The Green Agenda And What You Can Do

by David Rothbard and Craig Rucker

To many these days, being an environmentalist means recycling old newspapers, using cloth diapers, eating organic vegetables, driving small cars, and in general, doing everything possible to limit man’s impact on the natural world.

This is certainly the message being driven home in our schools, media, and popular culture as warning after warning is sounded about the need to “Save the Planet.” But does this contemporary view square with the tenets of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage? And if not, what should our attitude and responsibility be toward the beautiful creation that surrounds us?

Actually, it only takes a brief look at the principles underlying modern environmentalism to see just how radically it stands in opposition to our basic beliefs. In every important area concerning man, nature, and the relationship between the two, Green dogma defies Biblical teaching and puts forth a pagan, New Age world view incompatible with Western Culture. So before we can even begin to understand our true obligations to the environment, we must first examine the differences between the Biblical notion of “stewardship” and the deceptive Green counterfeit.

Both concepts start with a belief about man. But while the Book of Genesis describes man as being created “in the image of God” and unique among all the creatures of the earth Green leaders hold a considerably less favorable view. They see man as nothing more than another animal — and sometimes even less than that.

Paul Ehrlich, a well-known leader of the environmental movement for more than twenty years, once wrote that “humanity has become the most successful animal on the planet.”

“The grizzly bear in Yellowstone Park has as much right to her life as any one of us has to our life,” Dave Foreman, founder of the Earth First! environmental group, has stated. “Each of us is an animal and should be proud of it.”

The contrast of views concerning nature is no less stark. Here, the Bible teaches of a paradise lost while the Greens seek to preserve the natural utopia they believe still exists around us. According to the classic Judeo-Christian belief, the earth was first created by God. The Genesis story further relates, however, that the sin of Adam and Eve brought death upon a fallen world that will one day pass away.

The belief of Green leaders, on the other hand, can be summed up in the words of Vice President Al Gore who obviously thinks we never left the Garden. In his best-selling book “Earth in the Balance,” he actually lambastes Western nations for “bulldozing the Garden of Eden.” This is consistent with the writing of Jeremy Rifkin, a prominent Green spokesman who claimed that “anything that harms God’s creation is sinful and an act of rebellion against God himself.” Rifkin, by the way, believes it is wrong to eat meat and considers raising cattle to be one of the things that “harms God’s creation.”

This passion to “save what is left of our natural world in its untouched state” (quote from media mogul Ted Turner) stems from yet another distinction between the philosophies — the worship of the creation rather than the Creator.

There is nothing more fundamental to Judeo-Christian ethics than the worship of a single, all-powerful God who transcends His creation. But among many Green leaders, pantheism and nature-worship is a widespread belief. In Ted Turner’s “Captain Planet” cartoon series for children, for example, the environmental super-hero receives his power from Gaia, the ancient pagan earth goddess.

Noted Green author Lynn White mourned Christianity’s destruction of “pagan animism.” And Vice President Gore claimed in his book that we can gain “new insights” by understanding a “religious heritage” based on the “worship of a single earth goddess who was assumed to be the fount of all life.”

With such divergent views on the issues of man and nature, it is no surprise that Green doctrine strays so far from the Bible on the question of man’s authority over nature. Throughout the Bible, there are repeated references to the dominion God gave man over “every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” The Bible further discussed God’s charge to man to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.”

Green ideology, however, with its emphasis on the sacredness of nature and the “interconnectedness” of all living things, easily elevates the needs of nature above the health, happiness, and even lives of human beings. This was expressed by Green biologist David Graber who wrote in the Los Angeles Times that “human happiness [and fertility] are not as important as a wild and healthy planet… (the ecosystem has) intrinsic value, more value to me than another human body or a billion of them.”

And Paul Watson, a founder of Greenpeace, went even further when he displayed the anti-human philosophy common to many Green leaders. In a recent speech in Oregon, he firmly declared, “We, the human species, have become a viral epidemic to the earth… the AIDS of the earth.”

Having seen just how dramatically modern environmentalism departs from our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage, it is now appropriate to consider what the concept of “stewardship” should mean to 20th century Americans. While it certainly entails using natural resources wisely and doing everything we can to protect truly endangered species, any proper understanding must recognize the Biblical parameters that nature is not sacred and that the needs of people are above those of animals, rocks, and trees.

With this in mind, here are some common sense things you can do to fulfill your obligation toward the earth and its creatures:

    – Keep your house in order — like most Americans, you are no doubt being urged to pursue a host of earth-saving activities that include recycling soda cans, turning down your thermostat, and buying “ozone friendly” products. It may surprise you to find, though, that most of these chores have only a negligible effect on the planet and are principally designed to make you feel guilty. So instead of wasting time trying to keep up with every “Save the Earth” fad that comes along, some commonsense ideas like keeping your car tuned-up, taking proper care of your pets, and not littering are about the best thing you can do as an individual to ensure a clean environment. – Teach your children well — as our schools and popular culture are overrun with the liberal Green message, it is crucial that you as a parent monitor how your children are learning. This is because many teachers and Hollywood producers are using the environment to peddle New Age mysticism, abortion as population control, and general anti-Western propaganda. As for instilling an appropriate respect and appreciation for nature in our children, nature walks, camping trips, bird-watching, and fishing and hunting are among the positive things you can do with your kids.

    – Make your voice heard — our towns and cities are constantly facing such environmental questions as the siting of new landfills and incinerators, the construction of new power plants, the regulation of water, and the removal of asbestos, to name a few. Unfortunately, the scare tactics and intimidation of the Greens have dominated the local debate of these issues. It is therefore incumbent upon you to play an active role in your community to make sure that the facts outweigh the fiction.

    – Get the facts straight! — Fraudulent, overblown “crises” like global warming, ozone depletion, and acid rain are being used by the Greens to advance their radical agenda — and sound information about these issues is almost impossible to find in the liberal media. Being plugged-in to an organization that can provide you with truthful, scientific facts to help you distinguish between real and imagined environmental problems is invaluable.

CFACT is a Washington, DC based public interest group that promotes sensible solutions to current consumer and environmental concerns.

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.