The Difference Between Christian Conservation and Environmental Terrorism
Environmental Issues and the Christian
God made man and gave him the mandates of dominion and stewardship over the earth. Today, environmental terrorists are attempting to convince everyone that unless we abandon our cars and stop further economic growth we will all perish and the earth with us. Are environmental terrorists to be believed? Is the earth heating up; is there an Ozone Hole; and, do we need to lock away all our natural resources so as not to allow those mean capitalists to get their greedy little hands on them? Is the Green Movement truly concerned about the environment or is it just the new home of Communism? What is the correct Christian response to be to all these allegations? Should Christians be preservationists or conservationists?
Exactly What Did God Give Man When He Gave the Mandates of Dominion and Stewardship?
Dominion may be termed a Creation Ordinance or a creation command. The word dominion (radah) means: to have dominion, to rule, to have authority over, to subjugate, to administer, to take care of and to have superintendence. It does not mean: to rule with an iron fist, to lord it over in a tyrannical manner, to needlessly destroy nor to exploit.
The word dominion as it is used in Genesis means to exercise dominion under God's supervision; following God's direction and example. For example, God states that the principle of the Sabbath rest is to be extended to all areas of His creation. In Leviticus 25:1-7, the Sabbath rest applies to the earth and the agricultural land. In Deuteronomy 25:4, the Sabbath rest applies to the animals. In Exodus 20:8-11, the Sabbath rest applies to mankind.
Our God is a God of profit. The word profit when used of God doesn't mean money. God doesn't need money; He owns everything anyway. God's use of the word profit means that He expects a return for effort, while denying exploitation or profit for profit's sake. This kind of profit is to be for the glory of God and the good of His creation. The dominion mandate provides for the derivation of benefit while also being consistent with the second major Biblical principle, that of stewardship.
What is a steward? A steward is one who is paid to manage the estate or property belonging to another. A steward is one who is held accountable for his wise or unwise management of that property by the owner. Who is the Owner? According to Psalm 24:1, The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. Stewardship then is the act of being a steward accountable to God, and God expects us to be good stewards. (II Corinthians 5:9 and Psalms 8:6) Stewardship, however, is not preservation, it is positive purposeful management. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) Even Christ's death on the cross, a destructive act if only looked at on the surface, was required to usher in redemption. Stewardship is purposeful both now and in the future. It avoids the short term quick fix which yields long term disaster. An example would be the previous widespread sale and use of DDT without the consideration of the long term effects upon the worldwide environment. DDT caused the near extinction of the American Bald Eagle, the Brown Pelican and many other species of birds and fish.
Stewardship requires industry and toil. (Genesis 2:15) Man was to work in the Garden of Eden and care for it. When God put Adam in the Garden He made him the head horticulturist in charge of it. God illustrated industriousness in working six days during the Creation Week to give us an example, a type of how we were to live our lives. God condemns haste and waste. (Proverbs 6:6-11 and Matthew 25:26) In 1960, the schools were teaching The Solution to Pollution is Dilution. In God's perspective The Solution to Pollution is Prevention.
Stewardship incorporates preventive maintenance and routine maintenance. Preventive maintenance is making sure that we do not intentionally put long term toxic chemicals into our world. Routine maintenance is the task of keeping balances between providing for human needs and the short term abuse or exploitation of our God given resources. Immunization from disease is a good example of maintenance. No one would argue that immunization against the spread of infectious diseases isn't a good idea. Likewise, the reforestation of trees after timber harvest is wise maintenance.
Stewardship includes the prevention of waste. Waste usually results from bad management and irresponsibility, and ultimately, directly from sin. God does not waste a single thing. (Romans 8:28 and Ephesians 1:11) Prevention of waste requires hard work and energy. The prevention of waste, the minimizing of waste and the recycling of waste require effort.
Stewardship is personal. Our one and only absolute responsibility is to be faithful. (I Corinthians 4:2) We are to be faithful regardless of the amount with which we are entrusted. (Matthew 25:14-30) We are to be faithful with all with which we have been entrusted. (Romans 14:10-12, II Corinthians 5:9-10 and I Corinthians 3:12-14) Our reward is not based on the quantity of our profit; but upon our faithfulness, commitment and diligence in handling what we have been given to steward.
There are four benefits that a person receives for their faithful stewardship. First, they receive a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. (Matthew 25:21) Second, it develops character. Third, by understanding our position as stewards we can develop true contentment. Fourth, faithful stewardship yields financial order in your family and long term economic stability. On the other hand, the consequences of unfaithful stewardship are to be found in Luke 16:1-15.
