Over the last several decades, we have seen a large increase in the volume of voices from the environmental movement calling for less pollution, more recycling, and annihilation of the forest and mining industries. These voices have been instrumental in the formation of such groups as Earth First!, The Sierra Club, The Audobon Society, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They have pushed and applauded such legislation as The Wilderness Act and The Endangered Species Act. With these programs implemented, there has been increasing government control over human treatment of the environment. This control results in prohibiting people from building on their own property, improving their land, and from logging both public and private forests.
To understand the environmentalists' method of "saving" the earth, we must look at their foundational beliefs. Contrary to what most of the public assumes, they are not advocating the preservation of the earth for humanity. Rather, they are "preserving" the earth from humanity. Loud voices for the environmental movement such as Al Gore, Dave Fomman and David Brower expound on this, telling us that, "our civilization is, in effect, addicted to the consumption of the earth itself"'1 and is a "cancer" on earth. We are told that, "[w]hile the death of the young men in war is unfortunate, it is no more serious than the touching of mountains and wilderness areas by humankind,"2 and that human suffering from drought and famine is tragic, "but the destruction . . . of other creatures and habitat is even more tragic."'3 In essence, environmentalism has become a religion that requires the earth be worshipped and defended at all costs. While, "[w]e should be kind, compassionate, and caring with other people . . . Earth comes first,"4 and "[h]uman happiness and certain human fecundity are not as important as a wild and healthy planet."5 It is an attempt to make earth a wilderness.
The voices of this movement claim that they have been too reasonable, too calm, and too understanding in their endeavor and now "[i]t's time to get angry, to cry, to let the rage flow at what the human cancer is doing to Earth, to be uncompromising."6
The cure for the "cancer" is a "leveling out," or decrease in the human population. As Al Gore says, "No goal is more crucial to the global environment than stabilizing the human population."' Paul and Anne Ehrlich put it this way: "The single simplest and most effective thing anyone can do to save Earth . . . is to have no more than two children."" With the huge explosion in population, the environmentalists ask, how can the earth adequately provide for everyone? for, "[n]either hunting and gathering, nor subsistence farming could supply enough food for even today's 5.4 billion people, let alone the additional 4 to 9 billion increase in population size to which humanity is committed.'"'
However, when one looks at the numbers on paper, the feeling that these "eco-warriors" cannot do simple math surfaces. If one takes the land area of the state of Texas (262,015 square miles) and divides it by the approximate world population figure (5.4 billion), the result is that each person on the globe could fit in Texas with approximately 1352 square feet to himself. This may seem a bit crowded, but remember, the rest of the world is devoid of human life.
It should be noted that the environmentalists have some validity to their assumption that wherever man is, there is destruction. Because man has sinned, he has caused a great deal of suffering from the first sin in the Garden of Eden, which brought a death, to the sins of individuals and nations today. Man has forgotten that he is to be a caretaker and instead has become a waster of the resources on earth. There is a balance between the views of those who believe that man may do whatever he pleases, and those who feel man should be annihilated. This balance is good stewardship through obedience and submission to God our Creator.
One of the recent scare tactics used by environmentalists to further their cause is global warming. They claim that global warming, the "greenhouse affect," is caused by an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which reflects more and more radiation back to the earth's surface, causing it to warm. We are told that the only way disaster can be averted is to monitor and control the amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere by humans.
