Comparing Healthy Christian Environmental Concern with..
'GREEN' ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM
W e have now entered the age of environmental terrorism. As the name suggests, the new 'green' form of terrorism is all about threatening, using bully-boy tactics, attempting to nullify the influence of opponents, and an amazingly free manipulation (and 'interpretation'!) of various statistical analyses. The stated end of all of the above is to "save the planet," although there is widespread suspicion that the real aim of many of these environmentalist lobby groups is a Marxist-based redistribution of wealth.
But we need to carefully distinguish between justified and justifiable concern for the physical environment which supports all life, from the heavy-handed, intimidatory tactics of these leftist 'green' elements before we can even continue.
Every Christian should be concerned to protect their - and their neighbours - environment. This is a multi-faceted scenario of not wanting to pollute one's landscape nor to do anything which tends to mar, undermine or destroy the natural world - to the degree that any individual can influence such areas. We should all be concerned about such widely-varying matters as the huge destruction of trees in India which makes monsoon flooding on the Indian peninsula far more likely (insufficient roots to absorb excess water), the fact that tigers, those most beautiful of animals, are now down to just a few thousand left in the entire world (to a large degree, victims of the disgraceful thirst for Chinese 'cure-all' animal-based medicines). We should be even more concerned that the Amazon rain forest may well not be a forest at all 250 years from now if the rapid Amazonian deforestation is not arrested. This is, of course, all about the greed and profit of certain crop farmers, but I am told that the Indians of the Amazon cannot continue in their centuries-old way of life for very much longer. Not only that, the area contains some very rare plants and animals, some of which still have not been fully udentified nor categorized, yet they are rapidly disappearing. There are, of course, huge areas of concern here, areas so numerous that one can barely even touch upon them in an article such as this. Such things should concern every one of God's children.
Let us be clear, then, that a concern for the environment should be a real Christian viewpoint. The 'green movement' now appears to have taken over many such international areas of concern and, to be frank, whilst their usual leftist political stance is nauseous, they are not wrong about everything. Sometimes industry is indeed a mass polluter with a complete disregard for rivers and streams, as long as profit margins can be met; let us recognise this fact. Indeed, for a non-believer, it might indeed seem almost justifiable to join the more extreme green viewpoint in order to do what one can to 'save this planet,' before it is too late.
Influenced as they are by atheistic Marxism, it would be very hard for most 'greens' to comprehend that there is indeed a God in Heaven who not only created this planet, but now upholds and sustains it - He has no intention of allowing it to be destroyed until He alone decides that this age must conclude.
Environmental Problems Are Always Exaggerated
I have long noticed the media's inclination to exaggerate problems in the natural world. The 1960s were, perhaps, the main decade which saw the rise of apocalyptic environmental scare stories. We had the nonsense of Paul R. Ehrlich, for example, telling us that we would all be finished because of the population explosion (amazingly, although his arguments have been well and truly blown apart, and as history has clearly demonstrated the nonsense of such claims, these silly and unfounded ideas are making a comeback). Margaret Sanger, of course, had already commenced her campaign for birth control by then, warning that the world needed to severely restrict the amount of children it allowed to be born, and such influences - utterly foolish and misguided though they often were - just seemed to set a environmentally-protectionist tone which would not easily go away. Again, if one should research the influences it is quite staggering how many such protagonists were influenced by Marxist theories. Sanger, for example, was a life-long staunch Marxist.
Ralph Nader added to the environmental super-hype although he was not wrong about everything by any means.
In 1962 Rachel Carson published 'Silent Spring,' a book which is widely credited with helping launch the modern environmentalist movement.
Carson was already a well-known writer on natural history, but had not previously been a social/environmentalist critic. The book was widely read, especially following it's success on the New York Times best seller list. That book - a mixture of fair facts and sometimes quite ridiculous alarmism - inspired widespread public concerns about pesticides and pollution of the environment. 'Silent Spring' actually led to the ban of the pesticide DDT in 1972 in the United States. Without question, many experts in the fields which Carson had reflected upon, were very slow to present a balanced riposte to some of her claims.
The environmental fervour, mis-guided though it frequently was, spread in a most contagious manner; emotion often ruled and - quite early on - these people showed a most worrying willingness to manipulate the facts to suit their arguments. When the Torrey Canyon ran aground in March 1967 off Cornwall, England, the time was just about right for these people to start screaming about "irrecoverable damage to the environment." Yelling and unbridled emotion, much of it coming from Marxist environmentalists would rule for several months with numerous forecasts of doom being offered. The Torrey Canyon was a supertanker carrying a cargo of 120,000 tons of crude oil. At the time, the tanker was the largest vessel ever to be wrecked upon the high seas. The spillage of oil was incredible. Many were saying that the beautiful English county of Cornwall - famous for it's wonderful beaches - was finished as a tourist destination, that the oil would be hanging around for years. It was, of course, a completely erroneous assessment - within a year Cornwall had bounced back and it's beaches looked as wonderful as ever! I clearly recall the incident and how incredibly wrong the more alarmist environmentalists had been and noted that God created a world which is well able to quickly bounce back from such apparent catastrophes!
