Kathy Petersen’s Blog

My take on Environmentalism

Posted in Bible by Kathy on February 27, 2008

As a Christian, I believe the world was given to man to rule over and subdue. Since the earth and all the animals are in our care and under our dominion, then we have the responsibility to be wise in the use of resources, to be humane to the animals, and to preserve the health of the earth as much as possible. However, environmentalists go way too far in this. Many of them worship (or practically worship) nature, fulfilling Rom. 1:25, “who… worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator….” They will uproot humans to preserve the habitat of a field mouse. They will interfere with the production of energy, and protest against using nuclear energy (though these things are typically cleaner and more environmentally-friendly than, say, burning wood or coal for heat). Many are vegetarians and vegans because they put animals on equal footing with humans, denying the special place God has created humans in.

Let me be clear–I am not against being a vegetarian or a vegan, nor am I against various “green” or environmentally-friendly things. But the reason behind what I choose to do and what some of the environmentalists do is vastly different.

Most of my environmentally-friendly actions are related to being frugal–things like using less energy (to heat/cool the house or drive my car), reducing my waste (by buying in bulk so there is less packaging and using less of it), and eating less meat and more vegetables. I try to be conscious of how my actions fit in with my Biblical world-view.

While I enjoy the “wild untamed beauty” of the wilderness, I am also not opposed to harnessing that beauty and taming it. I enjoy walking through the woods, but there is also beauty in the order of an old English garden. I do not support the wholesale destruction of the rain forests, but I do support feeding the humans who live there, and if that includes taming the jungle, then so be it.

We should not worship the earth and the environment, but we are to be good stewards of what God has given us, and to take care of it wisely.

A word about global warming. Frankly, I think it’s stupid, but there are plenty of blogs, articles, and websites that discuss this better than I can. My understanding of what the global warming fear-mongerers say is that global warming is going to melt the ice at the poles, and flood the world. But from a Judeo-Christian perspective, this is not only ridiculous, but impossible, because Gen. 9:8-17 declares that God will not destroy the earth with water again. Also, some years ago, my brother-in-law wrote a research paper in which he showed that ozone levels varied directly with the sun-spot cycle. It would not surprise me if “global warming” (or is it global cooling?) is more affected by the sun-spots than by any actions of man. This “research” of global warming only goes back about a century because we have only been keeping records of these things about that long; but I’ve read that some people are looking at old diaries and government records (such as those kept in China 1000 years ago) to look at environmental changes. For instance, one old priest or monk’s diary reported that a few centuries ago, one Sunday the communion wine was frozen. Now that’s cold! If we take that temperature as “normal January temperatures” then it certainly looks like the earth is warmer than it should be. However, is that normal? Are current temperatures normal, or high, or low? We must first establish “normal” before we can decide what we should be doing to get or keep things normal. It’s likely that “normal” is a range, and precious little we do or don’t do changes it.

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