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December 16, 2009

Elder Paisios on Global Warming and the Environmental Crisis

By Elder Paisios the Athonite

Civilization is a good thing, but in order to be beneficial the soul must also be "civilized". Otherwise, we are in for total disaster. Saint Kosmas (Aitolos) said: "Evil will come from those who are educated." Despite the fact that science has advanced so much and made tremendous progress, when it tries to help people it often ends up harming them, unintentionally. God allows man to do whatever he wants. But when we don't listen to Him, we end up in disaster. The very things we create destroy us.

What have we achieved in this century with our civilization? We have driven people mad and have polluted the atmosphere and the environment. When the wheel leaves its axis, it spins aimlessly out of control. Similarly, when people stray from God's harmony, they are tormented. In the past, people suffered from wars; today they suffer from civilization. Then war made them leave the cities and go to the villages where they lived off a small field. Now they will abandon the cities on account of civilization, because they can no longer live in them. In the past wars brought about death, now it is civilization that brings about diseases.

When science is used indiscriminately, thousands of lives are ruined.

- Geronda, what's going to happen with the ozone?

- We must show a little bit of patience until the scientists go up there with five kilos of putty and plug the hole up!! Yes, let them go up to plug the holes, and they will realize that God has made everything to be good, to be in perfect harmony, and perhaps then they will say to the Lord, "Have mercy on us, we did not do things right." Let's pray that the hole, which has been opened in the atmosphere, will be closed. Indeed, a bowl full of the wrath of God (Rev. 15:7) is now open in the sky and is causing trees and plants to wilt and dry up. But God could do away with this problem.

And now look at how cunning some people are! In order to get money out of the very wealthy, they spread the rumour that a hole has opened in the atmosphere and the world will vanish. The only way to save the world is for scientists to dig deep into the earth and avoid the sun. Of course, this cannot happen. And so they change their story and make another claim that facilities will be built on the moon - restaurants, hotels, housing - and people will go there. And they are even taking down payments to secure a spot! The whole thing is a lie! There's nothing up on the moon. Human beings cannot live there. Only a few people went there, in a capsule, and came back. And there are some people who believe this nonsense and pay money for it.

- Geronda, many people worry about air pollution.

- This is why they must put pressure on factory owners to place anti-pollution devices and save people from all this smog. Instead of bribing members of parliament to take care of their interests, they should pay a little more money to install anti-pollution equipment in their factories. In the old days, there was no smog, no contamination like we have today. Today everything is polluted and people take that to be progress. How could this ever be considered progress, when they are destroying human beings? You go out of your house, and the air smells of fumes. As soon as you open the window, the smog comes in and sticks to your skin. Even when you wash your hands, you cannot get rid of it because it is not something pure. Smoke from a fireplace is exhaled by our lungs when we cough, but smog will not be exhaled because it contains oils and gets stuck there...Spraying disinfectants is poisonous too....

- But Geronda, dacus [an insect] is harmful to the olive trees.

- Pray with a komboschini [prayer rope] for the dacus to leave the trees. Do not just rely on spraying; try praying; put some Christ in your work. We are making an effort to do things right as if we lived in the world, and it does not even cross our mind that we who live the monastic life must be concerned with the other world. We should not try to compete with those who live in the world. Where is Christ? What have we done with Him? I am not saying that you shouldn't spray at all; but just keep in mind that others are still experimenting testing chemicals and so on. And when you must spray you should always wear masks. It is better to have some fruit afflicted by dacus than to try and spray everything in sight. Try and cut down on the number of sprayings. Instead of spraying everything, try praying with devotion. Read the first Psalm [St. Arsenios the Cappadocian prescribed this] and sprinkle some Holy Water on the trees. When you live correctly, you will get the rain you need and the caterpillars will die. God will provide for you. You need to have devotion and trust in God.

Source: With Pain and Love For Contemporary Man, vol. 1, Part One, Chapter Two.