Enrico Fermi was one of the most prominent scientists of the 20th century. He was one of the chief architects of the nuclear age. He raised the following question, “If the universe is so big, then why haven’t we encountered any other intelligent life?” Good question!
Some recent scientist think they may have the answer. They suggest that the lifespan of a civilization may only be a several thousand years and that of a industrialized society only a few hundred. Carl Sagan in his book “Cosmos” speaks of the “L Factor” of the Drake equation, which suggests that “once an intelligent civilization gains the capacity for interplanetary communication, at about that time, they gain the capacity to destroy themselves.” I ran across this in Rev. Jim Antal’s book “Climate Church, Climate Change: How People of Faith Must Work for Change”.
Despite what some naysayers say human caused climate change is an indisputable scientific reality. The sooner our leaders and we as individuals wake up to this reality and take significant action the better off we and future generations of our children and grandchildren will be. The “L Factor” may or may not be at work but our continuing lack of taking this as seriously as we should is proof of human hubris and sinfulness.
Way, way back, when I was a student at the University of Florida in the mid 70’s I took a class on Religion and Ethics. One of the authors we read was Lynn White, who said, “More science and more technology are not going to get us out of the present ecological crisis until we find a new religion, or rethink our old one.” Science alone will not solve human caused global warming. We need changed hearts and minds. We need a firm spiritual/philosophical foundation to undergird and empower a new way of living that is not based on exploitation of God’s creation but on mutuality and sustainability with all of God’s Creation. Lent is a time to prayerfully examine our faith and our lives.
I can think of no more important subject for this year’s Lenten season then “Climate Church, Climate World”. We will take time to explore this in this year’s Lenten worship services and in our Lenten Studies on Wednesday nights.
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Psalm 24:1
Rev. Scott B. Martin