A New York Times opinion column, appearing in the paper on August 31, 2021, was titled, "Plastics Are Inundating the Planet." That is the hard-copy version of the headline. Online, The Times has titled its column as follows: "The Proliferation of Plastics and Toxic Chemicals Must End."
As authors Marty Mulvihill, Gretta Goldenman, and Arlene Blum explain, "the problem with fossil fuels extends beyond their use for energy." They further comment: "petrochemicals are ubiquitous in everyday products, and many of them are poisoning us and our children." Furthermore, "global chemical production is predicted to double by 2030, according to the United Nations."
In January 2010, in one of my earliest blog postings, I headlined my commentary as follows: "Sin And Synthetics."
The point of that blog posting, and I have made the point since, was that the development and proliferation of synthetic materials (we mostly know them as "plastics") represents - whether we realize it or not - an attempt to substitute a "human-created reality" for the realities given to us in the World of Nature. Living within the limits of the Natural World, which is the world on which we ultimately depend, means that we must cease trying to "replace" Nature by our own, synthetic creations.
It is funny to think about it this way, perhaps, but our use of plastics raises profound theological questions.
Ultimate questions, you might call them!
Will we ultimately rely on the Natural World into which we are born, or do we really think we can create a completely new and synthetic world of our own, and sustain our lives in that human-made reality?
Take a look at what is happening with plastics, and I think you'll have the answer.
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