“Every crisis is a judgement, a call to see where things have gone wrong and to seek to set matters right, both within our consciousness and in society.  The environmental crisis, the economic crisis, the crisis of justice, the crisis of faith, the employment crises, the crisis of militarism- all these are symptoms not only that humanity has to yet become what is has to be, but also that we are on the wrong track.” Paulos Mar Gregorios

The Human Presence: Ecological Spirituality in the Age of the Spirit, Amity House Press, Amity, NY 1989, p.3  excerpt from A Cloud of Witness by Fredrick W. Krueger, p 438

What can we do to get on the right path? Everyone must ask themselves, what is it going to take to get back on track?  What can I do on a personal level and what can I do to encourage others that we need to be stewards of the earth?

It is obvious that the present rates of consumption and the current means of extracting sources of energy are leading us down the wrong path.  We can make changes and protect our heritage, environment, and families.

Set an example

One of the best ways to encourage people to change their consumption habits is to lead by example.  Inspire others.  A lot of people  want to make a difference but feel that they can make no impact.  By taking action yourself, show them that it can be done and that every little bit helps.  Here are some resources to help you come up with ways to conserve your energy usage.  Share them with your friends and family!

Daily Green: 10 Easiest Tips

Summer Time Energy-Saving Tips

Earth Lab

Be an advocate

Advocate for our mountains and for cleaner, renewable sources of energy. Demand change and be proactive. Nothing gets accomplished by being passive.  We have been on a harmful path for  too long and now it is time to make a change. Share the issues with others.  Explain to them how Mountain Top Removal and renewable energy are moral and spiritual issues.  Support endeavors that will protect our mountains and help us reduce our dependency on coal.

The Coal River Wind Project is a good step forward in protecting our mountains and at the same time, harnessing clean, renewable energy.  This wind farm will keep the mountain in tact, provide energy, create jobs, and preserve heritage.  Another great aspect of this project is that it will set a good example of how we can use our mountains to benefit the economy and local citizens without blasting them away.  This project can serve as a model for future endeavors and is a good step in showing the country that Appalachia is interested in promoting renewable sources of energy.

For more information and statistics about the Coal River Wind Project, please visit their website at http://www.coalriverwind.org/
Don’t forget to sign the petition!

“Let him who possesses a field, so partake of its yearly fruits that he does not suffer the ground to be injured by his negligence, but let him endeavor to hand it down to posterity as he received it, or even better cultivated.  Let him so feed on its fruits that he neither dissipates it by luxury, not permits it to be marred or ruined by neglect.  Moreover, that this economy, and this diligence, with respect to those good things which God has given us to enjoy, may flourish among us, let everyone regard himself as the steward of God in all things which he possesses.  Then he will neither conduct himself dissolutely, nor corrupt by abuse those things which God requires to be preserved.”

John Calvin

Commentary on Genesis, chapter 2:15; translated from the first Latin edition, 1578, English translation of 1847, reprinted by Banner of Truth Publishers, 1965  excerpt from A Cloud of Witnesses by Frederick W. Krueger

God calls each and every one of us to be stewards of the earth. Does this resemble stewardship to you?

photo courtesy of Vivian Stockman OVEC

view from Kayford Mountain; photo courtesy of Vivian Stockman OVEC

You may be asking yourself, but what can I do to be a better steward?  Surely I cannot help stop the powerful forces behind the destruction of our mountains. There are plenty of ways that you as an individual can take  a stand!

Share the atrocities with your friends, neighbors, and church community. Let them know exactly what is going on in the Appalachian Mountains. The only way we can create a generation of stewards is by educating people about the devastation that is taking place and by laying out the impact that the damage has on people, wildlife, the environment, and God’s creation in general.

Conserve energy.  Become part of the solution by cutting down on the amount of energy that you use. Taking this step will also help you save money on your energy bill. Kilowatt Ours is a great film by Jeff Barrie that examines the sources of energy in our country and explores the dangers of coal-generated electricity. On the film’s website there is a great wealth of information on steps you can take to cut down your consumption and save on your bill.  http://kilowattours.org/ There is also another site affiliated with the film that allows you to count your kilowatts and show how you are conserving energy.  Once you enter your statistics, it calculates your annual savings in money, pounds of coal, and CO2 emissions.  http://countyourkilowatts.com/

Stand up for the mountains!  Let your senators and representatives know that mountain top removal, and other practices that degrade God’s mountains, must end. Let your energy provider know that you would like to see them start using sustainable energy. The We Can Solve It campaign has some great resources on steps you can take to make your power company carbon-free.  They even have a little slip that you can include with your next power bill that states how you expect them to start including more renewable energy.  Check out the resource page at http://www.wecansolveit.org/content/pages/291/

These are only a few of the possibilities of ways that you can become a better steward.  I encourage you to post your own ideas or share steps that you have taken in the direction of caring for God’s creation.