23 August 2013

Is God Green?

We don't hear as much about "Global Warming" (or "Global Climate Change") today as in recent years. Do not be fooled, however, into thinking that it has gone away. Consider this fantastic headline and subtitle from National Geographic published just days ago:

Wars, Murders to Rise Due to Global Warming?Shifts in temperature and rainfall linked to more aggression, study says.

Recently I read in an old copy of a journal on Central European international affairs, the following quote:
Private property, rational prices and individual responsibility are more important for environmental protection than the activities of governments, legislators and environmental organizations.         - Vaclav Klaus, Former Prime Minister and former President,            Czech Republic. From an address in August, 1994.

This sounds, to me, like a voice of reason.

A few years ago, I did a study titled, "Is God Green?" I think this is an appropriate time to share this with whomever is out there reading these posts. This will be a somewhat lengthy study, but I believe it's something that (especially) Christians need to ponder.

Sandra and I taught a new word to an English-speaking Czech friend the other day. That word was ubiquitous. It's a word that applies to Global Warming. Just as one cannot enter a science-related museum without confronting the assumption of evolution, one cannot hide from the assumption of global warming and the accompanying need to be "green."

Some examples:

  •       TV commercials abound with allusions to “being green.” From Green cars and Green housing to light bulbs. Green appliances are all the rage. Even banks run ads offering cash rewards for every electronic transaction their customers make, instead of using paper.

  •       Movies have been produced with green themes for years. Who can forget Star Trek IV, with its save-the-whales theme, in which two humpbacked whales (which were extinct on earth) must be returned to earth or else the planet would be destroyed. A partial list of these environmentally-themed flicks would include: Waterworld, A Civil Action, Erin Brockovich, The Day The Earth Caught Fire, The China Syndrome ,Never Cry Wolf, March of the Penguins, and, of course,  An Inconvenient Truth.

  •       Educational institutions are saturated with green curricula. Producing such curricula has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Here’s a blurb from just one of the many companies selling green education: “Greening the curriculum means ensuring that students are capable of taking on the 21st century challenges of global warming and climate change (the most serious threat ever to face humanity), social inequities, unsustainable lifestyles, and the urgent need to switch to a renewable energy-based economy.”  In higher education, nearly every college or university offers degrees in varying aspects of “greenness” these days. One college, in Vermont, specializes in green education. In its mission statement, we read this:  “Green Mountain College prepares students for productive, caring, and fulfilling lives by taking the environment as the unifying theme underlying its academic and co-curricular programs. This innovative interdisciplinary approach to liberal arts education is grounded in the institution’s strong tradition of effective teaching and mentoring, and is complemented by a diversity of community-oriented campus life opportunities.”

  •       We have Earth Day and Earth Hour. We have TV stations doing greenouts, with no backlighting and only essential lights in the studio. Shopping centers are green. Schools are green.
    It’s everywhere. With such an invasive presence in our society, Christians ought to be engaging the ideas and philosophies behind this massive global movement.  Do we start with the presupposition that all forms of environmentalism are right or wrong? No. Do we accept the more radical aspects of environmental activists? No. We start with God and His Word. But as a prequel to what will be our topic in this series, we will take a look at some historical examples of environmentalism; some of the major issues; and them some quotes from environmental leaders. That starts NEXT TIME.

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