‘I Just Want the Future to be Good’
Today we celebrate the birthday of the world, and the creation of humankind. Adam and Eve are made from the mud of the earth, the first Earthlings, formed from the same substance as the seas and the skies, the flowers, the forests and the spectacular biodiversity of the ecosystem. Like the first Earthlings, our blood and bone, muscle and sinew are animated with the breath of God, created in God’s image, tasked with co-partnering in the continuing work of creation, fixing, healing, and tending to the Garden which is Planet Earth.
Created in God’s image, uniquely placed amidst the finely balanced web of life, we share God’s qualities, including God’s awesome power of Imagination, by which the very act of Creation came about. This morning, as we celebrate the birthday of the world, I invite you to join me on a journey of Imagination.
Imagine 20 years from now. The Year 2040. Imagine a world powered by solar panels, a panel perched on every dwelling from the lowliest shack to the grandest mansion, each village or town self-sufficient. No fossil fuel dependency. Carbon emissions reduced to zero. Clean air for all to breathe.
Imagine a world with driverless electric car pooling. Transport- on- demand, like music- on- demand with Spotify. No traffic jams, urban spaces reclaimed for play and leisure. What would we do with all those empty car parks???
Imagine a world with urban farms, greening those empty car parks, growing healthy, fresh, local produce with the use of hydroponics. Imagine putting the carbon back in our soil, increasing yields through organic crop rotation, returning worms and insects to work in regenerated fields, restoring the trees and landscape to protect our homes and climate. Imagine creating a positive marine permaculture by growing seaweed in our seas which can be harvested and used for food, animal feed, fertiliser, fibre and bio-fuel, drawing down CO2 from the atmosphere and restoring the sea alkaline level.
This is not a dream. We have everything we need right now to make it happen. In the New Zealand film 2040, director Damon Gameau, worried about what the future holds for his 3 year old daughter Velvet, goes in search of solutions to some of the problems we face today. You can find the Trailer on YouTube, and watch the whole movie there too. Damon discovers the real possibility of a happy, green, sustainable future, if we just embrace the best that already exists.
This is true in energy, transport and food production. Just one example: today, in Bangladesh - 5 million rural communities already use solar panels as their primary source of energy. With a battery and a box they can choose to share, sell or buy electricity with their neighbours in an efficient "De-centralised system", embracing efficient local energy.
This Rosh HaShanah, let’s imagine a happy, green, sustainable future for our children, for ourselves, for the whole planet. With the power of innovation, imagination and creativity that lies within all people, let’s translate imagination into reality. In the words of one of the children interviewed in the movie: ‘I just want the future to be good.’