Very recently we have had the Gulf of Mexico oil leak. Again, while none of us would seek to underestimate the damage which the incident caused, many voices refused to listen to the lessons of history on such incidents. That is: the damage is always much more short-term than might initially seem to be the case. The usual environmentalist groups have screamed and screamed. By many hysterical enviromentalist accounts, the Florida coast was finished as a major tourist destination and local fishermen would not work again, at least not for anything from 2 to 5 years. One would not wish to minimize this recent disaster but, frankly, yet again we see how quickly seeming environmental disasters are revealed to be just setbacks which can be recovered from. I just heard about a man who visited the part of the Florida coast "most affected." He could not find any oil at all - even though he took several days looking for it!
I could take numerous other examples but I think that my point has been well-demonstrated:
Both environmentalists and the media in general just love to exaggerate these "environmental disasters."
Climate Change Mythology
During the 1980s some disenchantment set in among leftist environmentalists. Many of the older scares had been proven to be very wrong indeed (Ehrlich's over-population claims for instance), a regrouping occurred, there was a searching for new slogans, new universal "scares."
So-called 'Global Warming' came along just in time to give these people a new direction. They had flirted with a 'new ice age' scare but that just sounded too remote and far-off to frighten people, the consensus was that a rapid warming to arrive within the lives of one's children - and certainly grandchildren - would be a much more potent threat to be employed. A man who was involved in the whole charade at the time (but no longer is) e-mailed me about two years ago to say that it was amazing how quickly the 'coming ice age' people switched to global warming almost overnight when they came to see that it appeared to represent a more immediate threat to help stir people. The same e mailer noted that many of his former 'green' colleagues were truthfully not too interested in climate change at all but they really wanted to destroy the western economies!
Richard Courtney has well written,
"All available evidence indicates that man-made global warming is a physical impossibility, but if the predicted warming could be induced it would probably provide net benefits. However, there is a widespread imagined risk of the warming and politicians are responding to it. Responses to imagined risk are often extreme and dangerous. For example, somebody with a fear of mice may see a mouse and as a response try to jump on a chair causing damage to the chair and injury to himself. There is no point in telling the injured person that mice are harmless because fear is irrational so cannot be overcome by rational argument ...Global warming proponents call for reduced CO2 emissions and this equates to a call for cuts in the use of energy, but the energy industries have done more to benefit mankind than anything else since the invention of agriculture. And global warming proponents often call for use of ‘renewables’ to replace fossil fuels, but that is a call for a return to preindustrial society: the industrial revolution occurred when fossil fuels replaced biomass and windpower. It is physically impossible for wind and solar energies to supply the energy needs of the developed world, and the peoples of the developing world are insisting on their right to develop too."
We might well respect and admire Margaret Thatcher since she was an outstanding 1980s British conservative politician but, regrettably, it was none other than Mrs Thatcher - hardly an aggressive environmentalist - who was (unwisely) advised to use the global warming theory in her difficulties with British miners. Perhaps if this generally fine politician had known how this flawed theory would be soon picked up by the left, exaggerated, distorted and abused, she might have thought twice!
I will write little about 'global warming' (now mostly called 'climate change') here since we have covered it at length elsewhere, save to say that the theory is flawed from start to finish but let us just say here that - despite what you may have heard - most scientists do not believe human activities threaten to disrupt the Earth’s climate at all. More than 17,000 scientists have signed a petition circulated by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine saying,
“...There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” (See Petition Project for the complete petition and names of signers).
Again, you may never hear about this in the leftist and liberal areas of the media but surveys of climatologists have shown similar skepticism. Australian mathematician David Evans has also gone into this whole thing at depth and has written an article called, Global Warming Science Moves On - why not read it?
Finally on this particular point one should just mention that it has now come fully out into the open how statistics have been shamefully manipulated by the supporters of climate change in a most farcical and dishonest attempt to prove that black is white, yet the liberal areas of the media have tried hard to simply ignore this now quite considerable evidence of wrongdoing. Many of these people are now turning quite venomous toward those who challenge their hokum (a sure sign of their anger at being forced to retreat). As John Brignell has pointed out, we are now called "deniers" with the same sense of contempt previously reserved for holocaust deniers.
The follower of Jesus Christ should be concerned about the environment. There could never be any excuse for such a disciple to have a reckless and irresponsible attitude to the divine creation which sustains all of life. This could and should manifest itself in such things as a willingness to recycle used goods/packaging wherever possible and in a true concern never to do things which might mar or damage the natural world. That is all healthy, considerate and responsible.
The green and leftist 'climate change' mythology, however, should not be supported. It is arrogant, dictatorial, often contradictory and it willingly imposes extra charges and taxes on those who can least afford them in order to push through their 'green' agenda, some of which is surely rooted in the world of 'Alice in Wonderland.' All such being based on unproven data which is rejected by thousands of scientists and climatologists (something carefully kept hidden, of course). Here in the UK, for example, it is now prohibitively expensive to build new homes because of the myriad of new 'green' laws which regulate new house builds because of the pushing of these green protectionist groups. In this manner, and in many other ways, everybody loses out. In the years ahead, for instance, aircraft travel will become out of the reach of ordinary people because of the huge new green taxes to be imposed on air flight. The irony, of course, is that some of the most aggressive 'greens' (such as Al Gore) use air travel on a mammoth scale, but in the years ahead it will become so expensive (because of numerous new 'green' taxes) that it will no longer be affordable by ordinary people.
We should also recognise that the extremist green lobby is intrinsically atheistic and frequently operating from a Marxist foundation. These groups have no belief in God, nor in a divine creation which an omnipotent God is fully capable of upholding and sustaining.
Robin A. Brace. September 30th 2010.