Why I’m an Environmentalist

This is a blog post that has been long in coming.  I’ve been thinking about my motivation for what I do for several months, and composing this post in my head over and over, hoping that when I finally write it down, I get it right.  Even now as I hit “publish” on this post, I’ve been working on writing it for over a week.

You have to understand that my reasons for being concerned about the environment are not the traditional ones.  I feel like I come from a fairly unique perspective because I neither consider myself a liberal or a democrat.  I also realize that this post may offend some people because of the nature of what I am about to say.  It is certainly a controversial topic, but I am not trying to convert anyone.  I am only explaining why I do what I do when it comes to trying to be “green.”

So…why am I an environmentalist?

As I said, I don’t consider myself a democrat or a liberal, which are both generally affiliated with the environmental movement.  I tend to fall in between the cracks, really – I don’t like either major political party, and I don’t like the policies of both the liberals and the conservatives.  I guess I like to make my own way!

I do define myself by the fact that I am a follower of Jesus Christ, however.

Wait!  Come back! 🙂

I realize that is an immediate turn-off for some people.  I realize there are readers who have already closed their browser window without hearing me out.  They’ve made assumptions about what I’m about to say or do. Tat’s a dangerous thing, whether you’ve made them about a Christian, a Muslim, a Scientologist, or even an Atheist.  There are also those who will stir up controversy in comments and emails.  And it will be about my “religion,” rather than my desire to take care of the planet on which I was born.

But enough about that – that’s not my point.  For those of you left, you might be wondering how I could be a Christian – a “born-again” Christian (oh, how I hate that term and its stereotypes!) and still believe strongly in the Earth movement. Especially since I am a bit of a traditionalist and I do believe in creation in seven literal days and the End Times (no, this is not it) and all those things that usually go against Global Warming Theory at its core.

So let me explain.  This is going to sound a little like a Bible lesson, and I guess it is, but I need to put my thoughts in context for you, my readers:

When God created the world, according to the Bible,  he created the first man shortly after.  He put this man, and eventually his wife, in charge of the Garden of Eden.  The first book of the Bible, Genesis, is the story of creation and the early days of Judaica, and Genesis 2: 15 says, “God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”  Just a few verses later, God has Adam (“man” in Hebrew) name all the animals.

But let’s go back a little bit, because I want to point out one more verse before I get to my point.  Genesis 1:26 talks about God creating man, and God says in this section, “Let [man] have dominion over…all the earth…”

I’ve seen this verse taken out of context quite a bit, used as an example of God allowing the destruction and rape of the earth.  That word – “dominion” – is a scary word.  But it’s not as bad as you think!  Merriam-Webster defines dominion as “supreme authority” and “absolute ownership.”  If the authority is not corrupt, what is there to fear in that?  We have seen good rulers and bad rulers throughout history – all had dominion over their territory.

Think about that argument for the destruction and rape of the planet for a second – does that make sense?  First of all, a few verses later, God instructs man to tend the earth and care for it – a direct contradiction if “dominion” is another word for “destroy.”  Second, does it make sense that someone who just created something, in this case the earth, would immediately put someone on it and allow them to destroy it?

No, I have to conclude that it is our responsibility to care for the earth – to “work it and keep it,” as Adam was told to do in Eden.  God placed Adam on the earth to do just that, and that responsibility has been placed on us as his descendants.

So enough of the Bible lesson. Now you understand (hopefully) where I’m coming from.  Do I believe in global warming?  Yes, actually, I do.  There is enough evidence that the earth cycles through different temperatures throughout time.  Do I believe that this episode of global warming is entirely man-made?  No.  I haven’t seen enough evidence proving this.  Do I believe that our actions have an effect on this episode of warming?  Absolutely. Our actions have consequences on every level, in every scale.

So what do I think we should do?

We should respect our fellow humans – both current and future – by being responsible and resourceful in our use of non-renewable materials.  We should continue to find sustainable ways of life, so that our great-grandchildren don’t suffer when we run out of materials but have no new technology.

We should respect those fellow humans by avoiding waste and taking responsibility for ourselves – through gardening and raising our own food to reduce pressure on the food systems, by buying from companies that treat their employees with respect, by not using companies that have their profit margin in mind more than their effect on the environment and small local economies.

For me – it comes down to respecting and taking care of each other and taking care of the world we’ve been given.  I may be coming from a distinctly different viewpoint than most environmentalists I know, but our goals are the same!

Anyone still here?

LOL

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you for sharing 🙂 I have to admit – my eyes (and brain) glazed a little bit during the “bible lesson” but I think it’s great that you make your own path and care about the environment. I whole heartedly agree!

    Reply

    • Don’t worry – it’ll probably be the last lesson, lol. If it wasn’t so pertinent to what I was trying to share, I wouldn’t have included it. 🙂

      Reply

  2. Right on! I love how you framed your argument. I wish that this respect would translate to ALL areas of religion/politics.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Holly/Poi on December 23, 2009 at 10:16 am

    We come from very differing directions, but end up at the same place, and that’s what is important!
    Happy Holidays!!!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Lindsay on January 4, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Very well said. Thank you!

    Reply

  5. I agree completely. Many people are surprised that as Christians we are so concerned about the earth, but for us there is no other logical decision. If God made this world and wants us to take care of it, why wouldn’t we?

    Reply

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