Removing Mountains

August 5, 2012
Cheryl Woelk |

Mountaintop removal. Tar sands. Mass destruction of earth and creation for sake of getting at the coal and oil underground. While there are inevitably complexities for each community facing companies that look for energy sources in their neighbourhoods, and there are no simple stories, on an instinctive level I know it's wrong.

Why are societies in the U.S. and Canada spending so much effort, energy, time, and money on the process of digging out what is underneath the earth which becomes toxic when it comes to the top? Why are we so stuck on our energy addiction that we would rather take the extreme risk of such massive land destruction than the smaller risk of developing sustainable and more healthy lifestyles and alternative energy? 
It's disturbing me. This is not stewardship of creation. This is not love of neighbour.
Naomi Klein talks about our extreme addiction to risk that's getting worse as we get closer to losing what we crave - cheap energy. As she says, this is part of a bigger cultural narrative that describes nature as something to be dominated, exploited, and yet something that is forever resilient and limitless. When we risk too much, we lose it all.
The voice of the church needs to be here. Regardless of political arguments back and forth on either side, the church needs to speak for the people who are suffering because of this destruction and who will suffer in the future. The church needs to speak from the perspective of servants of the God of all creation, to break through the senseless political positioning, and to prophetically call people's attention to the reality of the consequences of our risk.
Turning away from the push for fuel sources might not be a popular message, but the church needs to say it because it is deeply an ethical and theological matter.
Author Name: 
Cheryl Woelk
Share this page: Twitter Instagram

Add new comment

Canadian Mennonite invites comments and encourages constructive discussion about our content. Actual full names (first and last) are required. Comments are moderated and may be edited. They will not appear online until approved and will be posted during business hours. Some comments may be reproduced in print.