A lot has been written over the past few weeks about the dreadful oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This is one of those events that is really hard to get your head around. The amount of oil involved and the scale of the area polluted is enormous and it could be many years before we really understand the full extent of the disaster which has occured.
But, as Phil has pointed out, this is not the only enormous oil spill which is going on at the moment, there is a potentially more serious incident happening in the Niger Delta. Sadly, the Niger Delta doesn’t get as much media attention as the Gulf of Mexico. However, the argument over which is worse is probably futile – the point is that there are at least two major, man-made, catastrophes happening at the moment.
It is important that we realise that these events are man-made. We can’t blame God, nature, anyone or anything else. We did it. It is rather tempting to place the blame on those who have made “drill baby drill” a campaign slogan; believing falsely that we can exploit the planet without suffering the consequences. However, we all have a share in this problem (if we live in the rich world, at least). Our addiction to oil, a nasty, unpleasant, polluting poison is the cause of these oil spills, the oil spills in the past and the ones that will happen in the future.
Make no mistake, unless we change the way we approach our energy needs, there will be more oil spills and future ones will be worse. Romans 1 teaches clearly that God will let us follow our own path, if we want to be greedy and rape the earth, he will allow us to and we will have to suffer the consequences. It isn’t that God judges all of these actions, he just lets us live with our own choices – and the results can be nasty.
As Mouse has mentioned, we need to take the Gulf oil spill as a wake up call and to start thinking seriously about alternatives to our mad grab for oil. Sadly, many conservative Christians seem to equate caring for the creation with some sort of evil heresy - Russell Moore has some good things to say on this question.
When God made the world, he said it was good – and we should keep it that way!
And no, I don’t want to get rid of my car, either, but we have to start looking for alternatives before it’s too late.
Edit: I’ve just seen that the Google Ad that shows up with this post suggests that President Obama is to blame for the oil spill. It’s that sort of simplistic thinking that gives politics a bad name!