The Fish Could Not Speak

Tuesday, September 16

Dee River during an acid flow from Mt Morgan historic mine Photo by Corinne Unger

Dee River during an acid flow from Mt Morgan historic mine
Photo by Corinne Unger

By Corinne Unger of Chapel Hill, Queensland, Australia

The earth, lovingly created as an environment for life to flourish, shudders in distress because creation’s natural and living systems are becoming exhausted from carrying the burden of human greed and conflict. Humankind must awaken from its illusion of independence and unrestrained consumption without lasting consequences.

—Doctrine and Covenants 163:4b

Nearly 40 kilometers of the Dee River was dead. Heavy rain caused acid runoff from the weathered waste rock at the old gold and copper mines. Fish floated slowly downstream like fallen leaves. Their lifeless white underbellies glistened in the sun.

I met with Jack, a Queensland fruit farmer, at the riverbank. He explained the frequency of these flows. There was a sense of acceptance about this fate. After all, it had happened many times over the preceding century.

I recently had taken over managing this abandoned mine for the government. I wondered why the media were silent, why the local government representatives remained aloof. The fish could not speak; the vegetation could not protest. While this small community was doing its best to raise awareness, few others cared.

I knew it was up to me to give voice to this issue. It needed my knowledge and expertise. I would need to develop a team and a plan to support these people in their efforts to bring life back to this river. I needed hope and courage, for without them I could not complete the task.

Sometimes in life, we need to steel ourselves with faith if we are to fulfill our goals. In Christ we find a strong example—someone prepared to take on a challenge to win hearts and minds and bring about change.

Prayer for Peace Creator God, help us protect your delicate web of life. Help us relieve the Earth of human greed and conflict. Help us share peace in place of power.

Spiritual Practice: Caring for God’s Sacred Creation Choose a way to notice, give thanks, and care for God’s sacred creation. Prayerfully consider one of the following practices or create your own. Walk in nature with a spirit of gratitude. Look and listen for God in all creation. Write or pray a psalm of praise for the Earth’s beauty or offer a prayer of healing and blessing for its wounds.

Learn about and engage in an act of Earth-keeping such as recycling, simple living, or fasting from over-consumption of resources. Notice the diversity of the planet’s creatures and be gentle to plants, animals, trees, and people! Fall in love with the vast, intricate wonder of God’s creation and give thanks.

Peace Covenant Today, God, besides reducing my own harmful footprints on your creation, I will take action to reveal industrial and commercial contamination.

Leave a comment


  1. Diane Akers

     /  16 September 2014

    Thanks for sharing, our world is so in need!

  2. Vera Entwistle

     /  16 September 2014

    Good morning Corinne, Great to see your name on Daily Bread today with a great contribution. With love and great Aussie memories, Vera and Brian


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