The Straw That Broke the Earth’s Back
By Lu Mountenay of Independence, MO, USA
These are portentous times. The lives of many are being sacrificed unnecessarily to the gods of war greed, and avarice. The land is being desecrated by the thoughtless waste of vital resources. You must obey my commandments and be in the forefront of those who would mediate this needless destruction while there is yet day. —Doctrine and Covenants 150:7, emphasis added
Good problem: In the supply room near my office in the Temple, we once had a huge gray bin for garbage and a small blue bin for recycling. Gradually, as the staff learned and practiced recycling, we filled the recycling bin to overflowing and had only a small pile of garbage in the huge bin. So we switched the bins and gave them a new purpose. It showed progress.
Tom and I had a similar good problem at home: We compost and recycle everything we possibly can and have reduced our trash to about half of a kitchen–size bag a week. We now share trash pickup with a neighbor and split the cost—one less garbage truck stop, fewer diesel fumes in the air, and a little less trash in the landfill.
Climate change is a fact. Whether one believes humans cause climate change or not is a continuing discussion. It is hard to ignore the waste of natural resources, amassing of trash, the melting ice cap, and the rise in sea level. We see the loss of mountain tops to coal mining, deforestation, and pollution of air and water. More countries are declaring record-breaking numbers of climate-related disasters. Are they natural disasters? Or are they manufactured disasters caused by humans?
Who suffers first and most in floods and hurricanes? It is usually the poor countries—the ones who consume the least. Do those of us who consume more than we need cause this? If so, this may be an environmental injustice.
Make responsible choices to reverse the trend of consumerism and waste. Do it for the Earth, do it for the children. Don’t pile on the last [plastic] straw.
Prayer for Peace
Creator God, help us open our minds to realize the results of our choices. Help us open our hearts to those who suffer the consequences of our choices. Help us discover actions we can take to act to stop suffering and bring justice and peace to the Earth and its people.