The Common Good

Responding to a Shocking Image of the Gulf Oil Spill's Scope

NASA released a new image yesterday that shows a large column of oil heading from the Deepwater Horizon rig site in the Gulf of Mexico out into the open ocean, a startling and heartbreaking indicator -- on top of reports in recent days that no one's quite sure how much oil is leaking or where it's headed -- that this tragedy is far from over.

Click to enlarge:

100520-nasagulfofmexicooilslickcolumn

And even as I continue to pray for success in BP and the government's clean-up operations, for mercy for those whose lives and livelihoods have been impacted, and as I grieve for those creatures, great and small, who are suffering as a result of our failure to fulfill our responsibilities as stewards of God's creation, I am reminded not only of the fallibility of humans and of human organizations, but also of the continuing mandate to look after the earth (Genesis 1:28).

Even when evidence points once again to human sinfulness and greed that manifests itself in a lust for resources or even simply an indifference or apathy to the effects that our selfish decisions may have, I take heart from the fact that God never gives up on us. In spite of my own complicity in systems that, for instance, propagate a dependence on dirty energy sources, I am reminded that it is to faithfulness that I am called.

So I'll continue trying to be faithful on all levels: driving less; committing with my housemates to recycling or eating less red meat; participating in community 'greening' projects; urging the government to pass climate legislation that not only curbs pollution and seeks to protect the vulnerable from the worst effects of climate change, but also lays out a plan for a sustainable and more environmentally responsible future.

How about you? What are some of the ways that you, your family, your church, or your community is trying to be environmentally faithful? Share them with the Sojo community (in the comments below).

portrait-justin-fungJustin Fung is the policy and organizing assistant for Sojourners. A graduate of University College London (Law) and Fuller Theological Seminary (Theology/Cross-Cultural Studies), he blogs regularly at Gershom's Journal and tweets from @justinfung.

+ Ask President Obama and Congress to support a climate and energy bill that protects people and the planet, not polluters.

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