The complexity of the environmental crisis means that its scope is beyond any one academic discipline to fully interpret. Scientific analysis provides a comprehensive map of the terrain of our environmental challenges, but has inherent in it no ethical compass to direct us to the path we should be taking. Science then is about “what” and “how,” but not about “what ought to be.” Theological analysis provides the complementary strength of a vision for the future. To unite theology with environmental science is to further understand the connection between the way we treat our earth and the impact our decisions have on the living things that inhabit it.
[jtabs theme="smoothness" size="xsmall"]2006-present: Lusi Mud Volcano Eruption :: The eruption was caused by the blowout of a natural gas well drilled by an Indonesian exploratory gas and oil company, PT Lapindo Brantas. Company executives argue it was caused by a distant earthquake. To this day, the volcano is still in eruption.
[jtab/] 1986: Chernobyl Nuclear Accident :: An explosion and fire of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant during a routine systems test, releasing large amounts of radioactive contamination. This explosion caused not only environmental desolation, but also the life-long, terminal illness and death of upwards of 900,000.
[jtab/] 1979: Ixtoc Oil Spill :: In an oil well drilled by the national Mexican oil company, a blowout caused a flame eruption and the drilling platform above it to sink. In the course of nine months following, over three million barrels of oil spilled into the gulf.
“In the years since World War II the continuing appearance of new departments and new programs that merge fields has proven repeatedly the permeability of the lines between disciplines. Individual researchers find that pushing the limits of their fields takes them into new territories and that the work they are doing may have much more in common with that of colleagues across the campus than with members of their own departments.”
–Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates at the Research University