Will Earth Sustain Future Generations?
BY AWAKE! WRITER IN CANADA
▪ After four years of making a comprehensive study of the world’s major ecosystems, a group of scholars and environmental leaders—who were part of a study called the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment [MA]—published their first report. Some of the conclusions they reached follow: During the past half century, the growing demand for food, freshwater, timber, fiber, and fuel has caused unprecedented changes in earth’s ecosystems, straining earth’s ability to sustain future generations. Earth’s natural ability to pollinate crops, provide air conditioning by wild plants, and recycle nutrients by the oceans is being overtaxed. The planet is also at the edge of a massive wave of species extinctions.
“Humans are damaging the planet at such an unprecedented rate that they are raising the risk of abrupt collapses in nature that could spur disease, deforestation or dead zones in the seas,” said the Globe and Mail newspaper of Canada. The paper added: “The wetlands, forests, savannahs, estuaries, coastal fisheries and other habitats that recycle air, water and nutrients for all living creatures are being irretrievably damaged.” While the conclusion of the MA board of directors agrees that it lies within the power of human societies to ease the strains that are being put on the ecosystems, they say that achieving it “will require radical changes in the way nature is treated at every level of decision-making.”
Can planet Earth be saved? The answer is a resounding yes! As caretakers of God’s creation, we should do our best to respect the environment. (Psalm 115:16) However, only through divine intervention will the ecosystems be brought back into balance. Our “Grand Maker” promises that he will turn his attention to the earth and “give it abundance.” (Job 35:10; Psalm 65:9-13) This includes the seas and everything in them because as the Creator, Jehovah God has power over the seas. (Psalm 95:5; 104:24-31) And what he promises is sure to come true because God “cannot lie.”—Titus 1:2.
To know that earth will sustain future generations is most reassuring. This moves all who fear God to praise him for his abundant wisdom, power, and goodness and to laud him for all his love for his creative works.—Psalm 150:1-6.
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Globe: NASA photo