The concept of “stewardship” has weaknesses. The idea of stewardship sets
humans over creation, not within it. It depicts the relationship of humans to
other creatures in a purely vertical way. Stewardship does not acknowledge that
we are also creatures, as we care for creation, creation also cares for us! The
focus on a vertical relationship (ruler, steward) has separated us from creation.
Modern western thought has denied our creatureliness, our embeddedness within
creation, and our interdependence with other creatures. It can be more helpful
to refer to us as part of the “the community of all creation” iv
THE SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION EVENT
What will geologists of the future see when they study this period in history?
Earth’s ecosystems have evolved for millions of years. This process has resulted
in diverse and complex biological communities, living in balance with their
environment. These diverse ecosystems provide people with food, fresh water, clean
air, energy, medicine and recreation. Over the past 100 years, however, nature and
the services it provides to humanity have come under increasing risk.
Scientists call this new era the “Anthropocene” (Anthro means human). During the
Anthropocene, our climate has changed very rapidly, oceans are acidifying, and entire
biomes are disappearing – during the short period of a single human lifetime. The
Earth is becoming much less hospitable for human and animal life.
Such is the magnitude of our impact on the planet that the Anthropocene is
becoming known as the world’s sixth mass extinction event. In the past such
extinction events took place over hundreds of thousands to millions of years. What
makes the Anthropocene so remarkable is that these changes are occurring within an
extremely short period of time.
Over the long period of the history of the planet five mass extinctions have been
identified in the rock records. How might a future geologist identify our generation
in the rock records?
Scientists suggest a range of markers will be detected, from pesticides to nitrogen
and phosphorus, and radioactivity . The accumulation of particulate plastics in marine
sediments will be found in many of the rocks. Finally, it is likely that a future geologist will notice the rapid decline in the number of species based on clues in the fossil record: the sixth mass extinction event has already begun.
The Living Planet Report WWFv.
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