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The Environment

Corrado Cozzi, EUD Communication Director, Associate for Stewardship;

These days we talk about climate change, and it's alarming. The chronicles say we only have 10 years until we reach a serious environmental imbalance. The topic is extremely relevant, but we realize that without everyone's commitment we cannot respect the conditions set by the various environmental protection protocols issued in previous years. Especially the Kyoto Protocol where the objective was to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations to a level that would prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system up to the year 2012. But 2012 has come and gone, and unfortunately the Kyoto Protocol wasn't respected within its time limit. This is everyone’s responsibility, because we are all consumers. Even if, for the most, part we are unaware of the effects that our actions have on our planet.

We must take into serious consideration that we do not need to curse the deadly chimneys belching smoke polluting unpunished the beautiful sky. Someone turned on that smoke and someone feeds it to meet the huge demands of consumption that we all cater to.

Without pointing fingers at anyone, but we have to think about a statistic that we cannot ignore: we are responsible for 95% of what is happening to the earth. What do we really mean by that?

When we accept plastic bags at the supermarket without using our own multi-purpose bag, we turn on the smoke.

When we buy a piece of unnecessary clothing, we turn on the smoke.

When we continuously and unconsciously buy food that is not cultivated in our own country, we turn on the smoke.

When we travel excessively, we turn on the smoke.

When we excessively heat our homes, waste water because it seems abundant, we waste the energy that ignites everything including our technology, we turn on the smoke.

This is not about morals, this is a battle in which we are all called to do our part. Especially when we think that our small actions are too insignificant to be considered a contribution, however, even one drop makes a difference.

To achieve significant goals we must all do our part and we should not delegate our responsibilities to the leaders, the “more important people”.

We as Adventists are proud to be creationists, believing in a wonderful God who made everything perfectly and in its place.

Faith is not enough, the Lord asked us to look after His creation. The battle between creation and evolution must be urgently accompanied by contributions to save our planet. We are all aware of it!

How many people know what an ecological footprint is? It is a unit of measurement used to determine the amount of resources the average person consumes, and how much waste he/she produces annually. It is measured in earth's surface area. For the current European population to live in the lifestyle that we are accustomed to, it would take two and a half planet Earths. And for Americans it would take three planets. This means that we consume more than what the earth produces and absorbs annually.

Earth Overshoot Day, or Ecological Debt Day is the day when humanity consumes more resources than can be regenerated in a year, creating waste faster than it can be absorbed. Overshoot day in 2013 was 20 August. After this date, the earth went into an ecological deficit.

The first calculation was in 1987, on December 19 of that year the earth began running on reserves. Now 26 years later, the deficit per year has increased by four months. According to the natural cycle for recreation, we haven't allowed our Eco-system to regenerate adequately. And the process of erosion is still on-going.

So what do we do? The list is long if you search the internet!

Severn Suzuki, the girl who captivated the entire world for 5 minutes.

It's been a long time since the famous speech by Severn Suzuki at the UN Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil in 1992. This 12 year-old girl kept the whole world captivated for 5 minutes.

During her speech Severn urged the leaders of the world to reflect on the earth and the alarming consequences in the near future if timely and definite measures are not taken. To hear her message go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZsDliXzyAY

It's been more than 20 years and her words still echo in time, they speak to us today but, they fell on deaf ears. Nothing has changed.

Severn hasn't been the only one to report this imbalance. She had the courage to talk about it, she continued her battle, he received awards, but the best prize would have been to see her cries of alarm taken into account.

Declaration of Cernica

The association Amicus ( Adventist Ministry to College and University Students) of the Inter- European Region, met in Cernica, Bucharest in Romania, September 25-28, 2008, to talk about the environment.

At that time, a statement was issued to raise awareness and to become more environmentally friendly.

Statement on the stewardship of creation

According to the teaching of the Bible, the inspired counsel of Ellen. G. White, scientific data and philosophical and theological reflections during this Congress, we affirm the following statements committing ourselves:

To affirm our commitment to God the Creator and Sustainer within the context of our Christian mission, the Three Angels’ Message of Revelation 14 and daily Christian discipleship.

To affirm that full redemption includes creation and that Christians should demonstrate their restored relation with nature.

To recognize that the study of ecology is the restoration of the ideal Eden: healing ourselves, healing our broken relationship with God, with each other and with nature.

To study and respect nature, the second book of God, in the light of the Bible, following the example of Jesus, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

To integrate stewardship of nature in Christian education at home, in church, and in our schools in order to reach and inspire future generations.

To preach and teach more about creation and how to care for it, in our Bible studies, in our evangelistic meetings, and in our every day lives.

To constantly practice the health and life-style principles of the Adventist church, including the promotion of a vegetarian diet.

To keep an intelligent awareness of practical and concrete ways to respect nature: in the use of energy, transportation, recycling waste, care for water, air and soil, plants and animals, and in our shopping habits.

To care for creation by promoting healing and by supporting ecological activities in our community.

To make our homes, churches, institutions and enterprises as environmentally-friendly as possible, the greenest in the community.

To extend the kingdom of God on this earth and to continue in stewardship, while awaiting full redemption on the New Earth.

The participants of the 4th EUD Student Congress,

Cernica, September 25-28, 2008

There's still time to do our part!

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