Does the Church know about Species Extinctions?
Judith Allinson writes:
Has your church recently been doing anything to save any threatened species from extinction? Please let us know.
The world will still be beautiful if the polar bears disappear, and if the orang-utans disappear. Even if humans disappear, there will still be beautiful lichens .
But is this the way to look after God’s gifts? – Shouldn’t we be looking after them- the land, the soil, and the species, for future generations?
SOME INTERESTING FACTS – You might find them useful when raising awareness amongst other people:
- If you were to weigh all the animals in the world, and compare the weight of the humans and their domestic animals (A), with the weight of the remaining wild animals (B) (I think this may refer to mammals) – the ratio is 97% : 3% (Smil 1992) – Oops sorry – I see this figure has now been reduced to 1% in some publications (2018). Our world population is set to increase from 7 billion to at least 10 billion in the next 50 years – Where are the wild animals going to live?
- Due to human activity, the rates of species extinctions are 1000 to 10,000 times as great as they were before humans came.
- I have been carrying out botanical surveys intermittently for over 40 years in UK and especially Yorkshire.
I can go for a walk in the fields where I live in Yorkshire and see that wildflowers are disappearing
as farmers put on extra fertilizer to grow more crops to feed the animals,
and as unimproved grassland (with some wildflowers) next to towns and villages gets built on.
Is it like that where you live? In most counties in Britain one species of wildflower has become extinct in that county every two years over the last 150 years. Botanical records show this – see Plantlife report
- Much of our roast beef on Sundays may have been fed on soya grown on recently felled rainforest land. (with apologies to the growing number of vegans who may read this post)
This is our world.
Yours and mine.
What we do affects what will be left for future generations.
Let’s MAKE A SPECIAL BIG EFFORT for the sake of our grandchildren.
God calls us to do good things, not bad things.
Columban Catholic priest Sean McDonagh wrote an excellent passionate book about this – using his experience in Ireland and in the Philippines, collecting scientific research and statistics. The second half of the book includes a discussion the impact and views of Christian theologians in history.
it is called
The Death of life: Extinction is forever
If you care about wildlife, there are quotes you can use in your church publications.
It is 14 years since he wrote the book – but there is no other book quite like it. (You can buy second hand copies online cheaply now)
You can download a leaflet on Sean McDonagh’s book with a review and summary of key points in his book here: Download the 4 sided leaflet as a doc file: species-2014.doc
Well done to everyone who reads this page who has done something positive to save wildlife habitats – keep up the good work!
One brilliant thing you can do is to encourage your church to raise £100 for CEL’s Rainforest fund – or for another wildlife charity of your choice – £100 is not much, and you may find some naturalists/ eco-people outside your church will help too. It’s a start.
See also the Green Christian biodiversity leaflets (1 & 2) that you can print and use at your church/school
Comments on "Does the Church know about Species Extinctions?"
Thank you for keeping this important issue alive.