Ideas Have Consequences: Going Green (1)

“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.”

I Chronicles 12:31

[B]uild your “Climate Crime Case File” and report back to your family to make sure they don’t commit those crimes again (or else!). You may need to keep a watchful eye over them by revisiting the case every week or two to make sure they don’t slip back into their old habits. 

You can spread your search even wider by adding even more “Case Files” to your notes. What about the homes of your uncles, aunts, or friends from school?¹

This is what we can expect from the children in the “Brave New World” of the Eco Police—and that without a search warrant or the reading of our Miranda rights. And what, pray tell, would qualify as climate crimes? Any or all of the following: leaving the TV on standby, using your clothes dryer on a sunny day, not using compact fluorescent light bulbs, leaving a cell phone charger plugged in, leaving the lights on, letting the water run while brushing your teeth, taking a bath (instead of a shower?), putting hot food in the refrigerator, leaving room doors open, plus countless others.²

While there is nothing wrong with saving energy (and money, for that matter) by doing the things listed in the former paragraph, the fact that “big brother” or “little daughter” is to police this may be just a tad disconcerting. Consequently, modern-day Issachar might do well to look into the beliefs of those who promote what we will label “radical environmentalism” and delve into some of the consequences of their ideas.

First, a Disclaimer

Unfortunately, in today’s “green” world anyone daring to be at all critical of the prevailing ideas concerning our use of the environment needs to begin with a disclaimer. That this is necessary is in itself a bit disconcerting. Nevertheless, it is so, largely because of the success of radical environmentalism and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) in promoting the idea that environmentalism should be regarded on the same level with religion and, in their (UNEP) own words, “as the only compelling, value-based narrative available to humanity.”³

So we begin with the “necessary” disclaimer that although we arequestioning the ideas of radical environmentalism we are notadvocating the trashing of the planet. We are simply viewing the earth and man’s place in it from the perspective of a different worldview than the radical environmentalists. The truth is, a convincing case can be made that those practicing a Reformed biblical Christian worldview exercise the greatest care for the environment. This is true because the Reformed Christian understands that “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1). This earth, which is the Lord’s (it is that because God created it), God has given unto men. Genesis 1:26 makes this clear: “…and let them [man] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Thus the child of God recognizes that his relationship to God and His creation is one of stewardship.

Great are the implications of this concept, implications that have important practical significance. The term “abusive,” then, will not be descriptive of his dominion over the creation; rather the idea of a “caring husbandry” of the creation would better portray our relationship to the creation. We demonstrate this even in our day-to-day activities, activities as simple as refraining from littering and properly disposing of waste motor oil, knowing that we are accountable to God. While this subject of the biblical use of God’s creation may be worthy of further discussion, the topic at hand is radical environmentalism, so to that we must return.

Those we label “radical environmentalists” in this article are not identical in their beliefs and practices, even though they are in agreement on many things. The three segments of the environmentalist movement that we will specifically identify and discuss are the green political movement, the deep ecology movement, and the animal rights movement.

The Greens/Green Party USA

The green political movement is a well-defined group that identifies itself as a political party. In 1984 they formed as the Committees of Correspondence; in 1989 they changed their name to Green Committees of Correspondence; and then they changed it again in 1991 to what they call themselves still today: The Greens/Green Party USA. According to their stated political platform they are “…a membership organization of individual members who participate in affiliated local and state organizations and support the organization with dues scaled to their ability to pay.”4 And that (“ability to pay”) is, of course, a dead giveaway concerning the worldview they espouse, namely Marxism.

The Green Party’s Marxist worldview is clearly seen throughout their party platform under numerous headings, but it is most clearly seen in the introductory part of their platform:

We find that the same institutions and ideas that cause the exploitation and oppression of humans also cause the degradation and destruction of the environment. Both are rooted in a hierarchical, exploitative, and alienated social system that systematically produces human oppression and ecological destruction. 

For the Greens, therefore, the fights against racism, sexism, class exploitation, bureaucratic domination, war, and all other forms of social domination and violence are central to the movement for an ecologically sustainable society. In order to harmonize society with nature, we must harmonize human with human. 

The Greens carry forward the traditional values of the Left: freedom, equality, and solidarity. We want to create a truly democratic society without class exploitation or social domination. But Greens expand this notion of a classless, nonhierarchical society that is harmonized with itself to include an ecological society that is harmonized with nature as well.5

As a political organization, the Green Party works to accomplish its goals primarily through the political process. One can appreciate the legitimacy of that approach, especially in light of the fact that the other environmental groups we will be examining tend to take a more radical approach to accomplishing their goals.

The fact that they have a political platform with stated “planks” is also helpful as we seek to understand their goals and the means they use to accomplish those goals. Looking back at the quotes taken from the introductory part of the Green Party’s platform makes it clear that their concern for the environment is trumped by their promotion of Marxism as the preferable alternative to our present political system. Note for example what they write: “…the same institutions…that cause the exploitation…of humans also cause the…destruction of the environment,” and “…Greens expand this notion of classless society…to include an ecological society that is harmonized with nature as well.” The obvious conclusion appears to be that the Green Party desires the “kill two birds with one stone” approach: by getting rid of the “institutions…that cause exploitation” (and replacing it with Marxist ones), we will at the same time save the planet.

Understanding this helps us make sense of their activities and methods. If their goal is a Marxist, socialistic system, which necessarily requires a top-down political structure, anything that will advance a powerful centralized government they will support and promote. It is no wonder, then, that their party platform is replete with grand ideas about “political ecology,” “ecological sustainability,” “ecological democracy,” “ecological conversion,” “environmental justice,” “ecological taxes,” “ecological and feminist economic accounting,” “a global green deal,” etc.—all of which require expanding the influence of government.

