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At the Movies: Down to Earth

Down to Earth with Zac Efron (2020) © Netflix. Image Courtesy of IMDb.

Last spring, we switched our electricity provider to renewable energy through Inspire Clean Energy. According to my monthly update from them, since being an Inspire member, we have helped avoid 15,943 pounds of carbon emissions (CO2e) from entering the atmosphere, which has the same impact as avoiding 8,099 pounds of coal from being burned.

In April alone, we avoided pumping 1,481 pounds of CO2e into the heavenly spaces.

I feel a little bit like a climate superhero. 

Inspire Clean Energy sources renewable energy from solar, wind, hydroelectricity, geothermal, and biomass instead of fossil fuels, and it’s the easiest and simplest way we’ve found to reduce our home’s carbon footprint (besides adjusting the thermostat and using less energy). 

I thought of this effort as I watched the first episode of Zac Efron’s Netflix series, Down to Earth. At the end of the episode, Efron says, “Change has to start somewhere. Maybe it’s time we change just a little bit what we can and where we can.”

Together, we have the power to change the way we power our planet. 

Down to Earth

In the first episode of Zac Efron’s Netflix series, Down to Earth, the crew travels to Iceland to learn more about all of the ways Iceland has chosen to power its country. They also sample some OmNom chocolate, locally sourced Icelandic cuisine, hot spring spas, waterfalls, and more. 

After watching, I’m ready to book my flight to Iceland.

Like many countries around the globe, Iceland used to rely on fossil fuel to produce all of its energy. Today, Iceland generates over 99% of its electricity from renewable sources.

In comparison, renewable energy accounts for 21% of the United States’ electricity generation; fossil fuels 60%, and nuclear energy 19%.

Iceland has four geothermal plants and 15 hydropower stations that together power the majority of Iceland’s electricity needs. The country is leading the way in the clean energy movement.

Finding the Love: Faithifying Your Viewing

I’m feeling this message of power this week because last Sunday was Pentecost, the day when the church remembers the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles. This also means that the global church has entered the season of Ordinary Time, the time between all of the big church holidays in which we just go on living out our lives as followers of Jesus.

I feel like the pairing of these two events—the gift of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of Ordinary Time—aligns perfectly with the pursuit of more renewable energy.

The Spirit of God is power and life. It is the Inner Word, the Breath, the Wind, the Fire, and it empowers followers everywhere to carry out the greatest commandment, to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV).

It’s a power that’s clean, renewable, pure, and accessible to us all.

Discovering the source of this power is life changing. Jesus says, “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13 NIV).

Since Jesus is the Lord of all things, then when we, his co-creators, are stricken by the reality of a warming climate and the impact our energy usage is having on people, plants, and animals everywhere, through God’s Spirit, we are able to repent and pursue new innovations that make the world a better place, with the sources that have been right in front of us all along.

Near the end of the first episode of Down to Earth, Efron interviews a man named Albert outside of Resource Park, which is built around HS Orka’s geothermal power plants. Resource Park is “an unrivaled center for sustainable R&D, production, and business.” It’s also the location of The Blue Lagoon Clinic, which combines the power of science and the wonder of nature to create transformative experiences using geothermal seawater. The goals of this and other businesses in Resource Park are to broaden our minds and work in tandem with nature for the wellbeing of all.

“This is no science. It’s common sense,” said Albert. “We have to open our minds and change our mindset; otherwise, we don’t survive.”

Powered by the Spirit of Truth, this is the work we have for us in Ordinary Time. Down to Earth with Zac Efron invites us to discover the ways people all over the globe are changing their mindset to find more sustainable, abundant ways to live that honor all life, which is how we can love our neighbors as ourselves. Let’s tap into that power and start living more abundantly.

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