Here you can find selected material from issues of Trinity Memorial Church's monthly newsletter, the Trinity Times
An Earthday Thought
Much of the world knows the concept of a Commons: a shared resource – a pasture, a water flow – which is managed by common agreement to benefit all, and to enrich no-one over any other. Some observers of Commons have noted that some of them have persisted for centuries, while other observers contend that human nature will eventually lead somebody to acquiring more than their fair share of the commons.
Let’s think about a river: we take water from it, and we return waste-water into it. What if we live downstream from a major influx of wastewater? We may have to spend a lot of effort and money to clean up the water which somebody else dirtied up, before we can use it. Is river water not a Commons? Is putting waste into it not a taking of a shared resource?
Let’s take it up a notch and think about air – we all breathe the same air. Whatever we put into it doesn’t just get blown someplace else, but will come around the globe back to us – diluted and spread out perhaps, but come back it will. If air is the ultimate Commons, why are so many of us willing to excuse those who ”take” more of their fair share of this resource by putting their “effluent” into it, and not ask them to carry their share of the burden to remove what they put in to begin with? Didn’t we learn in Kindergarten to clean up after ourselves?
As water and air flow around the globe, do we ask how what we put into them impacts the sacred web of life - which connects us and everything living on this, our planet home.
Peter Koeppel, Trinity Times Editor