John Hayward Posted: 24 January 2011
A new government report today warns (again) that the world is going to need 40 per cent more food, 30 per cent more water and 50 per cent more energy by the middle of the century. In 'The Future of Food and Farming' Sir John Beddington, the government's chief scientist, says that every means to improve food production should now be employed, including widespread use of new biotechnological techniques.
As we have noted previously, 'Technical fixes such as improved efficiency, and perhaps GM crops, may hold part of the answer, but another side of the problem is plainly behavioural. Food in the West is just another form of consumer goods, and waste is an affordable luxury. Around a third of the food we buy is thrown away, without even considering the waste that occurs between the farm and the supermarkets and other shops.'
The question, of course, is how should we respond? In Christianity, Climate Change, and Sustainable Living (pp.214ff) we concluded: 'The New Testament is infused with a sense of ‘now and not yet’, the belief that the kingdom of God has come in Jesus but is not yet fully here, that Christ came to ‘make all things new’ but, as yet, all things are not made new. … We are not called to conceive, design, build and maintain a better version of the old world but rather to participate in the new one that has been inaugurated on the cross. … We should understand, not least from the vision of Isaiah 40–66 and the events recorded in the New Testament, that God has not given up on his creation but has chosen to recreate it from within; that he invites us to participate in that recreation of all things and promises that he will one day finish the job himself. … ‘All things’ is not a biblical euphemism for ‘the environment’ but really does mean all things. Our personal lives, the cultures in which we live, the systems that structure our society: all require renewal.'