Wednesday, October 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Earth lovers, be part of the solution

By Dan Smith

I read a text on a friend’s smartphone recently that said: “Save the Earth; it’s the only planet with chocolate!”

As we approach Earth Day, April 22, it’s good to reflect on the value of something we often take for granted: the Earth itself. People of faith, like me, affirm immediately that the Earth belongs to God its Creator. And because we believe in God, we believe in taking care of what God has entrusted to us.

Another word for this is “stewardship,” and it has crept even into secular environmental literature in the past few decades. What we do with the resources we are blessed to enjoy for our sojourn on Earth says quite a bit about us, and I daresay future generations will judge us based on how we do.

Of course, we are also of the Earth. The Bible refers to humans as “Earth creatures,” it’s what the name “Adam” actually means. But we are more than merely Earth; we are also spirit, which means we are part of the community of life.

The community of Davis welcomed environmental activist Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, to speak at UC Davis this past year. With his usual candor and encyclopedic knowledge of the facts, McKibben painted a pretty dismal picture of the planet, with a level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere beyond what is sustainable for life as we know it on Earth: 350 parts per million. We are now at 394. Yikes.

On one level, Earth Day is a day to be grown-ups. Earth is, after all, our planetary home. And we all know that at the end of the day, someone has to wash the dishes, pay the bills and do the laundry. We wouldn’t go on trashing our own homes without ever accounting for the damage it would do, so why do we think it’s any different on our planetary home?

The truth is that humans — and especially industrialized humans with an economic framework of free-market capitalism – have done more damage to the Earth than most would like to acknowledge. Climate change is just one of the ways we can account for this, and it is perhaps the most dramatic — and scary.

However, we are also blowing the tops off of mountains to get at dirty forms of energy like coal, throwing our plastic waste into the ocean and making our rivers and streams more toxic with chemicals in the never-ending cycle to one-up Mother Nature. This way of living is, simply put, unsustainable.

The good news is, we have an opportunity to do something about it now. If we make changes in our lifestyle and in our public policy in relation to the Earth itself, future generations will reap the benefits of our wisdom and self-restraint. If we do not, well, I’d rather not think about it. For people of faith, it means caring for God’s good and sacred creation. For everyone, it means working together to preserve the only home we have.

However, personal virtue may not get us very far. As McKibben said, doing the right thing for the environment in our own personal lives, using less energy, recycling and eating more local and more vegetarian are all necessary but insufficient. He’s right. We need a multi-layered approach to this problem that recognizes both our own complicity in environmental degradation, while at the same time demanding that our political leaders help us to have access to better choices.

Many of us want to do the right thing, but we don’t know how, or can’t imagine a different future. If we are part of the problem, that means we can also be part of the solution. Perhaps our most important asset right now is the imagination to see things in a new light and live differently with planet Earth. From my perspective, I don’t see any way around it.

— The Rev. Dan Smith is the pastor at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation in West Davis. Reach him at pastor@lcidavis.org

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

Pumpkin patch: a favorite tradition every autumn

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marathon specialist Winter heads to cycling shrine

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
County to fund pilot project for West Sac homeless

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Heavy metal

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Tuesday’s smoky air hailed from Colusa County

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Vandals damage two Woodland schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Hearing postponed for man suspected in 7 killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Canadian soldier shot at war memorial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Apply soon to be a Master Gardener

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Terez will perform at Wine’d Down Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Super-fun 5K run will support UCD students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Davis Arts Center: a call to artists for Holiday Sale Wall of Art

By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Author showcases field biology as he revels in nature

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Entries due Nov. 1 in VFW essay contests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Teen services grant applications due this week

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Voice of the Wood plans family Halloween show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Wine-tasting and auction benefit Advanced Treble Choir

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Garamendi will speak at U.N. Day event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Setting a good example

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A5

No-till doesn’t help cold, wet farmlands

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Kids form a lifelong habit of drinking water

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Farmers Market hosts Fall Festival

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
A Taste of India dinner benefits Davis Community Meals

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Wolk sets ‘Morning with the Mayor’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Volunteers sought to chip in on parks cleanup

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Composting workshop set at Grace Garden

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Women and men want the same things in cars … usually

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

California state parks show off fall color

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A7

 
October is fall car care month

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Soroptimists offer ‘Living Your Dream’ grants

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Halloween Carnival planned Oct. 26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Mondavi Center gift shop plans holiday sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Soda bottlers spend big to fight S.F. ban

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A9

Railroad work will close Eighth Street

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Special education information night scheduled

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

Clinton sounding like a candidate in S.F. appearance

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Bad business over the phone

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Life vests are a must when rafting

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Vote no on Prop. 1, because it’s no solution

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Slower travel on new stretch

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
David Fitzsimmons cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

Support choruses in schools

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Archer’s the go-to person

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Adams has what we need

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Giants rip Royals in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD women’s soccer postseason hopes flickering

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

A typical Blue Devil girls water polo win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS boys hold off Rio Americano in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Devils are on track for volleyball playoffs after win

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
AYSO roundup: Local winners have the Eye of the Tiger

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Alliance/Legacy roundup: Italia cruises past Chico

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Fipps earns another preseason hoops award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Clement ‘George’ Hebert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Mariana Brumbaugh Henwood

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics