In preparation for my next two days, where I'll be teaching the Stockman Grass Farmer marketing school in Nashville, Tennessee, I was reviewing some social media counsel and one of the points is that negative headlines stimulate much higher readership than positive headlines.
It reminded me of all the publicity surrounding the alleged burning inferno in the Amazon. A couple of weeks ago I had a Brazilian on one of our lunatic tours and I asked her about it. She said nothing in the media is true, that in fact the fires are less than normal, and that it's all politically driven because their new president is a bit of a firebrand libertarian and friends with Trump.
Then last week I saw an actual breakdown from GPS acreage and it turns out that she was right. Indeed, this year's fires in the Amazon are down 30 percent from recent previous years going back 5 or 6 years. It struck me that in all the media reports I've seen over the last couple of months about this that none of them has put in actual data. They've all had pictures of fires and hyped headlines screaming doomsday.
Now that I have the data in hand, I'm not giving those fires a second thought. But when you're told that we only have 10 years to survive, those kinds of shock headlines get your attention. Sensationalism sells.
That said, I do think we're on a trajectory toward problems: soil erosion, nutrient deficiency, sickness, insufficient water, desertification. Yes, there's a lot to be concerned about, but I don't for a minute think we're going to exterminate ourselves and that we only have 10 years before we destroy the planet.
As many of you know, I'm a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer--the first word is Christian. We humans, in spite of our faults and our capacity to hurt, will not thwart the overarching plan God has for end times. It will unfold in His timetable and His method. Will human activity, depraved as it is, play a part? Without a doubt.
I've just become acquainted with the rising notion that the sun is not some nuclear thing; it's rather electromagnetic being fueled by other parts of the universe. I don't have time to go into it now, but this notion that the cosmos is really electrical and not matter is quite a cool idea. It points not to a big bang, but to a Source and Design that energizes it.
As Pilgrims, then, our stewardship has everything to do with current occupation and care. A Providential paradigm does not in any way diminish the mandate for caretaking and stewardship. We have no idea what God's timetable is; we know we're supposed to take care of His stuff, love His stuff, respect His stuff as part of our responsibility. So take the doomsday forecasts with a grain of salt. Especially the ones that give a year and time for extinction.
Meanwhile, let's caretake in honor and deference, out of love for a benevolent Creator who holds things together and is counting on us to steward His stuff for who knows how long? Let's not mess it up.
Why does injecting God into the stewardship discussion make it less important or imperative?