The times they are achangin’

This is a haphazard conglemeration of my thoughts on America, oil, hurricane Katrina, et al.

I think mass transit and alternative fuels are going to be growth areas in the coming decades. If any of you have been to other countries, particularly European countries, you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy the convenience of mass rail transit. Now, many people object to mass transit citing the ‘facts’ that Europe is different geographically than the U.S. or that rail transit in Europe isn’t perfect (delays sometime etc). Using that logic would mean we wouldn’t build any more grocery stores, since the grocery store sometimes doesn’t have fresh salmon or watermelons. If any of you have been to larger U.S. cities like New York, or even Houston or Dallas with the light rail systems, you’ve seen the benefits of mass transit as well. I’m not saying mass transit is the cure all for the ‘oil woes’ of late or that Europe is utopia, but don’t we have the responsibility to at least seriously consider a different way of life? After all, wouldn’t it create a lot of jobs? It sure would have been convenient and helpful for people in New Orleans to hop the train away from Katrina. I know that train tickets cost money that most of those people didn’t have, but it would be nice to think an American rail company would have given free rides. Maybe not. At least having the option would have been nice.

As fossil fuel costs rise, I anticipate American entrepreneurship will take the opportunities presented in alternative fuels, not so much out of a sense of responsbility to others in this country and the rest of the world, or to the stewardship of the earth we’ve been given, but more out of a grab for the almighty dollar. I think the U.S. auto industry has kept their head in the sand too long to be innovators in the hybrid arena, c.f. Honda Civic, Toyota Prius.

Plus, I’m really tired of seeing quad cab, 8 wheeled, 85 feet long, dual hemi trucks with 4 step staircases under the doors sitting in the parking lot of Academy – Sports and Outdoors. How many houses do you need to move?

As Christians, I believe we should be leading the charge in being responsible in how and what we consume and how we view people in the rest of the world. I don’t believe we are supposed to be ‘tree huggers’ because ‘trees are people too’, mainly because trees are not people, but also because trees aren’t as important as people. People’s souls are the only ‘commodity’ that really matters. How we live effects other people and their ability to live, much less hear the gospel.

I don’t think we will ever stop poverty completely. Jesus said the poor will always be among us. What an opportunity we have to serve Him.

So, these thoughts aren’t fully fleshed out, but something to think about more. Here are a couple of resources that are interesting. The first is compelling. I’ve not investigated the second all that much, but the trailers are thought provoking, at the least. I don’t recommend taking it fully to heart, as it seems to me a bit more sensational than necessary.

God is not...

6 Responses to “The times they are achangin’”

  1. Jerod says:

    oh, how i wish i could ride a train to work. (or a segway)

  2. Jerod says:

    nice dylan reference

  3. bethany says:

    this sounds similar to a discussion i had with your wife on the phone a few days ago…it gives me hope that there are people like you guys in the states leading the way and willing to look at the big picture. over-consumation does not love anyone as Jesus commanded, it loves self and is wasteful of what we have been entrusted with…these are issues that i fear will cause culture shock for me when i move home–life in europe is by no means a dream (oh the things i could do with all the time spent waiting on public transit!) but they do practice some things things that sure make soceity run smoothly.

    j-rod, they offer a segway tour of Paris :)

  4. Matt says:

    really well written. we need to talk soon. i learned a lot about being eco friendly at the farm.

  5. ryan says:

    Too true. Too true. Working for an oil company (I’ll respectfully omit which one), people are often surprised to hear that I too embrace rail systems and alternative fuels. The fact of the matter is, fossil fuels will beome harder to find, and prices can only continue to rise. We should be better stewards, and conserve resources. Americans, sadly, seem to think that gas should still cost what it did in 1998 (which is when the SUV trend started to emerge). Americans also seem to think that they are entitled to drive anywhere they so desire at any time. But really, does our ability to go anywhere anytime really improve our lives. People don’t seem to be getting happier. Divorce rates don’t plumet near Escalade dealerships. I digress. On the flip side, hybrids seem to be the future. I wish things like hydrogen as a fuel source worked, but right now that is about as possible as putting coal in my car. We need technological breakthrough. Speaking of coal, it is still easy to get, and since it generates electricity, it can be used to power these rail systems. But the truth of the matter is, we seem to be more concerned about getting government to supplement oil prices rather than convincing our local representatives to build better public transportation. But please don’t think I’m unpatriotic. We are all fortunate to have the freedoms we do. We just need to be more responsible.

  6. Oren says:

    Responsible and biblically-informed Christian thinking and living – O how we need more as a testimony that we are willing to deny ourselves and take up our crosses to follow Him! Thanks for the post – it is a great challenge to me to examine areas in my life where I can be a faithful steward of what has been entrusted to me. I guess I’ll have to go sell my 7 Hummers for each day of the week! For real though, when will we as followers of the Way realize that we are called to live like life is war – not a war that is fought with physical weapons (“for our struggle is not against flesh and blood…”), but with self-sacrificing lives that display the beautiful One who sacrificed Himself for His bride? So many thoughts, so little time. Thanks for encouraging Christian thinking and doing.