Friday, May 22, 2020
Another day, another...Day. This is the International Day for Biodiversity, named as such by UNESCO. I wonder, does the United Nations have a department of day-naming? It does seem that they've figured out at least 365 of them and actually, most of them are worthwhile.
On the website there is a brief definition of biodiversity and then a description of the threats:
Biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet. It underpins human wellbeing in the present and in the future, and its rapid decline threatens nature and people alike...the main global drivers of biodiversity loss are climate change, invasive species, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution and urbanization.
Today reminds us that humans are highly skilled at taking and depleting, and lacking in the humility and foresight to sustain the balance on which our future as a species depends. We have an astonishing sense of entitlement and unfortunately the scriptures of our Judeo/Christian tradition are often manipulated to justify our greed.
Still, the planet is marvelous and there are the moments of wonder we can celebrate, giving thanks to the Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. At 7:30 this morning we were out in a canoe on the calm waters of the Bay of Quinte, minutes away from our home. Almost immediately we saw a snake undulating by, and not far away a swan family with a number of cygnets.
As we paddled along the shore there were blue herons, kingfishers, and ospreys. A variety of songbirds were in the trees, and where branches leaned out over the water fish were jumping to catch insects which congregated there. Because Belleville was nearby we could hear city sounds in the distance but the morning chorus of birds was far greater.
In moments such as these the great biodiversity psalm, 104, comes to mind, a celebration of creatures in all their variety with hardly a mention of human beings. Of course, a thousand years before Jesus the human population of Earth was 50 to 100 million while today it is in the neighbourhood of 7,8 billion today. Even in the year I was born the critters had a better chance to "live long and prosper" with a mere 2.8 billion people.
It's clear that we must take responsibility for protecting and cherishing the variety of life in oceans, air, and land. As we do sowe can look up and around and give thanks. Gratitude and stewardship are essential disciplines of the Christian life.