- Humans have encouraged the development of pesticides, which are intended to kill pests, but could also harm us.
- Humans have put cattle in unnatural settings such as cattle-yards, feeding them grain, not grass.
- Agriculture is oil powered.
- Digging up the planet for oil.
- Crowded cities.
- More cars, more oil needed, more pollution.
- Wasting energy, by being productive at night. The lights are overpowering the city. There is so much light pollution you cannot see the stars.
- 80% of mineral wealth is consumed by only 20% of the worlds population.
- By the end of the century excessive mining will have exhausted all of the planets reserves.
- Most consumer goods travel thousands of kilometers from their country of production to their country of consumption.
- 90% of trade goes by sea. 500,000,000 containers are transported every year, toward the major places of production such as Dubai.
- Fishing catches have increased 5 fold.
- Thousands of ships are emptying the oceans,
- Three quarters of fishing grounds are depleted or in danger of becoming so.
- Most large fish have been fished to extinction.
- We are depleting what nature provides.
- We have forgotten that resources are scarce.
- Water is a non-renewable resource.
Read the above stories and complete the following summaries of them by choosing the correct word from the box:
Noah sky boat nights city Babel pleased murder alive language offering wickedness tower forty animal God understand brother flood male
- Cain commits the first murder when he kills Abel, his brother, because he is angry that God favors Abel’s offering.
- God decides to wipe out all of the people on earth because of their wickedness. But the Lord is pleased with Noah and tells him to build a boat so that he and his family will be safe when the rain comes to flood the earth. God commands Noah to take a male and female of every kind of animal and bird into the boat to keep them alive. When it rains for forty days and nights the only creatures left alive are Noah and those with him on his boat.
- The people of the world have only one language to begin with. They plan to build a city with a tower that reaches the sky. God decides to punish them for their pride by confusing their language so that they will not be able to understand each other. They are forced to stop building the city which is called Babel.
- De-Creation is a result of humankind’s decision to operate apart from Te Atua.
An important aspect of de-creation is humankind’s separation from the rest of creation.
- The devastation of the earth’s environment by humankind is the most obvious example of the physical destruction of God’s creation.
- God’s covenant with Noah is a sign that Te Atua continues to care for creation.
Words to Understand
- De-creation: Destruction; — opposed to creation
- Urbanisation: The act or fact of urbanising, or taking on the characteristics of a city
- Ocean dumping: Marine debris, also known as marine litter, is human-created waste that has deliberately or accidentally become afloat in a lake, sea, ocean or waterway.
- Deforestation: To divest or clear of forests or trees.
- Industrialisation: To develop industry on an extensive scale in (a country, region, etc).
- Covenant: An agreement between God and mankind.
Sin and Death Enter the World
As well as telling us about Gods creation of the universe and everything that lives in it, the Book of Genesis also tells a story that explains how evil entered the good world that God made. This is how it goes:
In the middle of the Garden of Eden stood two trees – the tree of life and the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. God said to his human creation, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day.” The man and woman chose to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. Because of this they are driven out of the beautiful, life-giving Garden of Eden and forced to work hard to make the earth produce enough food for them to survive until their lives end. By eating from the tree and going against the Creator’s plan humankind caused sin and death to enter the world.
Read Genesis 3:17-19 to find out what God said when the man and woman separated themselves from God. Fill in the blanks- make sure that you highlight in a different colour the words that you have used.
Because of what you have done, the ground will be under a curse. You will have to work hard all your life to make it produce enough food for you. It will produce weeds and thorns, and you will have to eat wild plants. You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed . You were from soil, and you will become soil again.
- Which words in the above passage tell us that the relationship between humans and the rest of creation has changed?
“The ground will be cursed”; “It will produce weeds and thorns”; “You will have to work hard all your life to make it produce food for you”
- How has this relationship changed?
Before God said the earth and what was in it would be under humankind’s control. Now the earth is written as the enemy of humankind – something that will make our life difficult.
- People from different cultures and countries have their own creation stories which explain how the world and everything in it came to exist.
- The best known creation story of Aotearoa is Te Wehenga o Rangi; Raua Ko Papa (The separation of Rangi and Papa).
WORDS TO UNDERSTAND
1. Devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated.
Entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy.
Pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to secular or profane ): sacred music; sacred books.
Reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object: a morning hour sacred to study.
Regarded with reverence: the sacred memory of a dead hero.
People throughout the world have always told stories to express the deep beliefs they have about themselves and the world. Many of these tales, which have been handed down for thousands of years, tell of the ways different cultures understand the mystery of life and explain how this world and the things in it came into existence. These tales are called creation stories. Creation stories deal with questions such as: Who are we? Why are we here? Why do we live and die? How did our world begin? Creation stories are tapu (sacred). They take place at the beginning of time, in the chaos and emptiness of an unformed world. They do not give us scientific knowledge about creation but help us see its spiritual meaning.
How Maui Fished up Aotearoa
In the story, Maui is fishing for food and throws the fishhook into the water. He waits for a long time because no fish are eating the bait off the line. After a long time Maui catches a huge fish resembling a stingray and brings it up to the surface of the water. The fish becomes the North Island of New Zealand, Maui’s boat becomes the South Island, and the Anchor Maui used to stay in place while he was fishing became Stewart Island.