Most scripture promotes our careful stewardship of the Earth. And yet, apocalyptic religious traditions welcome signs of the "end times" (environmental degradation, war, oil spills, etc.), considering it the fulfillment of long-awaited prophecy and the beginning of a new age of peace. What's the role of free will in the face of such prophecy? Should we celebrate these "signs" or try to do something to minimize the violence and destruction? If action is called for, how should we rally together to battle our "compassion fatigue" and heal the world's wounds?
iven the speed of modern communications technology and the ratings-focused output of news media — it is hard not to feel that calamities of all sorts are on the rise.
While earthquakes, fires and storms have always battered the Earth, and humans have a long and bloody history of poverty, disease and warfare, we are much more likely these days to be confronted with evidence of their destructive power than we would have been 100 years ago.