Earth Day this year (April 22nd) falls on Good Friday. Somehow, it seems all too appropriate this year.
The eco-system of the Gulf of Mexico has been carrying the cross of the BP oil spill since the Deepwater Horizon well blew apart just one year ago. Radiation from the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, is scourging not only Japan but the Pacific Ocean itself. We have no idea when that crisis there will end. As if these tragedies were not enough, the polar ice caps continue to melt at an alarming rate, and sea levels are beginning to threaten some island nations. All this is directly related to climate change. Then there is "hydraulic fracturing" or "fracking," an increasingly common means of extracting oil and gas from shale formations even though it endangers supplies of drinking water.
But just like the original crucifixion, the suffering of our planet can be traced to human decisions and indecision, principally among our elected leaders. In the current Congress, very few in either party publicly breathe the phrase "climate change." After all, what will the crowds (voters) say? Several Republican members, including Speaker John Boehner, actually denigrate the scientific consensus on this issue and have become "climate deniers." Boehner actually said on This Week with George Stephanopoulos that "…the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical."
In addition, many Congress members want to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency and take away its ability to regulate greenhouse gases. All these attitudes mean that the results of earth's suffering will be on us and on our children … for generations yet to come.
So, this sharing of dates -- Earth Day and Good Friday -- beckons us to public action. We can do more than watch the earth be crucified. We can act. We can let our elected officials know that we need an "Easter" on earth, a resurrection to preserve life for generations yet to come. That means recognizing and explaining reality to all the skeptics out there, and taking bold action to save our planet.