Monday, May 11, 2009

Life After People

By Kyoko Tsuzuki, Intern

Picking classes for Spring Quarter was a challenging process. I had two classes already, but I needed one more. As I scrolled through my options, I came across “Religion and Ecology.” It sounded interesting, so I signed up. Being a sophomore psychology major, I was not completely interested in religion or ecology, especially since I am not a huge fan of the outdoors. I am in Professor Cynthia Moe-Lobeda’s Religion and Ecology class. Professor Moe-Lobeda is a passionate woman devoted to religion and the environment. I trudged through the readings and half-heartedly sat through the lectures. I was still trying to figure out how religion and ecology could possibly be connected.

One day, my professor told me that everything in the environment is connected. At first, I was completely confused by this comment. However, after she explained it further, I understood the observation as everything in nature is reliant on something else in the environment. For instance, the plants rely on the animals and the animals rely on the plants. In order for a functional existence and habitat, one needs the other. Another addition that I picked up on during this discussion was that humans disrupted this efficient give-and-take relationship. Human beings use the environment freely and at their own will. This often comes at the expense of God's creation.

After reflecting on this sobering conclusion for several days, I saw an advertisement for a television series on the History Channel, called “Life After People.” It sounded interesting. I sat myself in front of the television for two hours to watch this program. It started out with some startling images of famous buildings overgrown with foliage and shrubbery and animals running freely on green plains.

“Life After People” gave me some hope amidst all the destruction and gloom. Perhaps humans are not completely destructive. If I learned one thing it is that humans have an important role on this planet. We are here to care for the planet and all creation. Many of our current lifestyle choices deeply impact the health of the planet, ourselves, and future generations. People need to be conscious of how they are living and try to reduce their "footprint" on the earth. This is the ultimate call of our generation.

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