 and 78 in the summer can save considerable energy. Water heater settings should be between 120 and 130 degrees. “Use power strips to switch off televisions, home theater equipment, and stereos when you’re not using them. Even when you think these products are off, together their ‘standby’ consumption can be equivalent to that of a 75 or 100 watt light bulb running continuously” (“How to Reduce”). All of these steps are easy to take and can help protect the Earth. Developing renewable energy sources is also an important step Christians should take regarding preserving the environment.
The commercial energy consumption, in the United States alone, in 2006, was 1,994,876 kilotons of oil equivalent. The most disturbing part of that figure is that only 8.41% of that energy came from renewable electricity production (“Energy”). Investment in research and development for technology to efficiently harness renewable energy sources is critical. In addition to investment in new technology, large energy consuming countries, such as the United States, need to take advantage of current technology to utilize renewable energy sources — like wind.
In 2004, the United States generated 6,740 MW of power with wind turbines. However, other, smaller countries have taken greater advantage of this inexpensive, clean, renewable source of power. Germany produced 16,629 MW of power with wind turbines. Even Spain generated more wind power than the United States with 8,263 MW in 2004. Other large energy consuming countries like the United Kingdom, Japan, and China have produced very little power through wind. The United Kingdom only produced 888 MW of power in all of 2004. Japan produced a disappointing 874 MW. China produced a paltry 764 MW of power using wind, about a third of what was produced in California alone (“Wind Industry”).
There is something virtually every Christian can do to help preserve and protect the Earth’s environment. Whether it is unplugging unused appliances or turning down the thermostat in the winter, small changes made by everyone would result in a huge reduction in resource consumption. Nations and organizations too have their work cut out for them. Investment in renewable energy sources is a must if the Earth is to recover from the damage it has already suffered. Although there is debate whether the effects of global warming are as severe as some have stated in the past, the reality is God charged Man with taking care of the planet. To date, Man has not done a very good job being good stewards. Increasing CO2 emissions and the increasing climatological disaster events that are due to the negative effects man’s misuse has had on the environment and climate are just some of the signs that something needs to be done. A good Christian will take immediate action to reduce their use of resources and invest in renewable energy sources. “For everything created by God is good…” (1 Tim 4:4) and it is Man’s duty to ensure it stays that way.
Air Pollution. United Nations, Oct. 2009. Web. 9 Dec. 2009. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/ODS_Consumption.htm.
Climatological Disasters. United Nations, Oct. 2009. Web. 9 Dec. 2009. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/Climatological_disasters.htm.
Energy. United Nations. Sept. 2009. Web. 9 Dec. 2009. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/Energy.htm.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions. United Nations, Aug. 2009. Web. 9 Dec. 2009. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/air_co2_emissions.htm.
The Holy Bible King James Version. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004. Print.
Wind Industry Statistics. American Wind Energy Association, 2009. Web. 9 Dec. 2009 http://www.awea.org/faq/wwt_statistics.html.
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