How can you develop your mind in the area of good stewardship, or any other area for that matter? This can be accomplished by working through the outline that follows:
1. We condition our minds, in this case with the Word of God.
2. This leads to mental assent; we are to think in obedience to God.
3. We make a decision to change our thoughts to His thoughts.
4. Through repeated thought, we form a habit.
5. Through regular habit, we develop a pattern of thought.
6. From a pattern of thought, we develop an attitude.
7. From an attitude, we develop a consistent set of actions.
8. Our consistent actions become a firm behavior.
Are the Environmental Terrorists Correct About the Various Environmental Issues?
Is there an Ozone Hole over South America created by Freon pollution? No. There is no hole in the atmosphere, only a thinning, depletion or dip which occurs every spring in the Antarctic and is filled back in after about six weeks. This event has been happening every spring over South America for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is caused when the concentration of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs or Freon-type products) builds up during the cold winter night and in the spring, the warmth of the sun returning to the southern hemisphere, starts a chemical reaction in which CFCs and Ozone combine using up large quantities of Ozone. After about six weeks this depletion is filled back in through natural processes which produce Ozone and the problem is resolved until the next year.
The great fear which Ozone depletion brings with it is that without Ozone we are all unprotected from the very harmful UV radiation which comes to us from the sun. Without Ozone we will most assuredly die. Therefore, it would be critical to the world if Ozone levels did reach zero.
Recent research shows, however, that the UV radiation levels around the world have dropped not increased, in recent years. Surprisingly, this drop has been due to the protective layer of industrial wastes in the atmosphere, in the form of sulfur dioxide aerosols and others, which have been added to the atmosphere by man. These industrial wastes have caused sunlight to bounce off the top of the layer back into outer space and have caused the earth below to cool.
Besides, Freon and other CFCs are also made in nature, not just by men. CFCs are produced by macroalgae, marine invertebrates and volcanoes. Most of the CFCs, a full 80%, are manufactured by volcanoes. Can you legislate against volcanoes? Would you like to guess where one of the world's largest CFCs producing volcanoes is? Right! It is under the hole at the south end of Chile . Do you think that there could be any coincidence?
It is estimated that we are going to spend One Trillion Dollars in the next few years for nothing, except to placate the consciences of environmental terrorists! Is it worth spending One Trillion Dollars to prevent only 20% of the entire world's production of CFCs? Environmental terrorists are not the only ones with a motive, either. Could there be a profit motive for Du Pont, whose patent ran out on Freon, to want Freon R-12 banned off the market and their new replacement product, Suva R-134, to take its place?
Is the earth heating up? Are we all going to die from this heat causing the world to become a large desert? If we don't stop using our cars will we as a society survive the coming holocaust? What is the truth?
The truth is that water moisture in the atmosphere is responsible for 98% of all global warming. This warming is caused when heat coming in from the sun is trapped in the atmosphere by the water moisture suspended in the atmosphere. Only 2% of global warming is caused by sunlight being trapped by the other greenhouse gases.
The earth is not warming up, it is cooling off! We all know that the earth is hot on the inside, very hot. The earth is like a white hot coal taken out of a bar-b-que pit and set aside to cool off. Eventually that coal will go stone cold to the center. We are not alive today because of the heat coming in from the sun everyday, but because of the heat coming in from the sun everyday and the heat passing by us on the way out everyday. The earth has a net loss of heat each day. This has been scientifically proven by satellite readings of the heat loss of the earth. When you take the incoming solar heat, and subtract the total radiation of heat from inside the earth into outer space, the net loss is the huge amount of 1012 calories per second. Even a schoolchild may reason that out.
There is a second reason to know that the earth is cooling down, not warming up. The ejection of sulfur dioxides and ash from approximately 600 active volcanoes causes solar radiation to be reflected back into outer space and causes the earth to cool rapidly. This has been thoroughly documented in recent years by research data measured during the eruptions of Mt. St. Helens in 1980, Mexico's El Chichon in 1982 and the Philippines' Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. In January of 1992, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change wrote that the cooling effect of sulfur emissions may have offset a significant part of the greenhouse warming in the northern hemisphere during the past several decades. Satellite measurements have shown earth temperatures dropping while surface measurements, taken by humans, have indicated a temperature rise. Could it be that there is a human bias in the expected results which the satellites do not have?
What is the environmental terrorist's agenda? The Green Movement is the new home of global socialism/communism. What the communists could not do through their military and political machinery they are now accomplishing through economic means. What they could not accomplish through brute force, they are now trying to accomplish by locking up the natural resources needed for capitalism to survive. As an example, they are against both pesticides and the use of biotechnology to increase crop yields, yet these things have tripled crop production since the end of WW II.
