The opportunities for individual action are almost innumerable. In fact, the growing momentum to combat global warming probably springs more from individual initiative than from corporate policy or governmental mandate.
Sure, there's a lot you and I can't do individually. You and I can't make the US sign the Kyoto Treaty that addresses greenhouse gases. We can't raise CAFE standards (the US government mandated fuel economy for a car company's fleet of autos). And we can't force a multinational corporation to commit to green energy sources.
Even if you have doubts about the evidence for global warming, you probably would agree that the amount of global pollution needs to be addressed. You can almost certainly move your life in a greener direction.
The documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," featuring Al Gore, provides a list of useful and expected ideas for individual action. I was taken by one item that is useful ... but unexpected. It reads in part, "If you believe in prayer, pray...." The good ways to pray are probably as countless as the good ways to individually combat global warming.
Consider just one. Start with the nature of the Almighty. Look at who He is, and remember what He does.
The Bible lets us know of His wisdom. He's the one source of intelligence that knows and tenderly cares for His creation. He's never a reckless Creator, blindly setting in play forces with doomsday potential. He is the one all-knowing Mind, the source of numberless right ideas, problem-solving ideas that are purely spiritual in nature but that have a way of always addressing human needs.
And what is it that this all- knowing Mind does? With breathtaking simplicity the Psalmist says, "Thou renewest the face of the earth" (Ps. 104:30). Think of that. God, the one Mind of the universe, is a renewer. He makes things anew.
Have selfishness, shortsightedness, or just plain greed spread an ominous cloud over the planet? He's on-site to cancel out those pollution-producing states of thought and to renew the whole scene.
Yes, this renewing action of His is purely mental and spiritual. And as our awareness of this deepens through heartfelt prayer, good answers and the resolve to implement them, come to mind more regularly. New perspectives disclose ways that do help "renew the face of the earth" and cleanse the atmosphere enveloping it.
The God who is the renewer equips His children with the intelligence and the vision to make wise choices, unselfish, long-range choices that will benefit humanity today and far into the future.
Instead of picturing the atmosphere as a clogged, almost overwhelmed system, for a moment consider it in a completely different light. Think of it as emanating from Mind. All of the purity of Mind, all of the indestructibility of Mind, and all of the renewing capacity of Mind fill this atmosphere.
This different view is profoundly accurate. Mary Baker Eddy, a spiritual visionary if ever there was one, wrote, "Pure Mind gives out an atmosphere that heals and saves" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 260). No wonder there's reason for hope! Mind itself gives out that pure and unclogged atmosphere. Mind preserves the indestructibility of His universe. Mind maintains its own renewing action throughout God's realm. To know this is to pray. To pray is to make a difference.
True, prayer is no substitute for environmentally responsible action. But it is a wonderful complement to such action and sometimes the impulsion to such action. Then we get clearer glimpses of who God is and what He does. Mind's own atmosphere is wisely, perpetually cared for by Him. Our own actions come more into line with this. Solutions take hold. The renewing continues.