Entries in 2006 Carey Lecture (5)
We all know that feeling of helplessness, that the things we’re doing as individuals, good though they are, are not turning the tide. Not all the newspapers we recycle, combined, can halt the clearcutting of old-growth forests. Not all the Toyota Priuses we buy as individuals can halt the build-up of greenhouse gases.
There are three levels at which I believe corporate practice is needed here.
How do we discover what standards God wants us to live up to?
How do we learn to distinguish between the things that people are saying about the environment that are true, and the things that people are saying that are deceitful or manipulative or intended to stampede us in a bad direction?
And how do we find the strength and the personal skills we need to do what’s needed?
Why not let’s dream big dreams, and go for them?
The standard liberal Quaker testimonies did not emerge as answers to environmental challenges. They were answers to quite different challenges — for example, the simplicity testimony was an answer to human vainglory. And since they were aimed at different targets, we cannot count on them to hit the environmental targets we need them to hit.
The life-support functions of Spaceship Earth have never been a reason for concern before. This is new territory for our species. These are challenges we do not yet know our ability to deal with.
In this context, then, what should we mean by “harmony with all God’s Creation?”