Based a NYT editorial, 6-13-18 by Adam Frank
Various species — starting with oxygen producing microorganisms which made human life possible — have existed for over two billion years, and they will probably exist for another two billion more years after mankind is gone. The earth, itself, will probably go on until the sun explodes, a few billion years after that.
Regardless of how much we want to bury our heads in the sand and deny reality, so that we can do whatever we want to do, without consequences, the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology will continue to run the show.
We can also develop a religious mythology that rationalizes our desire to consume as much as we can. We can believe that God, as we understands Him, wants us to do whatever we want with the planet. We can believe that He wants us to live abundantly — it says so, right here in the Bible. Thus, we can do God’s will by striving so that every person on the planet has what the average American has, and the average American should be able to consume more. And every American should be equal — that is, every person should be able to consume as much as everyone else. Certainly, this is what God wants.
But perhaps the laws of science trumps our rationalized religious mythologies. As we watch unprecedented floods in draught-stricken Texas and hell-fires throughout California, this seems to be what is happening. Sure, we can blame it all on the sun’s eruptions, but nearly all the scientists are saying man is influencing our biosphere. They say we are entering a new age in the life of our planet, an age where one of the species of life are influencing the earth’s environment. They call this the Anthoprcene Age. And maybe, just maybe, scientists know something about reality. And maybe, just maybe, God wants us to behave in a way that is not only good for all of mankind, but is good for other species and is good for the earth itself.
One aspect of he Anthoprecene Age is that it is the first time in earth’s history where one of the species has the “free will” to influence its environment. We can decide to try to make the earth a decent place to live for many species, or we can decide to make earth a hell-hole. In other words, we have the ability to “take paradise and turn it into a parking lot,” one that floods regularly, one that is surrounded by flaming forests, and one that is inundated with desperate refugees fleeing from draught and starvation.
With thought that is no more sophisticated than that of a good high school student, we can see that creating a good influence on the earth’s environment can only be done by sacrifice, generosity, and international cooperation. In other words, a world government based on democracy and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Perhaps if God is good, this is what He wants as well.