Sins against Earth
December 11, 2012
I was in the library a couple of months ago, and one of the science magazines had an article on the positive feedback loops of global warming. It mentioned three loops: the loss of ice and its resulting change in the Earth’s albedo, the melting of permafrost with its release of carbon dioxide and the release of under-seabed methane from rising ocean temperatures.
These are all purely geophysical. There was no mention of any human-caused positive feedback loops. After Superstorm Sandy, massive costs in energy and money will take place to fix the damage to property and infrastructure; this is a positive feedback loop accelerating global warming. This is the opposite of sustainability. And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other human-caused, positive feedback loops accelerating global warming.
The bad news is the Arctic ice is retreating at a faster rate, as are the flow rates of Greenland’s glaciers (not to mention the melting of Greenland’s interior ice). So it is time to act.
Ban the sale and use of outdoor fossil-fuel heaters. And yes, this is mostly a symbolic gesture but a powerful one nonetheless to counter the effects of man-made global warming.
The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew 1 of the world’s Orthodox Christians recently called on Orthodox Christians to repent “for our sinfulness” in not doing enough to protect the planet and stated that the “powerful of this world” need a new mindset to stop destroying the planet for profit or short-term interest.
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Kallistos Ware, another prominent Orthodox theologian, has said, “Traditionally … sin is what you did to other humans, but what you do to the animals, the air, the water, the land can be sinful, not just folly.”