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Elias Economou

An Orthodox View of the Ecological Crisis

1.3 What is and What is not the Macro-ecological Problem.

Ιn order to avoid the frequent misunderstandings of the subject and its relation to the faith, a negative vs a positive definition of it seems to be needed.

So, from the macro-ecological point of view, the ecological problem is not the disposal of worldwide wastes; neither is it the destruction of the natural beauty or the loud noise of the towns or the threatened animal life. All these are symptoms and consequences of the problem, but not the problem itself.

From a positive point of view, the ecological crisis is related to:

a) the consumption of the natural resources needed for our biological survival and for the continuation of our civilization.

b) the increase of the pollution of the same natural resources, e.g. water, air, sea, ozon shield, etc.

c) the destruction of forests, plants, etc.

d) the use of uncontrolled or misuseable natural powers, such as radioactivity.

e) the production of new -and heretofore unknown to the natural laws- chemical combinations, that cannot be incorporated into the process of decomposition.

f) the destruction of the musical harmony of nature and its aesthetic beauty; the first contributes enormously to our inner equilibrium, the second is, among other things, an irreplaceable factor of artistic inspiration. Ιn relation to this, Ι would like to present the opinion of an early Christian writer, the Apologist Athenagoras (2nd century A.D.), who wrote: "The beauty upοn the Earth is not self-made, but is sent from the hand and the opinion of Gοd".

The above-mentioned catatrophical symptoms are provoked by human activity. But it is well-known that every human activity is strictly related to man's mentality.

The acts of free man concern absolutely the Christian Church; the Christian Orthodox Church makes a distinction between free act and free will, because as Ρau1 said: "all things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but Ι will not be brought under the power of any" (Ι Corinthians 6,12).

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