Our friend and occasional commenter Timothy Birdnow cites the Good Book, then observes:
"In the World you have trouble but take heart; I have overcome the World."---John 16:33
An Evangelical Christian has a duty to work to save our good, and work within the political system, but to believe that MAN can destroy the Earth is to believe that God is not in charge.
Indeed. Thank you, Mr. Birdnow. I have mused on this myself.
I admit there are many verses in the Bible that have escaped my notice, and the ones I'm familiar with I don't always hold to a literal interpretation. But the underlying philosophy of the Bible has always struck me as a trust in Providence, and that mean-spiritedness ("mean" in its more original use, common, miserly, an ungenerousness of spirit) is really a sin against the dynamic of life.
There's certainly a Biblical and rabbinic tradition against waste, but it's against wanton waste, the intentional, not accidental, profaning of the gifts showered on us from above.
(I have to tell a story here---I drive my [35 mpg] car almost everywhere by myself. Like most Americans who were disgusted by the roadside litter that peaked in the 70s [and were deeply moved by the commercial with the fake Indian crying about it], I proudly keep my garbage in my car. But I don't always get around to taking it out, so when a friend went to get in the passenger side and a couple dozen burrito wrappers and Big Gulp empties tumbled out, he gasped, "I know how the trash gets out of your car, Tom---it escapes!")
So our aesthetic sense, emotions and our reason lead us to keep our garden clean, but many of the solutions proposed by the worshippers of the environment these days perversely involve not using the garden at all, as if man, God's greatest creation and for whom He created the garden in the first place, is an offense against it.
That seems quite in opposition to what Tevye sang, "L'Chaim," an appreciation of the gift of life, to חי, "living." One lesson I've never got from the Bible is, "Dear Man: You didn't worry about material things enough, so now you're dead. Sorry. Signed, God."
To turn from theology to simple human nature, I also agree with our correspondent Matt Huisman, who writes:
Has anyone ever put together any thoughts on when a point of no return might be (or might look like)? You know, something where the world can look at itself in the mirror and say, "Man, did I let myself go."
Yeah, ain't that how mankind is. I believe we reached that point in the '80s when we could not see through the air in our cities. Then we finally did something about it. Los Angeles was getting unlivable. Now it ain't bad atall.
Push probably will have to come to shove again, as it usually does, but this time the shoe will be on the other foot:
If and when global warming gets too intense, the mean-spirited environmentaloids will have to shut the hell up, and then we'll build a few thousand nuclear power plants in 10 years and use the power to create hydrogen fuel to propel a few billion new hydrogen cars. The earth will chill and the subsequent economic boom will bring us out of the global warming-induced depression.
Life will go on. Those who believe God didn't put us here just to die some miserable ecological death will continue to be fruitful and multiply, to the consternation of those who believe that man was made to serve the garden instead of the other way around.
To the first, I toast L'Chaim, to life. To the rest, I consecrate the burrito wrappers in my car that haven't escaped yet.