I’ve always wanted to go to France. I’d visit the Louvre. Kiss my wife on the Champs-Élysées. Enjoy a “grande crème” at a café. Have my photo taken in front of the Eiffel Tower. Wonder at the beauty of the Palace of Versailles.
But not right now. According to the news and weather reports, Europe is baking in record high temperatures. And while Europe is hot, France is the hottest place of all. On June 28, the thermometers in southern France registered 45.9 degrees Celsius (114.6 Fahrenheit). I wonder about the impacts on farms and vineyards, on cattle and wild animals, on the elderly and the unwell. It can’t be fun in that beautiful country with those scorching conditions.
We all know that the weather all around the world has become strange. Droughts make life difficult in one place while torrential downpours threaten life in another. Icecaps are melting in the north and south while other places have chilly springs. Fires rage across the landscape of Alberta and British Columbia and California. Migration patterns are shifting and species are threatened. Sea levels rise and waterfront properties get washed away; people consider themselves lucky if they only need to contend with flooded basements.
Clearly, all is not well with the world. The earth is groaning, and it is our responsibility to hear it, and then do something about it. Reduce, reuse, recycle, repair. Make smarter purchasing decisions. Walk more, and get back on that bicycle which leans abandoned in your garage. Take advantage of public transportation. Carpool. Limit use of single use plastics – and ask suppliers to use less destructive packaging options. There’s a myriad number of ways to reduce your ecological footprint and be a good environmental citizen.
One of my motivations in this comes from what I read in the Bible. We are called by God to be stewards and caretakers of the earth. Creation is a gift that we tend as a trust, and then pass on to the generations yet to be. The Lord’s care and creativity are revealed wonderfully in pristine rivers and lakes and wholesome productive lands.
What’s your motivation to care for our world? Whatever it is, please act on it.