Environmental terrorists are attempting to lock away natural resources, supposedly preserving them for the future with the noble goal of protecting animal and plant species and their habitat But, this is actually an attempt to stop capitalism by removing the necessary resources for economic growth. Their main purpose is the abolition of personal property rights, which along with freedom of religion and speech, were primary reasons our forefathers founded the United States . Their final goal is the confiscation of all personal property because only the government knows best, not The Father knows best.
What Is the Difference Between Environmental Terrorist Preservation and Christian Conservation?
Preservation means to preserve a biological system exactly as it is now and to protect it from human intervention of any kind. An excellent example of this would be the legislation which set up the National Park Service. The National Park system preserves land that it owns in its pristine state so that future generations may see these great natural wonders. The National Park system then builds as few roads and trails as possible in order to prevent people from seeing these great natural wonders. It allows fires to burn out of control destroying these great natural wonders because fire is natural. This happened several years ago when the National Park system refused to stop a relatively small fire which developed near Yellowstone National Park . Before the bureaucrats could mobilize themselves, they allowed 1,000,000 acres of Yellowstone National Park to burn to the ground.
How does one preserve a living system anyway? Is it possible or even desirable to preserve your baby as he was at, say, six months of age? The only way to preserve a living system, to keep it exactly the way it is at any given time, is to kill it and stick it in a bottle of alcohol! Living systems cannot be preserved; it is impossible! The preservation of trees today will never guarantee that these same trees will be seen by our grandchildren.
Living systems, such as a forest, are dynamic, ever-changing entities. There is a life cycle through which all forests will go. Bare ground is first covered by wild flowers and grasses. These are replaced by shrubs and fast growing conifers, like pines. Eventually, broadleaf hardwood trees, such as oak and hickory, will grow under the pines and will replace the pines. The hardwoods will continue to control the site until they die from old age. Once the hardwoods die off, the ground will once again be open and will be covered by grasses. This cycle will repeat itself as long as the world turns. It is God's plan.
You cannot preserve a biological system. You may only manage it for Someone else!
Christian Conservation means to work with a long term view and multiple goals for the wise use of natural resources; to prevent waste, to maximize benefit, to stress the wise use of renewable resources.
An excellent secular example of this would be the legislation which set up the National Forest Service. The Forest Service manages the lands entrusted to it by the American people. The Forest Service plans for the multiple use of all the resources which it controls, allowing for hunting, fishing, camping, tourism, wildlife management and sustained yield timber production. Anything which would destroy these resources is dealt with quickly, such as putting out forest fires.
You cannot preserve a biological system; you can only kill it or conserve it. Conservation management by the Forest Service increases the total amount of wildlife and trees occupying the land, as well as their visibility and use by the public. The Forest Service attempts to exercise dominion and stewardship over the lands and resources entrusted to it.
What Should the Christian Position Be on Preservation Versus Conservation?
Preservation is an ungodly principle which promotes man-centered philosophies. No one can create something which is greater than themselves. No human is capable of perfectly planning ahead and foreseeing all the environmental consequences of his actions. No one may lock up biological systems and reasonably expect them to stay the way they were at the time of preservation.
Christian Conservation is the Godly use of all the natural resources which God has entrusted unto us. It is not locking away the resources so that no one may use them as the unfaithful servant did. It is taking dominion and stewardship over that part of the creation which the Creator has given to us and giving it back to Him with an increase as our offering of thanksgiving for Who He is and what He means to us. Christians should favor good stewardship of all our God given natural resources, and need not fear the destruction of our planet, as the nonbelievers do. Jesus said that there would be Christians here to greet Him when He returns!
For further information on this subject I would recommend reading the following:
- Climate of Fear by Thomas Gale Moore, Cato Institute, 1998.
- Environmental Overkill: Whatever Happened to Common Sense? by Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, Regnery Gateway, 1993.
- In a Dark Wood by Alston Chase, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1995.
- The Redwood National Park: A Case Study in Legislative Compromise by Grady S. McMurtry, SUNY, Syracuse, NY, 1972.
- The True State of the Planet by Ronald Bailey, Free Press, 1995.
- The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World by Bjorn Lomborg, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
- Hot Talk Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate by S. Fred Singer, The Independent Institute, 1998.
- The Satanic Gases: Clearing the Air about Global Warming by Patrick J. Michaels and Robert C. Billing, Jr., Cato Institute, 2000.
- Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths, edited by Ronald Bailey, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Prima Publishing, 2002.
- Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists by Peter, Huber, Basic Books, Perseus Books Group, 1999.
- Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media by Patrick J. Michaels, Cato Institute, 2004.
- Challenging Environmental Mythology: Wrestling Zeus by Jack W. Dini, Scitech, Publishing, 2003.