Dec 26 2012

“Flight Behavior”

AGPix_summers402_1165_Lg[1]Christmas is a time most of us associate with gifts. We enjoy giving gifts and, of course, we enjoy receiving them too. Hopefully when we do receive gifts we give thanks for them and honor the bestower by what we do with the gift. To show disrespect for any gift given to us in love would be sinful or inappropriate.

I fear that a lot of people forget that the earth we live on is a gift bestowed by God. We should give thanks for this marvelous gift and also treat it in a way that is appropriate. Unfortunately, from the looks of things, we’ve not done a very good job of the latter obligation.

HNP crater 367Early this morning I finished reading Barbara Kingslover’s newest novel, Flight Behavior. The book is fiction but deals with a very serious problem our planet is facing, global warming. Kingslover, who in addition to being an award winning writer, earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She definitely did her homework for this book and introduces a great deal of scientific evidence into her narrative.

The story she tells involves the potential demise of monarch butterflies due to climate change. It is a story that stretches from Mexico to the southern Appalachian mountains. It is also a story that is unfortunately all too believable. Out of both ignorance and arrogance we have done things to our planet that has had, and will continue to have, dire consequences.

Kingslover deals with the reluctance of many to acknowledge the human impact on the earth’s rising temperature. In one of the book’s best sections a respected biologist gives a blistering interview to a television reporter and does his best to set the record straight–humans are influencing climate change and people can deny it all they want but it will not change what is happening.

FL9677If you’ve read any of Kingslover’s previous books it will come as no surprise that she brings religion into the discussion. More than one character in the book is convinced that the earth truly is a gift from God and that¬†people are responsible for being good stewards of it.

I hope Flight Behavior becomes a best-seller. It will help anyone who reads it to understand better what we are up against in the growing threat of global warming. Hopefully her novel will also lead others to give more thought to the connection between Christianity and environmental stewardship. I do commend the book to you and hope you’ll encourage others to read it as well.

–Chuck

(I took the top image in Virginia, the middle image in Hawaii, and the bottom image in Florida.)