Planet Earth Can Be Saved!
THE preceding articles have made it clear that man cannot continue to consume earth’s resources at the present rate. True, world leaders have made commendable efforts to curb pollution, deforestation, and other environmental problems. Starting with the UN Conference on Human Environment in 1972, and followed by other conferences at regular intervals, up to 163 nations have met to endorse action plans. But what has been the result? “Unfortunately, this rich body of treaties, action plans, and other instruments has not reversed global environmental decline,” says David Hunter, executive director of the Center for International Environmental Law. In fact, adds Hunter, “virtually every major environmental indicator is worse today than it was at the time of the 1992 UN Conference.”
Why such meager progress after more than 30 years of addressing environmental issues? One reason is the need for economic growth. The nations’ economies are driven by consumer spending. That requires businesses to produce, and that, in turn, takes raw materials. It is a vicious circle in which the environment ends up the loser. What, then, is the solution?
The Bible explains why man’s efforts to govern himself have been such a miserable failure. The prophet Jeremiah said: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23) Those words have proved to be true indeed!
Have you ever visited a garden or a park? How we appreciate the beautiful array of trees, shrubs, and flowers! A well-arranged garden, though, does not just happen. Skilled gardeners spend many hours trimming trees, manicuring lawns, and maintaining flower beds in order to make them presentable. Imagine what our earthly home would look like if the entire globe received the same kind of loving care that goes into a garden.
Actually, our Creator purposed that our planet receive that kind of care. According to the creation account in God’s inspired Word, “Jehovah God proceeded to take the man and settle him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15) Moreover, the human family received a commission not only to take care of Eden but to expand that original Paradise until it filled the whole earth.—Genesis 1:28.
Sadly, by their disobedience Adam and Eve became imperfect and lost out on the opportunity of caring for and expanding the boundaries of Paradise. (Genesis 3:1-6, 23) As offspring of that first human pair, we have inherited their sin and imperfection. (Romans 5:12) Mismanagement of the earth’s natural resources is just one example of man’s misguided efforts at self-rule. Clearly, mankind’s problems are beyond their ability to solve. Outside help is needed.
The Road to Recovery
While on earth, Jesus taught his disciples to pray: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:10) The Bible teaches that under God’s heavenly Kingdom, the earth will be brought to a paradisaic condition. (Psalm 37:10, 11) At that time trees and plants will give their full yield in a clean environment. (Psalm 72:16) Under God’s direction the earth will also be cleansed of pollution, and mankind will learn how to live in total harmony with the environment. How can we be sure of that?
The Bible says that the earth “will not be made to totter to time indefinite, or forever.” (Psalm 104:5) In God’s due time, all those living will enjoy everlasting blessings, including good health, abundant food, and good housing. Would you like to learn more about God’s purposes? Speak to any one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They would be glad to help you to see from the Bible how planet Earth can—and will—be saved!
[Pictures on page 10]
Under God’s direction, mankind will live in harmony with the environment
Girl and farmer: © Jeremy Horner/Panos Pictures