How easily the world forgets how humans have brought disaster upon God’s creation. We take such a short term view on history and nature. We have used and abused the world. I’m guilty of it – you are too. We like what we like and want what we want. Yet, on April 26, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear power plant accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in what was the Soviet Union. Thirty-two people died and dozens more suffered radiation burns in the opening days of the crisis, but only after Swedish authorities reported the fallout did Soviet authorities reluctantly admit that an accident had occurred. Lies and cover-ups have given way to one of the worst man made disasters of all time.
Ukraine last year launched the construction of a permanent shelter to replace the temporary concrete-and-steel edifice that was hastily erected after the disaster and has since developed cracks. The 20,000-ton arched structure that spans 257 meters, known as the new safe confinement, is designed to last for a century, and will contain hi-tech equipment to carry out safe decontamination work inside the ruined reactor. The construction of the new structure and ongoing decontamination efforts are expected to cost billions of dollars. The completion of the new shelter is expected in October 2015.
The Soviet Union ordered thousands of people to take part in the clean-up in Ukraine following the Chernobyl accident, working without adequate protection. Although only two people were killed in the initial explosions, the United Nations atomic agency says that 28 rescue workers died of radiation sickness in the first three months after the accident and more than 25,000 of the cleanup workers, known as “liquidators” from then-Soviet Ukraine, Russia and Belarus have died after the disaster.
How soon we forget how the nuclear genie is hard to put back in the bottle. Consider the care of the land from a Native American viewpoint for a moment. Indians, as we have come to call the native Americans, viewed land as something to be shared communally, and respected it with that idea in mind. The concept of “owning” property was completely foreign to them, and this included land. Yet, most Europeans saw just the opposite to be true. Sharing land was a fool’s gamble, and a practice they saw ripe for exploitation. Land was meant to be owned (“manifest destiny” is a great example), traded and used for the purpose of personal profit.
The Biblical point of view is this. God owns it – we are to do our best to care for it and even improve it. That is still revolutionary thinking, isn’t it? So remember today that the earth is the Lord’s.