SANDERS: The Earth is hurting and protesting

Published 7:14 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Earth is protesting. The Earth protests when terrible storms rage, such as tsunamis and floods. The Earth protests when earthquakes shatter our communities, and fires burn our lands and homes. The Earth protests when droughts invade our lands, or when polar icecaps melt and oceans rise.  The Earth is in great pain from our abuse and is shouting:  “Stop! Stop! Stop!” God gave humans dominion over the Earth. Therefore, humans are duty bound to be good stewards of the Earth. That means we must protect and nurture the Earth and we are failing. Instead of protecting, we have attacked the Earth. Instead of nurturing, we have diminished the Earth.

Hurricane Harvey was a mighty shout. Harvey was an extremely powerful storm that rained for four days and four nights over Texas and Louisiana.

Harvey just lingered while the rains poured. It was almost like in the time of Noah’s flood. Fifty-two inches in four days. More than a year and half of rainfall in just four days. So many streets flooded. So many homes under water. So many people rescued from danger. So many people in shelters. So many people displaced.  So much damage to lives and property. So much disruption in the land. The media said it was a once in a thousand years storm.

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Then came Hurricane Irma just 10 days later. Never before have two such powerful storms hit the U.S. mainland in such a close time frame. And we are little more than half way through the hurricane season. Irma was even bigger and badder than Hurricane Harvey. It battered the whole state of Florida and then moved into Georgia and South Carolina. We felt the effects in Alabama hundreds of miles away.  It devastated the U.S. Virgin Islands and many other islands. Havana, the capital of Cuba, was under rushing waters.

The water one time, the fire next time. Fires burn millions of acres each year. The fire burn season is now two months longer than it was just a couple of decades ago. Fires disrupt and take lives. Fires destroy property. In 2014, 8.5 million acres were devastated in Canada. In 2016, 367,000 acres were burned just in one area on the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

Then there are the droughts and wetness. In the 2000 – 2010 decade, there were many areas that experienced droughts to a far prevalent degree than usual. They lasted for years. Parts of California had to ration water. At the same time, there were many areas that were far wetter than usual. Extremes on both ends of the spectrum.

Polar ice caps are melting. Huge chunks are sliding into the Arctic Ocean. That changes so many things in ways we cannot fully fathom. However, we know it is not good for the world as we know it.

The oceans are changing. Its waters are rising. Its waters are warming. The evidence is abundant. The Island nations of Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Marshall are on the verge of being swallowed up by the ocean. All the low coast cities are experiencing rising tides. The warming waters of the ocean are fueling terrible storms.

The Earth is a finely balanced organism. Every time one basic element of nature shifts even a little bit, the entire balance is thrown off. A shift of even a half degree in the temperature of the Earth shifts the whole balance of the Earth.  The Earth is protesting. The Earth is shouting out in its most powerful languages: “Stop! Don’t hurt me anymore! Please Stop before I hurt you!”