We talk of stewardship:
"As to our own planet which God has given us for a dwelling place, we
must be mindful that it is given in stewardship." Britain Yearly
Meeting Quaker faith & practiceChapter
We are facing global
catastrophes from greenhouse gases being added to atmosphere.
Our peace testimony asks,
"Do I live in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the
occasion of all wars?" Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, Advices
Climate change is expected to be a major cause
of conflict this century.
testimony: "That the spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not
changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil and again to
move unto it; and we do certainly know, and so testify to the world,
that the spirit of Christ, which leads us into all Truth, will never
move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither
for the kingdom of Christ nor for the kingdoms of this world." George
Fox, 1660 Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith
and Practice, Testimony
and Experience of Friends
Yet our lifestyle itself is
"Friends testimony on equality
is rooted in the holy expectation that there is that of God in
everyone...[a]ll must therefore be treated with integrity and respect."
Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and
Yet many of us emit more than our share of greenhouse gases, in a world
that must limit this behavior.
"The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious
creator to the
inhabitants, and to impoverish the earth now to support outward
greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age." John Woolman,
"We are now in the middle of a long process of transition in the
nature of the image which man has of himself and his environment.
Primitive men, and to a large extent also men of the early
civilizations, imagined themselves to be living on a virtually
illimitable plane. There was almost always somewhere beyond the known
limits of human habitation, and over a very large part of the time that
man has been on earth, there has been something like a frontier. That
is, there was always some place else to go when things got too
difficult, either by reason of the deterioration of the natural
environment or a deterioration of the social structure in places where
people happened to live. The image of the frontier is probably one of
the oldest images of mankind, and it is not surprising that we find it
hard to get rid of.
"...The closed earth of the future requires economic principles which
are somewhat different from those of the open earth of the past. For
the sake of picturesqueness, I am tempted to call the open economy the
"cowboy economy," the cowboy being symbolic of the illimitable plains
and also associated with reckless, exploitative, romantic, and violent
behavior, which is characteristic of open societies. The closed economy
of the future might similarly be called the "spaceman" economy, in
which the earth has become a single spaceship, without unlimited
reservoirs of anything, either for extraction or for pollution, and in
which, therefore, man must find his place in a cyclical ecological
system which is capable of continuous reproduction of material form
even though it cannot escape having inputs of energy."