Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Sweet Answer for Oil Addiction? ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Sweet Answer for Oil Addiction? ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

The blunt acknowledgment by President George W. Bush earlier this year in his State of the Union address that "America is addicted to oil," grabbed headlines and signaled a moment of opportunity. If a former Texas oilman talks about oil addiction, could solutions, even unheralded ones, be at our doorstep?

Fossil fuel consumption has been growing for years and has yet to be fully addressed. But experts trumpet a host of creative approaches available today. It's not as if we're waiting for technology to catch up with our hopes. Good answers are already in use, already making a difference. Just not a big enough one, yet. For that, we'll need a higher perspective. We'll need a fuller embrace of the spiritual ideas that cause new approaches to evolve.

Consider just one of those new approaches. Look to Brazil. They've charted a course to energy independence by powering their cars with ethanol. Better yet, they're not using ethanol made from corn, which is not the most effective option for Brazil; they're making it much more efficiently from sugar. Brazil abounds with sugar cane. And they're planting more all the time.

No one suggests this will solve the world's crisis. But it could be one of many answers. Nearly everyone agrees that a multi-pronged approach will be the most effective.

The Brazilian model echoes a biblical pattern. Elisha - a Soul- inspired prophet if ever there was one - rescued a widow in dire straits (see II Kings, chap. 4). She was on the edge of losing her two sons to a creditor. Elisha asked a question that shifted her outlook, lifting it to a more inspired, more solution-oriented perspective.

"What hast thou in the house?" he asked. She answered, "Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil." But where she saw want, he saw plenty. He persisted in nudging her to a higher, more spiritual outlook. He told her to borrow as many vessels as she could from her neighbors. As a result, her oil multiplied, filled the many containers she'd borrowed, and met her need abundantly. …

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