The de-creation of the Earth

In his book “Our Plundered Planet”, Fairfield Osborne warns, “Another century like the last, and our civilization will be facing its final crisis.” What Osborne is warning us about is the subject of an anonymous satirical poem called “De-creation”:

“In the beginning was the earth,
And the earth was beautiful.
But the people living on the earth said,
‘Let us build skyscrapers and expressways,’
So they paved the earth with concrete
And said, “It is good!’

“On the second day,
The people looked at the rivers and said,
‘Let us dump our sewage into the waters.’
So they filled the waters with sludge
And said, ‘it is good!’

“On the third day,
The people looked at the forests and said,
‘Let us cut down the trees and build things,’
So they leveled the forests
And said, ‘I is good!’

“On the fourth day,
The people saw the animals and said,
‘Let us kill them for sport and money.’
So they destroyed the animals
And said, ‘It is good!’

“On the fifth day,
The people felt the cool breeze and said,
‘Let us burn our garbage
And let the breeze blow it away.’
So they filled the air with carbon
And said, ‘It is good!’

“on the sixth day,
The people saw other nations on earth and said,
‘Let us build missiles
In case misunderstandings arise.’
So they filled the land with missile sites
And said, ‘It is good!’

”On the seventh day,
The earth was quiet and deathly silent,
For the people were no more.
And it was good!”

The poem dramatizes the fact that industrial wastes are pouring into the atmosphere to the point that clouds are producing acid rain. Acid rain, in turn, is slowly polluting our lakes and destroying our forests. Similar industrial wastes are pouring into the upper atmosphere to the point that the earth’s ozone layer is eroding. This erosion, in turn, is threatening the future of our planet.

The ruthless devastation of our environment caused by pollution is sometimes referred to as “de-creation”: the PHYSICAL destruction of God’s creation. As tragic as this destruction is, there is an even MORE tragic form of “de-creation” taking place in the world today. It is the “spiritual” destruction of God’s creation caused by SIN.

Man is a killer, the greatest predator the world has ever know….From the time he fashioned a club as his first weapon, man has insisted on developing more powerful weapons so that now, instead of killing individuals or groups, he can annihilate a planet.

The physical and spiritual destruction of God’s creation originates in people – in the human heart. It consists in misusing and abusing the free will God gave us. As we will see in my next writing, Catholic tradition traces this destruction back to what theologians call the Fall of Adam: the first sin and the disastrous impact it had on the human race.

Sin is an unpopular topic today. Some people are reluctant to talk about it. They are even more reluctant to admit that they sin. This reluctance has a lot of other people worried.

You wouldn’t expect the dean of American psychiatry to start talking about sin. But that’s what Dr. Karl Menninger does in his book “Whatever Became of Sin?” He is disturbed by the fact that so many people today refuse to admit that they sin.

My next posting, in the near future, will continue this topic which will include the nature of sin, personal (commission and omission) and social sins, problem of evil, original sin and a promise of re-creation.

Comments are welcome.

Composed by our greatest law-giver, Cornelius:

“Beware the beast man,
for he is the devil’s pawn.
Alone among God’s primates
he kills for sport or lust or greed.
Yea, he will murder his brother
to possess his brother’s land.
Let him not breed in great numbers,
for he will make a desert
of his home and yours.
Shun him.
Drive him back into his jungle lair.
For he is the harbinger of death.”

I’ve found nothing in the modern world
to alter that conception of man,
and I still live by its injunction.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit