I am not sure if this question has been addressed already. I apologize if it has.
My reason for bringing this up is twofold:
I have noticed that quite a number of conservative Christians seem to be anti-climate change. I cant exactly come to a specific conclusion as to why…its seems that generally, they subscribe to “flat-earth”, “the earth is the centre of the universe and everything revolves around it” type theologies.
In response to point 1 above, I believe that all denominations are a product of the reformation…we all have our roots in the progression of knowledge…which i believe is a reversal of Daniel 12:4
But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.”
Then he told me, "Do not seal up the words of prophecy in this book, because the time is near.
Whilst i am no scientist, and i do not subscribe to the inerrancy of scientific observation, there are some topics where i genuinely believe that a common cause should be highlighted…I believe as a creationist and as a poor example of a Christian *(i mean that not to be humble but because its true…i dont pray regularly and have rarely attended church in over 20 years), not only does the natural order of things require that we live in harmony with our environment, so does God.
The main point of this thread is this…
There appears to be an ever-increasing number of commentators whom are vehemently against the direction our political leaders trying to lead us at present. These commentators, who are not conservative Christian or even religious, are claiming (with what appears to be quite strong evidence) that the global aim to move away from fossil fuels towards “clean energy” is actually counter productive to the very goals it seeks to achieve!
Is the gist of my concern above reasonable? Thoughts?
one would have thought that you listen to the news and radio or of course, Youtube which is increasingly the platform for individuals to bang on about their views…but perhaps not. A lot of people scoff at youtube as a reference point, however, these are individuals who do not bother to check the credentials or the references provided by those who present on their channels…many of whom have very large following and also very highly educated and experienced.
Here in Australia I follow one such youtuber…John Cordogan. He is an Automotive Engineer and a very very intelligent guy. Sure i dont agree with him on philosophical topics, however, i cannot fault his science when it comes to the environmental debate surrounding clean energy and particularly electric cars.
We also have a major talk back radio station here in Australia (2GB radio) whose presenters regularly raise the topic of clean energy. A hot topic lately is Wind power. The significant negative effects of Wind turbines are increasingly becoming a huge environmental and health issue in this country…so bad that even the idea of placing them out in the oceans away from any potentially populated areas simply doesnt cut it. A recent public outcry has arisen in NSW and QLD where Sky News reported images where piles of used massive fiberglass turbine blades are simply dumped out in the open and left because they cannot be recycled! I quote from the Sky News article below…
Menzies Research Centre Executive Director Nick Cater has raised concerns about the renewability of wind turbine blades after they were “dumped” in the middle of a forest. “Renewable energy isn’t actually that renewable – there’s no renewing those blades,” Mr Cater told Sky News host Andrew Bolt. “They’ll just sit there leeching various substances into the earth.”
It appears that more and more now, the idea of clean energy is going back to the idea of trying to filter the harmful pollutants out of traditional energy production methods rather than moving towards the manufacture of supposedly “clean energy” generators.
It seems to me that the real limitation in clean energy is profitability. Whilst it may in some cases be possible to fix the disposal issue, its often not profitable to do it. I have deep concerns, and none of these are biblical, about the kinds of resources that are used to manufacture (perhaps better to say “access”) clean energy in the first place.
Now i do not want to live in an evironment where trucks and cars belch out pollutants such that one needs to wear a gas mask when walking down the street, but i dont want huge piles of nonreclyclable materials leaching “crap” into the environment and the sonic resonance of wind turbines causing problems either!
I think it speaks to the depravity and selfishness of the human heart than any Biblical basis. Something we all share. We may not have a monetary benefit from whatever position we hold, but do value the approval of our tribe as much as money in supporting the positions that they hold as markers. I have been reading a bit and listening to podcasts describing how all creation praises God, and hope perhaps to listen and join in that worship of the Creator more in the future than I have in the past.
And a plug might be appropriate here for the upcoming conference by BioLogos on Creation care.
I have noted that some conservative believers have become more active in resisting the change towards clean energy. It seems to happen together with a rise of conservative politics that is against the liberal ‘green’ ideologies. There seems to be several reasons for this change. The main reasons seem to be faults in teaching, resistance against green politics, and selfishness.
One reason is a fault in teaching among conservative believers. We have stressed the need to spread good news about Jesus and to prepare to the return of Jesus but have seriously neglected the duty to take care of the creation. Who cares what happens to Earth or species if the teaching claims that everything burns soon and we will be in Heaven when that happens?
Another reason is that the move towards clean energy has been advocated by liberal ‘green’ politics and associated with their other goals. Conservative believers and parties tend to be allergic towards liberal ‘green’ politics, and the need to preserve biodiversity and move towards ‘green’ energy becomes victims in this division.
For example, a populist right-wing party is now in our national government and other parties wanting to cooperate needed to change the use of words to get to a common goal. There are no ‘green’ moves anymore, now the policy is to speak of ‘clean’ changes. The industry had big fears about the anti-green attitudes among the populist party because there are currently many investing plans for clean energy, worth at least 140 billion euros. The fear was that anti-green politics would thrash most of these plans. Luckily, the leaders in the party understood the importance of investments for economy and have been careful to not speak anything that would prevent the investments to happen.
The third reason is simply unwillingness to change the current lifestyle and pay any price for saving the nature or planet. ‘Others may pay for environmentally friendly decisions but I do not want to pay extra or give up any of the habits that make my life more comfortable’.
This kind of attitudes means that ‘clean’ energy gets support only if it saves money or makes life more comfortable. We may be approaching such world. For example, last Tuesday we had strong winds and the price of electricity dropped because of large amounts of wind energy. As a consequence, the power exchange market price of electricity was the whole day negative - the buyers were paid for consuming electricity. As the quantity of wind and solar power is rising, the average price of electricity is dropping.
Actually they are recyclable; the trouble is that doing so would use enough energy that their benefit is essentially negated. Going from memory on a couple of articles, to recycle them would require shredding them down into pellets the size of a BB, then “baking” them under high pressure and humidity to separate the binder from the glass, and finally melting the glass back into useful ingots. The energy requirements turn out to be similar to or higher than what is needed for making aluminum from bauxite.
Pretty much true. I noticed a shift a couple of years ago in terms of cardboard recycling: all of a sudden the transfer station for the landfill had the supervising people pulling out every bit of cardboard from what people were dumping, so I checked and found that the price of reclaimed cardboard had gone up enough that it was worth the effort to pull it out of the waste stream.
The same thing has been happening off and on with various plastics; it’s possible to tell what can at least break even as the different types of plastics are accepted or not at the recycling depot – and some of that depends on location; where a friend lives all plastic types are accepted, but where I am at the moment only three kinds are because the cost of transporting the others from here is enough to make it not profitable.
I’ll make another plug: if anyone is supporting the Nature Conservancy, you should switch to supporting the Eden Conservancy. Eden is not merely a Christian organization, they’re actually more responsible. A local example where I am is that the Nature Conservancy worked out a deal to buy some property and move the dikes back to the natural flood berm, which would alleviate a certain amount of flooding. They moved the dikes as planned, but then they essentially abandoned the property which resulted in the part protected by the dikes being overrun with a half-dozen different invasive species so it’s now a thicket of vines and brush that is of little use to wildlife. In contrast, the Eden Conservancy acquired a plot of land to prevent a really stupid development from happening, and they went in and physically removed all invasive species, and local volunteers keep things that way.
I’ve noticed that in my conservation work: the biggest reason for my most enthusiastic supporters is that the invasive species I’m combating have pollen that they are allergic to! And some Christians have actually questioned the point since “it’s all going to burn!”
Are you suggesting “our political leaders” are leading us towards eco-solutions? I’m really not convinced about that. In UK we just had a new coal mine approved.
Or perhaps people try, but then they see celebrities constantly using private jets, there’s a queue of 800 to take a “pleasure trip” to the outer space (sorry, is this by any chance pollution free but I somehow missed that bit of news?), you get the gist… So maybe people aren’t so willing to pay several times the price for allegedly environmentally friendly products, or deprived themselves of things they want, whilst they see that those around don’t care whatsoever, and it makes them feel stupid for even trying.
The example we set matters. Words are not enough, our life is a greater witness. It may be demanding to be among the few who make the correct choices but I belive we are called to be those persons, in all matters of life. If others do not care, the answer is: what is that to you? You follow me! (said Jesus).
Many believers are poor. I understand that all do not have the possibility to choose the more expensive eco-friendly products because they do not have enough of money. If we have, then we can make the choice. Those who are poor usually have a small carbon footprint simply because they cannot buy everything they would like to.
Although we need to think our actions from the viewpoint of creation care, we should take into consideration also other viewpoints. For example, in the dark northern winter, some persons have a need to spend some time in sunshine for health reasons. That means in practice that they need to fly to some region with sunshine because traveling would otherwise take more time they have. I think this kind of ‘holiday flights’ are ok for those that need it for health reasons. Otherwise, I would like to ask if some target closer would be a possibility for a holiday trip. Small choices but they do matter, especially if millions make similar kind of small decisions.
I would agree that in many areas of life it is nothing to me. But not in this case.
So I could make a lot of effort, overpay for every single thing I buy(whilst not even being convinced that they are genuinely eco-friendly), go without things, not do things that I want… And all this making absolutely zero impact as all this carbon footprint saving is offset by some celebrity flying off on a shopping trip in their private jet. Or if you want another example - it’s offset by millions of people wearing an item of clothing a couple of times and then binning it.
And before asking a normal person to not fly, or fly closer, I would first ask billionaires to stop going on around the world trips in their yachts and pleasure trips to space. They won’t do it, so fly on your holiday wherever and whenever you want.
That’s the thing - I stopped believing that they matter, especially that millions don’t even make the right choices, and they don’t even want to, in fact they make terrible choices.
Look, we’re not going to agree, so may just as well leave it here. It would all be wonderful if we lived in a perfect world, but we don’t.
When I was a student, we were thinking what would happen if Chinese would reach the living standards of rich western countries. A teacher told us ‘it does not matter if a million Chinese get a luxury car but it does matter if a billion Chinese get a cheap car’. People are not equal in this world and the globe could not stand a situation where all people were equal if all should have the living standard of the people living in the rich western countries.
The sad reality is that the globe can tolerate the luxury lifestyle of few celebrities but cannot tolerate the living styles of us ‘normal’ persons. Saying this does not mean that I think that the living style of most celebrities is ok - there probably are those who act in a responsible way but more of those who do not.
Hiding behind the backs of those who are bad examples does not justify our decisions. We should not be followers of what others do, we should think what is good in the eyes of the Lord and act based on it. Otherwise, we just follow others on the wide road that leads to hell.
Kai, I am well aware of this argument. But it doesn’t change my stance. Also, and I know you weren’t insinuating anything like that, some would use this as an argument for keeping people poor.
But I agree that the usual living standard in the rich western countries is probably… ridiculous. Especially the wastefulness, but of course not everyone lives like that. I would really like to see a change, but at the same time I despise making people feel guilty over stupid things, like buying things made for example in China(and that’s snobbery as well) or buying food wrapped in plastic, whilst huge companies make no effort to make things easier and are only interested in profit.
So should we just shrug our shoulders and say “oh well, that’s just how society is!” ?? Should ‘normal’ people feel guilty then about the smallest of ‘luxuries’ whilst the chosen few live obscene lifestyle? Because the globe can tolerate few “golden palaces”?
I am not hiding behind anyone, I wouldn’t be saying things I say if I did. Nor am I following others in whatever they might be doing. And speaking of following - let’s not forget that a lot of unsustainable choices are a result in following the celebrity lifestyle. So again, we should be focusing on making them more accountable and shaming them for wrong choices. It should shameful to own a yacht or fly private, instead this is aspiration of millions.
Lol! I’m sorry, but I can’t imagine anyone going to hell over not being eco friendly
I know a lot of conservative Christians who despite not accepting a lot of science are still part of the native plant movement , adopt streets to clean and maintain and do an assortment of volunteer work.
Dang. It’s frustrating and more complex, when we can’t vilify the entire lot.
However, I think Kai’s description of the connection between conservative politics and the likelihood of theologically conservative Americans (at least) to affiliate themselves with a particular brand of conservative American politics, is a large driving force for the distrust of climate science and environmentalism.
So because some people are behaving foolishly everyone should do the same? That’s the reasoning of a middle school kid – “But mom, everyone else is doing it!”
Yet just above you endorsed making “terrible choices”.
“Perfect” isn’t the issue; making some better choices is. Just one example: millions of people will drive a quarter mile to a store just to buy things that would fit into a backpack. If instead they walked, it would benefit everyone as well as benefiting them.
And I would say that this falls into the category of good works that God “has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”.
That depends on the yacht. There are some that use a combination of wind and solar with a diesel motor for backup. My favorite is one that has sails that are made of flexible solar panels. Another has solar roof and decks! And at least one company is making copies of old sailing yachts, though the sails are controlled by electric motors rather than people scrambling up the masts and spars.
There’s even a solar super-yacht that will supposedly be capable of sailing around the world, at least if you’re not in a hurry; its cruising speed is supposed to be about the same as the tramp steamer in Raiders of the Lost Ark – roughly 12 knots.
I’m not sure just how much celebrities are subject to shaming – why would they care what the ‘little people’ think?
Because their celebrity status rests on it. These ‘leaders’ only ‘lead’ by sensing out what they think their fan base wants to hear, and then they provide that. It’s what a lot of political ‘leaders’ here do too.
If what they’re caught at is something deeply unpopular with or recognized as evil by the culture right now, then they will feel the shame and humiliation of that.