Herald: Disastrous ‘17… Who is Responsible?
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Disastrous ‘17… Who is Responsible?

09 Nov 2017 05:48am IST
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09 Nov 2017 05:48am IST


Infancio J Pires

2017 has been a tragic year for many people. We are hardly half-way through, but have seen numerous disasters. Many natural calamities and also human caused disasters have occurred in more or less the similar figures. In the recent past climate and weather disasters have hit nearly every continent in this year. To encapsulate a few: flooding and monsoons in South Asia, hurricanes and major earthquakes in North America, landslides and drought in Africa and now a tsunami threat to Central America.

So many disasters, who can we hold responsible for all these? Is it God who is responsible? As we have heard saints, holy books and sages saying that God is all powerful and can do anything. For an atheist this question is a pseudo question, but for a believer, it can be very disturbing. As I sit back and think about this, I wonder whether it is because of our sins and evil doings that God is punishing us through these time to time natural disasters. But as for me, a person who has deep faith in God, would think otherwise. God is a forgiving and a loving father, He is merciful he would not cast upon us such an evil. God is the creator of all that exists including the human person. And since the human person is the ‘crown of creation’ God has made him\her the custodian of the earth. And the point is that God has given human being the biggest gift and that is freedom and thus He allows us to do as we want.

As we dig deep down and explore things we will realise that to a certain extent we human beings are responsible for some natural disasters. Some would wonder how? For example, there are landslides due to deforestation. Another thing is that as the population is increasing we are also trying to increase land for accommodation. Some cut down mountains build huge concrete structures and the extra soil is used to cover up water bodies so that there is more land. Where will the water go? Cutting down of trees, directly or indirectly leads to global warming, which has direct effect on the weather. As temperature is increasing glaciers are melting, where will the water go? Some of the disasters may not have occurred due to human being, but there are instances which point out that human causes have led to certain worse disasters eg. the Hurricane Harvey. 

Some things are inevitable; human being may not be responsible for all the calamities, but we surely can mend our ways and continue to be stewards, without assuming that we own earth and can do whatever we want. It’s pointless blaming the politicians, the rich, builders, contractors and others for the degradation of our environment. It is easy pointing fingers at others and acting ignorant. Let us take the first step, let us be the change we want to see. 
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