Alive: The thinning of the Earth
Woe to you who add house to houseIsaiah 5:8 NIV
and join field to field
till no space is left
and you live alone in the land.
When we think about the environmental chaos that our world seems to be under, our first thoughts should rightly be about the injustices to those who are least able to adapt; from those living on farms in Bangladesh at constant risk of catastrophic flooding, to the indigenous communities in the Amazon impacted by an increasing number of droughts and fires.
But injustice goes beyond people, to the whole of creation. Through a focus on short-term gain as opposed to sustainability and harmony, Western society has transformed landscapes that used to be alive with insects and birds, wildflowers and trees, to places devoid of beauty and devoid of life.
As we have transformed the land, we have increased the likelihood of climate disasters, which affect people in poverty the most. As Isaiah points out, huge areas of land are becoming uninhabitable in our lifetimes through heat, famine, drought, flood, storms and fire – on an unprecedented scale.
As we consider the terrible impact our actions are having on people and on the wider planet, may we collectively work to find creative local solutions that can inspire and bring hope and change to our hurting world. Amen.
Author: Andy Lester, A Rocha UK