Sun, Wind and Tide
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To explore the debate about green sources of energy.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a leader and four readers.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Genesis 1.31 (NIV, 2011)
God took the man and put him in the garden . . . to . . . take care of it.
Genesis 2.15 (NIV, 2011)
Leader: Power! We all need it and we want more and more of it. The commonest form in which we use it is probably electricity. In our homes it powers entertainment, refrigeration, warmth, it gives light and much more.
Each of us would be lost without it for our mobile phones, computers and laptops!
Much of the electricity we use is generated by burning fossil fuels – coal and oil. These will run out and they pollute the atmosphere in a dangerous way. The problem is that we are using more and more and we need an alternative solution.
Reader 2: That's easy! Build more nuclear power stations. They don't pollute the atmosphere. In France, about 95 per cent of the electricity is generated that way and they will never run out of fuel.
Reader 3: Wait a minute! Haven't you heard of Chernobyl? In 1986, that power station exploded. Many died from radiation poisoning, many still suffer horrible illnesses and the land around will be polluted for generations.
Also, what happens if terrorists break in and steal nuclear material? That could lead to untold problems.
What about the waste products? They have to be stored for thousands of years before they are safe. It's such a problem.
Reader 2: Yes, but today’s power stations are designed better and, anyway, we need the power they generate or life will collapse!
Reader 4: Haven't either of you heard of natural, green sources of energy – things like wind and wave power, even the power of the sun? The tides rise and fall twice a day. There is huge energy there if we were adventurous enough to capture it. We waste so much as well. If we were all more careful, conserved energy, that would help. I think I read somewhere that it takes the output of one power station to keep all the standby lights going and all the chargers we leave plugged in when we aren't using them. We are careless and thoughtless and we aren't looking after the world!
Reader 2: That's fine, but we will never meet our needs from natural sources and making savings. What do you expect us to do about all the power we need? Anyway, there is a huge objection to all the wind generators spoiling the view and tide barriers will obstruct the shipping.
Reader 1: ‘God saw all that he had made, and it was very good’ and he put us in charge of it. It's our responsibility now. Don't you think that we should work out what he would want?
I think he would want us to use our intelligence and look at all sorts of solutions. Why can't we try all of them, not be stuck with one?
Reader 2: Like I said, we need more power now. All of that's going to take a long time. We need action now!
Reader 1: That's greedy and irresponsible. We can't just use the world up – we have a responsibility to think about what we are doing and how we use it. There will be others wanting to enjoy the Earth after we’ve gone!
Time for reflection
You have given us a marvellous world in which to live, with so many possibilities. Thank you.
You have given us enquiring minds to explore it and all its possibilities. Thank you.
You have given us the ability to think about right and wrong. Thank you.
Help us to use your wonderful gifts carefully and think of the others who will come after us and their needs.