It can be questioned whether there really is a disaster to be avoided. In the 1970s, a catastrophe was predicted in the form of an ice age; then, within 10 years, scientists began predicting a disaster in the form of global warming. Could they be wrong again? Dixie Lee Ray, in Environmental Overkill, tells us that "[g]iven the increase in carbon dioxide since the beginning of the Industrial Age, temperatures, according to the Greenhouse theory, should have gone up from 2 degrees to 4 degrees centigrade over the past 100 years. . . . The measurable overall increase is a trivial 0.5 degrees centigrade or less."10
Along with the scare of global warming comes the alarming "news" that there are holes in the ozone layer above Antarctica. These "holes" are made, or so we are told, by a build-up of CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) in the atmosphere. Because of this, many CFCs (such as freon) are being banned and replaced at great monetary expense. But the question can be asked, are there really "holes" in the ozone layer? Robert W. Lee doesn't believe so. He tells us that "[t]here is not, never has been, and cannot be a 'hole' in the ozone 'layer', since ozone simply waxes and wanes depending on sundry physical and chemical processes, most of them entirely natural."11
It can be correctly surmised that the environmentalists do not support the workers of the logging, mining and other large, "harmful" industries (yet many of these same people live in huge wood houses with beautiful wood floors, wear leather shoes, and fly in personal jets). It is universally understood by these ecologically concerned people that man must remember that he isn't above his animal ancestors, and that man’s presumption has caused devastating damage to earth's fragile ecosystem. David Brower told a travel group in Whistler, British Colombia, "Loggers losing their jobs because of the Spotted Owl legislation is, in my eyes, no different than people being out of work after the furnaces of Dachau shut down."12 Dave Forman, co-founder of Earth First!, makes the battle against these "exploiters" a personal one: "When a chain saw slices into the heartwood of a two-thousand-year-old Coast Redwood, it's slicing into my guts. When a bulldozer rips through the Amazon rain forest it's ripping into my side. When a Japanese whaler fires an exploding harpoon into a great whale, my heart is blown to smithereens. I am the land and the land is me. . .”13 These environmentalists view the advocates of industry as madmen that must be stopped before they destroy the earth. To them, it is a fight between good and evil, and they liken their fight for the preservation of "Mother Earth" to that of our forefathers' fight for the preservation of liberty. Forman, when speaking of the loggers' response to the way some environmentalists "monkey wrench," said, "Of course this call for 'fair play' [on the part of the loggers] hearkens back to the American Revolution, when the British complained that the American rebels didn't fight fair because they hid behind trees to shoot, and didn't stand out in the open, like men. The 'lobsterbacks' called Washington's troops cowards, just as loggers today call monkeywrenchers cowards."14
This movement also claims to provide the "reason" why our young people are having so much trouble today. Gore presents it like this: "The froth and frenzy of industrial civilization mask our deep loneliness for that communion with the world that can lift our spirits and fill our senses with the richness and immediacy of life itself. . . . Evidence of this spiritual loss [with the earth] abounds. Mental illness in its many forms is at epidemic levels, especially among children. The three leading causes of death among adolescents are drug- and alcohol-related accidents, suicide, and homicide."15
It is no longer a question of whether these people are sincere, but a point of knowing where they are coming from so we can have the ability to successfully combat them. They worship the earth and will willingly sacrifice great numbers of humanity (excluding themselves!) in the name of population control; they (claim to) willingly sacrifice big industry and prosperous civilizations under the cover of "environmental management."
This is The Green Religion! Today should not be a time of compromise, not a time to give the land to earth-worshipping gurus, but a time to rely on God's guiding grace and to fight the good fight. We are not to worship the creation but the Creator. We are not to be subdued by the earth, but we are to have dominion over it (Gen. 1:28), not to void it of human life, but to fill it (Gen. 9: 1,7), and to be good stewards of the resources God has intrusted us with.
1. Albert Gore, Earth in the Balance, 220. Gore is a former Democratic senator, and current vice-president.
2. David Brower, cited in Dixie Lee Ray, Environmental Overkill, 204. Brower is founder of Friends of the Earth and formerly served as executive director of the Sierra Club.
3. Dave Forman, The Confession of an Eco-Warrior, 26. Forman is cofounder of Earth First!
4. Ibid., 26.
5. David M. Graber, cited in, Ray, Dixie Lee, Environmental Overkill, 204. Graber serves as a research biologist with the National Park Service.
6. Forman, 20.
7. Gore, 307.
8. Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Healing the Planet, 3. Paul is Bing Professor of Population Studies and Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. Anne is Senior Research Associate in Biological Sciences at Standford University.
9. ibid., 269. 10.
10. Ray, 17. Ray — former governor of Washington, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, assistant secretary of state in the U.S. Bureau of Oceans — has received many awards, including the United Nations Peace Prize.
11. Robert W. Lee, "Ozone 'Hole': "The Prize Eco-Scam," The New American, July 26, 1993, 7.
12. David Brower, cited in Dixie Lee Ray, Environmental Overkill, 104.
13. Forman, 5.
14. ibid., 160.
16. Foreman, 7.
17. ibid., 26.
- Lisa Tanner