Today we will be looking at the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) affordable and clean energy.
Aside from the physical energy available from most human bodies, the earliest forms of energy available to humanity were fire, flowing water, wind and domesticated animals. Harnessing these forms of energy enabled humanity to develop, create and construct. The earliest Biblical record of the use of fire was to make bricks to construct the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:3). This is a prime example of the potential for the use of energy to be corrupted and applied to something contrary to God’s right ways. As time progressed, humans found increasingly inventive ways to harness energy and to (now) store it—for the good of all but also for the oppression of others.
Creating energy for the convenience of the masses has come at a terrible cost to God’s good creation. Carbon emissions are one example. Wrongly applied nuclear energy can also have terrifying consequences on creation and its inhabitants.
Even ‘renewable energy’ comes at a cost. The batteries for electric cars can be problematic as the minerals used such as lithium may be mined in ways that are damaging to the environment and abusive of workers.
Clean energy such as hydro energy often comes from the construction of massive dams, which are built by evicting communities and destroying biodiversity.
All humans have a responsibility to care for the domains that we inhabit as a gift from God. That means we must balance our use of energy from the material world with care for the material world (Genesis 1:26-30).
Furthermore, good stewardship of the gifts of God extend to ensuring that everyone benefits from those gifts equitably (Psalm 115:16), so Jesus-followers not only need to be concerned about how we create and use energy but also how we ensure it is available for the good use of all.
The most effective thing that Christians can do is to reduce our electricity use, by turning down our air con or heating, and wearing an extra layer of clothing
For domestic users, heating water is a high percentage of the energy bill and installing a solar water heater can pay itself off in as little as three months.
Adapted from The Bible and the Sustainable Development Goals