As morbid and disturbing as Hieronymous Bosch’s 1500 3-paneled painting called “The Garden Of Earthly Delights” is, it is a strangely accurate portrayal of what we humans have done to the Earth. This would not have been my first choice as a mural to put in my child’s room, but Leonardo DiCaprio grew up looking at and examining the panels of this artwork. It begins with beauty and serenity, morphs into overpopulation and debauchery and ends in a hellish, burnt out post apocalyptic looking scene.
(Click to enlarge)
I appreciated that in the program they addressed the misconception that Global Warming means warmer temperatures for everyone. In many parts of the Earth you will find higher than normal temperatures even to the point of becoming uninhabitable. In areas where it is traditionally mild – like the UK – will find themselves with much colder temperatures and longer more harsh winters.
The documentary looked at the climate change deniers and then the evidence that they are choosing to ignore. What you have to consider when looking at the impact humans have on the Earth is that in the last 150 to 200 years we have managed to deplete stores of fossil fuels that took millions, maybe even hundreds of millions of years to develop underground. Think about that very carefully. What took hundreds of millions of years to develop underground we humans have pumped back into the atmosphere in less that 200 years.
Our consumption of fossil fuels isn’t the only issue. The foods we eat and how we choose to produce them are also having an impact. Palm oil plantations in Indonesia and other parts of the South Pacific have destroyed ecosystems and pushed animals to extinction by deforestation and intentionally set forest fires (which pumps millions of tons of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere). Why? Because the oil is cheap to produce. So, oil producers, food producers and large conglomerates attached to them are getting rich not only at the expense of the forest but the people, animals and the health of the entire planet. We have to remember that just like a smoker who sucks in tar laden smoke and ends up with emphysema the Earth is like a giant lung whose air is being constantly polluted by our bad habits. The Earth is already showing signs of sickness and will continue to get sicker unless something is done.
Mr. DiCaprio expressed a pessimism about the ability of humans to reverse the damage we’ve done to our home. Not because of lack of trying or actual ability, but because of lack of education about the problem and will to take responsibility for our individual actions. That is where I see the problem too. I can’t say that I don’t contribute to pollution in my own small way, but I know my carbon footprint is tiny compared to many others. My family would love to switch to solar power, but it’s availability and cost of entry is prohibitive for us. If the technology were more readily available and less costly to implement we would be installing it ASAP. Unfortunately, in this country the producers of fossil fuels hold us in their palm through lobbying and frankly bullying. They hate to hear what energy pioneers like Elon Musk of Tesla have to say – independence from fossil fuels is within our reach if we just put a little effort forth.
All of this made me think of scriptures I’ve heard all my life –
Jeremiah 10:23 I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.
Ecclesiastes 8:9 All of this I have seen, and I applied my heart to every work that has been done under the sun, during the time that man has dominated man to his harm.
So, if we don’t know what to do and those in charge will only bring more harm to Earth and her inhabitants, what hope do we have?
Revelation 11:18 But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time came for the dead to be judged and to reward your slaves the prophets and the holy ones and those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.
Psalms 37:10, 11, 29 10 Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more;11 You will look at where they were,And they will not be there. But the meek will possess the earth,And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. 29 The righteous will possess the earth,And they will live forever on it.
Isaiah 65:21, 22, 23
21 They will build houses and live in them,k
And they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage.
22 They will not build for someone else to inhabit,
Nor will they plant for others to eat.
For the days of my people will be like the days of a tree,
And the work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full.
23 They will not toil for nothing,
Nor will they bear children for distress,
Because they are the offspring made up of those blessed by Jehovah,
And their descendants with them.
Despite the social turmoil, economic hardships, political upheavals and climactic changes there is hope beyond what humans alone can do. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about the world around us now, but it gives us reason for joy that someone out there is patiently waiting for the right time to take action in our behalf. We need to do our best to take responsibility for our actions and patiently, actively wait with urgency.
If you have any questions about these scriptures please feel free to leave a comment or send me a private message using the contact form liked up above. Also, you can visit JW.ORG for articles, news and scriptural encouragement as well as to read the Bible online.
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