I’ve been thinking about whose job it is to save the world.
In the movies: those with superpowers.
In the papers: those with political power. The headlines blare that COP26 in Glasgow is the SUMMIT TO SAVE THE WORLD.
In our Life & Faith podcast last week, I had a conversation with a guy you’ve probably never heard of. A filmmaker who’s worked with him writes: “It is no exaggeration to say that Tony Rinaudo may save the planet.”
What’s Tony’s superpower? They call him “the forestmaker”, which as nicknames go, is pretty great. Tony was a missionary and agronomist in desertified Niger from 1980 to 1999, and pioneered a method called Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). These days, as Principal Climate Action Adviser for World Vision, he talks to people all over the world about how to reforest the most barren landscapes. The results benefit the land, biodiversity, humans, and the climate.
What’s happening in Glasgow this week is incredibly important. Tony reminded me that many other things are happening as well. His message to young people in particular is to do the thing you can, within your means and circle of influence – after, you’ll be able to see further and do more. And you’ll be surprised, he says, at how people will join you, will come to your aid.
Tony has seen soil arid like the moon, where he thought nothing could ever grow again – and then found a green shoot springing through a crack at his feet. FMNR works *with* nature; for Tony, that also means working with the Creator God who loves it far more than we do. “When you send your Spirit,” he quotes Psalm 104, “you renew the face of the earth.” The world, says Tony Rinaudo, thankfully, is not on his shoulders either.