“Once God has spoken: twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and steadfast love belongs to you, O God. For you repay to all according to their work.” (Psalm 62:11,12)
“… what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
As people of faith, we are called to love and respect all of creation, a sacred and mysterious gift. As Psalm 62 states, “power belongs to God.” In the case of the psalm, the psalmist is saying that power does not belong to the king of those times but to God. In our days, I would like to say that the power source through which we turn on our lights belongs to God. It is not an entitlement but a gift. Our ingenuity made it possible to harness the power for our use. But even our ingenuity is a gift from Divine Love. And Divine Love asks us to be just, kind and humble. How does this request from God influence our relationship to the planet, to our power sources and to our neighbors around the world?
From the Christian Science Monitor Weekly, January 26, 2015
Some great things are happening around the globe to increase access to power for all people. In Africa where candles, kerosene lanterns and diesel generators have been used to provide energy for lighting, the expense has been high. The kerosene fumes are a health hazard and the CO2 emissions from kerosene is Africa is estimated from 30 million to 50 million annually. Solar Power has now come to Africa at a lesser cost than kerosene and brings electricity for necessities like lighting, cell phone chargers and other small basic necessities. After waiting for more than a decade for electric lines to get to homes in northern Tanzania, Nosim Noah tells her story.
“…one afternoon, the Noahs had an unexpected know on the door. An agent for a new electrical company called M-POWER said that, for a sign-up fee of only 10,000 shillings ($6), he could install a fully functioning solar home system in their house – enough to power several LED lights and a radio. The payoff was immediate. While Noah used to spend $18 a month on kerosene, she now pays a monthly average of $11 for her solar lighting, and she no longer has to go into town to charge her cellphone. The person most affted, though, may be her 2-year-old daughter, Emilia, who is afraid of the dark. “She would cry every night – every single night,” says Noah. “It was a struggle to put her to sleep.” Now, with a new light above her bed, “It makes a huge difference,” she says.
…In another case, a woman says that her 3-year-old son’s chronic cough improved dramatically once he stopped breathing in kerosene fumes daily.”
Moving away from a reliance on petroleum products has made electric power more accessible and more affordable in developing countries (both cities and remote regions) around the globe. And with solar power, the air is cleaner and the impact on the planetary CO2 decreased. God’s gift of the sun and humankind’s ingenuity becomes the way of justice and kindness in these stories.
In the United States, “the price to install solar on homes and business has dropped steadily across the country – by 8% in the last year and 34% from 2010. … Today, the U.S. has an estimated 20 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity, enough to effectively power nearly 4 million homes in the United States … with another 20 GW in the pipeline for 2015 and 2016. … In 2013, $189 million was invested in Georgia to install solar for home, business and utility us… a 795% increase over the previous year…”(seig.org) There are more than 150 solar companies in GA and more than 80 solar contractor/installers in Georgia. Ways to live more sustainably on our planet are increasing every day.