For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind shall come in to you, to keep them alive. [Genesis 6:17-20, emphasis is mine]
I just watched the movie, Noah, with Russell Crowe. My brother brought the DVD to our house over Thanksgiving weekend, but we never got around to watching it. The MOOC reading and materials this week on biodiversity, though, kept me thinking about the destruction of the earth and the saving of creation. So I felt compelled to rent it from Amazon.com before writing this post. Clearly the ecological theme came through, as well as the responsibility of humankind for the keeping of the planet. According to the movie, the ten generations leading up to Noah were a time of industrial growth and the desecration of the planet. When humanity “fell” from the grace of God, creation was harmed.
I am not going to critique the movie (which I would only give three stars). I am not going to argue it’s Biblical accuracy or lack of it. I am, however, going to wonder with the Russell Crowe’s Noah … Is humanity destined to destroy the light of life on planet earth? How many chances will we get? As we proceed through the next few decades, we are facing an apocalyptic shift in the loss of species on this planet. Who is “Noah” today? To whom is God revealing the ever increasing list of endangered species each year? Is there an “ark” that will save fully balanced ecosystems that inhabit the planet?
I’m not an animal lover. Sure I think bunnies are cute. But I eat meat, and I have no trouble (watching Dwayne) kill mice or rats or other “pests” in our home. So, this post is not about the loss of polar bears or tree frogs or bee hives (though I’m a bit more concerned about the bees than the frogs). I value the diversity and fullness of life on this planet (I am still wondering about the value of mosquitoes and fire ants). The complexity of ecosystems keep a balance between producer and consumer, prey and predator … (cue the soundtrack — The Circle of Life). There is a natural evolution of species, and the ecosystem, I believe, is adept at adapting. But that does not excuse the exploitation of natural habitat, the introduction of non-indigenous species where they haven’t developed naturally, or the use of planetary resources without respect for the impact it will have three, four or ten generations from now.
We need diversity in our biosphere … diversity keeps us strong and resilient. Diversity sustains us.
If Noah was entrusted with the commission to “keep them alive,” how do we embody that same faithfulness?
- Week 1: What is Sustainable Development?
- Week 2: Economic development – How we measure it, how it varies around the world
- Week 3: A Short History of Economic Development
- Week 4: Why Did Some Countries Advance While Others Remained in Poverty?
- Week 5: The MDGs and the End of Extreme Poverty
- Week 6: Growth within Planetary Boundaries
- Week 7: Human Rights and Gender Equality
- Week 8: Education
- Week 9: Universal Health Coverage
- Week 10: Sustainable Food Supply and the End of Hunger
- Week 11: Sustainable Cities
- Week 12: Curbing Climate Change
- Week 13: Saving Biodiversity
- Week 14: The SDGs