Radical Environmentalism

Global Warming. We’ve all heard about. Is it real? Is it the result of man’s presence on the earth? Is there anything we can do about it? It seems there are more questions than solid answers. Oh, there are lots of theories, but many of them seem to be light on the science. Of course there’s always the question of do we even really understand what’s happening on our planet? Does anyone remember the coming ice age in the late 70’s and early 80’s? What happened with that?

Regardless of your position on Global Warming, most rational people believe we need to take care of the planet. Almost all of us believe this. Were we differ is “how?” How do we take care of the planet? Is it ok to hunt whales? How many can be hunted? Is it ok to cut down trees? How many? Is it ok to go off-roading in the desert? How many vehicles should there be and where should they be allowed to go? The how is tough.

I’ve always considered myself a person who tried to do their part in taking care of the environment. I try not to be wasteful. I recycle. Even before the city provided separate containers for the recyclables we were recycling bottles, cans and newspaper. I try to purchase products that don’t have extra packaging or are made from recycled materials. But I have to ask myself if what I am doing is really making a difference? Sometimes I feel like this "For Better or Worse" cartoon. (click on it to see it bigger)

There are lots of people who are much more active in environmental issues than I am. Some are pretty radical and some are very radical. Some are border line terrorists. I’m usually not a big fan of radical. I prefer balanced. “What’s a balanced approached?” is a question I am more likely to ask. Is there a way to hunt some whales, but not drive them to extinction? Is there a way to cut trees for lumber without destroying all our forests? Theoretically the answer is yes. And as a Christian I believe that God put us here to take care of the planet. Yes, we can use its resources, but we also need to protect and preserve it. So again, the “how” is hard.

Lately, I’ve really be struggling with the environmentalism thing. What should the individual be doing? Should I be doing more? Or is what I am doing enough? Maybe I was too influenced by the best PSA (Public Service Announcement) of all time.
If you listen to the radicals, no I’m not doing enough. But I’m not sure they are recommending a healthy, balanced approach either. This whole thing of carbon credits just seems silly and contrite.

The other day Seth Godin posted a GREAT thought about the current movement to protect the environment. Once again he cuts through junk and comes down the real issue. All our lives we are asked to do more. But all of the sudden they want us to do less to protect the environment. We don’t do less. We only do more. Read the [More] or (Less) article here. He’s nailed it! That’s what is wrong with the current approach. Ask me to do something to help. Don’t ask me to do less. I don’t do less.

As Christians do we have more, or less, responsibility to care for the environment? I tend to think it’s more. God gave the planet to us to take care of (have dominion over). The question is what can I do to make a difference? Is writing letters to congressmen or business leaders saying we need to do something enough? Is recycling enough? Do I need to buy a hybrid car? Is replacing all my lights with low energy fluorescents enough? Do I need to purchase all new energy efficient appliances? If I do need to buy new appliances, isn’t it wasteful to get rid of the old ones when they still work? The “how” is still hard. But basically I think we need to know what “more” can I do AND where is the balance?

Anyone? … Bueller? …

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