The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Energy issues

How much is enough?

Energy, the presidential campaign and Iraq dominate the news as summer draws to a close. Which one will be front-and-center a year, a decade, a century from now?

Wind powerI’ll bet on energy.

How much is enough? That’s a critical question for 21st-century Americans. Oil, solar, wind, geothermal or atomic—harnessing and distributing energy are political and scientific issues, which we all have a responsibility to deal with.

Consider another energy question.

How much is enough—for our daily life as Christians? Difficult people and personal shortcomings are major energy consumers. God asks us to be loving and forgiving with others and with ourselves. That takes energy.

But remember, God also offers an unlimited supply of love and forgiveness for every season of our lives and for the years to come.

Fueled with God-given energy, we have enough.


David Gaenicke

David Gaenicke

Posted at 2:25 pm (U.S. Eastern) 8/26/2008

Short and sweet, but missing the point in my opinion.  Certainly God's energy is more than we need and keeps coming.  However, caring for His creation demands that we know something of the facts of natural energy sources.  Oil and Coal seem to be the bad boy of energy today.  Why?  Because it takes energy to produce and in itself emits carbon dioxide and other harmful polutants into the atmosphere.  I am not a trained scientist, but that much I know from what I read.  Solar and wind energy certainly are plentiful.  However, do we have the courage to change our way of thinking and develop ways to use that energy to our world's advantage?  This is a world problem, not just a USA problem.  



Posted at 4:07 pm (U.S. Eastern) 8/26/2008

I think there is a great gap between what we can visualize and what we can do right now. Right now, we need the fossil fuels -- coal, oil and natural gas. We have an industrial economy. The transition from fossil fuels to other energy sources will take at least a generation, and it won't start until there is someplace to go. Wind energy is a fairy tale for the moment. Nice idea, but not practical. It will never be a complete solution. Solar energy the same.

And don't forget all the petroleum products that are not fuel. We don't stop needing petroleum even if we stop using it to power vehicles.

Now, to address the question of how much is enough. We need what it takes to support a contemporary culture. We want clean running water, lights 24 hours a day, computers, freedom to go where we want when we want to go there. That is how much energy we need. Every country wants the same. The countries where people wait for buses and hike for water and go to bed at sundown want what we have. We don't want what they have.

The amount of energy trapped in a single atom is astronomical. I don't think we have begun to understand the power available to us. Instead of thinking how to get by with less, I vote that we use the intellectual curiosity and power God gave us to discover more and more about his creation and the energy he put there for us. The current energy shortage is a political problem, not a scientific one. We pray for God to give our political leaders wisdom, and for our scientists to keep pushing the boundaries back, discovering more and more of God's great and wonderful gifts.




Posted at 2:40 pm (U.S. Eastern) 8/27/2008

Problem with the wind mills is the killling of birds with the large props.  Frank Herold

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