The Problem With the Modern Environmental Movement and Its Brief Moral Implications

The main concept we need to keep in mind when talking about environmentalism is that the planet will survive us, but we might not survive the planet.  The problem, then, is not terracide but suicide or, at the least, homicide.  No matter how much “damage” we do to the earth, we will only be able to relocate resources and alter geography.  What we can do by causing damage is bring about, directly or indirectly, the deaths of thousands, millions, or even billions of people.  The modern, essentially pagan, environmental movement, which demands the earth be saved for the earth’s sake, puts reverence into nature at the expense of humanity.  Their critique, therefore, falls on deaf ears as a common person will never act radically and dangerously to protect plants and animals, but we can surely expect them to take to action in order to protect themselves and others.  Peace!

-ben adam

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About ben adam

The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and we might miss Armageddon because we're too busy watching MTV and CNN. Please, read a book, throw a ball, bake some bread, and for goodness sake, turn the TV off.
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3 Responses to The Problem With the Modern Environmental Movement and Its Brief Moral Implications

  1. Jason Barr says:

    The earth, as an oblate spheroid composed of silicon, carbon, oxygen, and various other elements spinning on its axis and hurtling through space will surely survive beyond human existence if human beings do something stupid to end life on the planet. However, I disagree that the fundamental issue is only homicide, because this fails to take into consideration both the connections between human and nonhuman life and the responsibility given to humankind to be caretakers of life (a more accurate way to think of the mandate in Gen. 1 than modern conceptions of authority). While geological processes would certainly continue with or without human beings, thinking that is enough to say "the earth will survive" is surely inadequate. Nonhuman life should be seen as possessing its own integrity and active, interdependent agency under human care by virtue of its nature as the creation of God. This isn't a pagan view, it's utterly biblical. Living faithfully means both caring for the human neighbor and maintaining the integrity and vitality of the nonhuman creation.Here's a reflection I wrote for Earth Day that argues somewhat along those lines: http://absolutionrevolution.com/blog/2009/04/23/all-things-created-for-gods-pleasure-reflection-for-earth-day/

  2. ben adam says:

    Jason, while I agree with you fully, my brevity has caused misinterpretation. I will briefly revisit here and further enumerate in a larger post later. We sit on the horizon of annihilation. Social, political, and communal forces have, through destruction, created a forthcoming ecological collapse. Consequently, a schism formed. On one side of the divide, people refuse to sacrifice the status quo. Ecological crisis looms far away from them as they sleep comfortably in their beds. The other side, our side, longs for revolution. We cannot help but be outraged by the senseless loss of life to flora and fauna by the machine of our own desire for self-fulfillment. We yell to draw the attention to those situated on the other side of the chasm.Despite our yells, we fail. Why? We use the language of our own conviction, and expect others to reciprocate. What we need is to formulate an environmentalism articulated in the language of those on the other side of the chasm. I believe the best way to do this is to no longer consider the ecological crisis terracide or ecocide but suicide, homicide, and genocide. Rather than starting the argument from the demise of the Amazon, we should begin from the fact that we are mixing the ingredients in a cauldron for another holocaust. Sanctity of human life must operate as the catalyst toward launching a truly universal ecological revolution since it is where all parties can meet.

  3. Jason says:

    I can certainly understand being misunderstood due to brevity, or from posting a shortened or unfinished version of an argument. Happens to me all the time. Sorry for that.Perhaps the biggest issue here for us, regarding the appearance of disagreement, is that I consider both global homicide and terracide as part and parcel of ecocide, and so am not myself sufficiently clear in discussion regarding the distinctions and overlap between the different terms. I think our mutual visions are quite similar. I also think sometimes it's easier to have vehement, even violent disagreements with people who's positions are closer to one's own than with those who are vastly different, and I am by no means immune to that tendency. So I hope I was not uncharitable in my reply to you, and if I ever am I sincerely hope you will point it out to me.Peace be with you.

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