“The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all.” —Wendell Berry
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. NIV.
“As part of the natural functions and ecosystem services provide by soils, a healthy soil stores more carbon than that stored in the atmosphere and vegetation.” —Recarbonization of Global Soils – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
As the timeline to prevent the worst impacts of climate change shortens, many questionable “solutions” are being offered that potentially deepen social inequities and erode cultures and biodiversity. How can God’s shalom be embodied in the solutions for climate change? Or is the situation so dire that should we just be concerned with cutting carbon as fast as possible no matter how we get there? What questions should Christians seeking to be faithful to God’s shalom be asking about proposed solutions?
Billionaire “philanthrocapitalist” Bill Gates, who recently released “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” is one of the most visible promoters of technological solutions to climate mitigation and adaptation, such as carbon capture and storage, and a more climate resilient agriculture. To the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, climate resilient agriculture may be more efficient but depends heavily on fossil-fuel-based fertilizer and genetic engineering. Gates’s technological and capitalistic mindset clearly dominate the Foundation’s approach to climate change. This is not to say that technology and capitalism cannot be useful in finding and implementing climate solutions. Obviously, they must be engaged. However, their dominance blinds us to the opportunity to enhance the flourishing of humans and nature through climate solutions that are more inclusive and equitable.
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