Concerning these and other issues, they promote a “better safe than sorry” approach. To get the flavor of this way of thinking, read what syndicated columnist Thomas Friedman writes concerning the threat of man-made global warming: “When I see a problem that has even 1 percent probability of occurring and is ‘irreversible’ and potentially ‘catastrophic,’ I buy insurance. That is what taking climate change seriously is all about.”6 The Green Party often uses scare tactics to further their agenda. We have heard them many times: “We won’t have enough food to feed them all,” and “The water will rise to unprecedented heights,” etc. Furthermore, as a political action group, they will be at the forefront in opposing the use of coal as an energy source, the installation of new power plants, and numerous other projects they perceive as harmful to the environment.

The Deep Ecology Movement

These same concerns are raised by a second group that promotes radical environmentalism, namely the Deep Ecology Movement. While they are in agreement with most, if not all, of the environmental concerns of the Green Party, they have these concerns for different reasons and they will often use different tactics to achieve their goals.

A peek into the Deep Ecology Movement’s mission statement is an eye-opener, to say the least:

We believe that true ecological sustainability may require a rethinking of our values as a society. Present assumptions about economics, development, and the place of human beings in the natural order must be reevaluated. If we are to achieve ecological sustainability, Nature can no longer be viewed only as a commodity; it must be seen as a partner and model in all human enterprise. 

We believe that current problems are largely rooted in the following circumstances: 1) The loss of traditional knowledge, values and ethics of behavior that celebrate the intrinsic value and sacredness of the natural world and that give the preservation of Nature prime importance…. 2) The prevailing economic and development paradigms of the modern world, which place primary importance on the values of the market, not on Nature…. 3) Overpopulation, in both the overdeveloped and the underdeveloped worlds, placing unsustainable burdens upon biodiversity and the human condition.7

This mission statement is then followed up with an eight point “Deep Ecology Platform” that extols the virtues of “Nature” and denigrates the humans that are destroying Nature. David Graber, a research biologist at the National Park Service, gave expression to the Deep Ecology Movement’s platform when he said,

Human happiness and certainly human fecundity [productivity] are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true, somewhere along the line—at about a billion years ago and maybe half that—we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the earth…. Until such a time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.8

That this way of thinking is promoted by those involved in the Deep Ecology Movement is not surprising, since those connected to the movement are often affiliated with some form of the Eastern religions and/or the New Age Movement. As pantheists, they view everything as god, including everything in the creation. Just the fact that they capitalize the word “Nature” in much of their literature (note their mission statement above) demonstrates this.

While the Deep Ecology Movement is supportive of much that the Green Party promotes, its proponents tend to be more radical in the methods they sometimes use to advance their cause. Examples of these methods include arson, releasing captive animals, and nailing spikes into trees to discourage logging.

Animal Rights Movement

Many of these same methods are used by the proponents of the third of the radical environmental groups we are evaluating: the Animal Rights Movement. They too are willing to take the law into their own hands when it comes to addressing what they consider violations of the rights of animals. Vandalizing biological labs experimenting with mice or other animals is acceptable according to them, since these experiments are an infringement on the rights of these animals. Supporters of animal rights, however, are just as likely to use lawsuits to gain their objectives. Consider a rather humorous example of this that took place in California in 2002. To promote the consumption of milk, the California Milk Advisory Board ran what came to be known as “happy cows” ads. These ads featured wisecracking dairy cows singing and blissfully munching grass. While most viewers enjoyed the ads, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) responded with a lawsuit. PETA claimed that the ads deceived consumers about the way cows actually live, thus the ads violated consumer protection laws.9

Unfortunately, the Animal Rights Movement is serious about promoting its Darwinian-based agenda. By their accepting evolution as fact and not just a theory of origins God is effectively disconnected from His creation, and man is just another animal. Thus the claim of animal rights proponents is that animals have rights equal to man’s. As expressed in the words of Professor Peter Singer of Princeton University, “On the basis of evolution…there is no clear dividing line between humans and animals.”10

Little wonder that Singer’s ideas are accepted by many. (According to one poll, “just over half of all Americans think primates should have the same rights as human children.”11) Many are the examples of the mistreatment of animals by depraved human beings: examples that elicit strong emotions of sympathy for the animal world. This, combined with a society steeped in evolutionary thought from the cradle to the grave, results in the rejection of Christianity by society in general and thus the loss of the conviction that there is anything special about man.

Those who oppose these doctrines of the Animal Rights Movement are condemned as preachers of the heresy of “speciesism,” which, they say, teaches attitudes of bias toward the interests of members of one’s own species, and against those members of another species. One who wishes to avoid that label need only to ally himself with one or all of the radical environmental groups discussed above.

Conclusion

These three radical environmental groups, though they have their differences in emphasis and methods, have at least two things in common. They have “…changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever” (Rom. 1:25). Ideas have consequences. Bad ideas have bad consequences. These consequences we will consider next time.


1 ClimateCops.com, “Download Your ‘Climate Crime’ Cards,”http://www.climatecops.com/downloads/climate_cops_crime_cards.pdf.

2 Ibid.

3 George Russel, “Document Reveals U.N.’s Goal of Becoming Rule-Maker in Global Environmental Talks,” FOXNews.com, Nov. 30, 2009.

4 http://www.greenparty.org/platform.php. 

5 Ibid. 

6 Thomas Friedman, “Going Cheney on climate change,” The Grand Rapids Press, December 13, 2009: A18.

7 http://www.deepecology.org/mission.htm. 

8 Fred Gielow, You Don’t Say (Boca Raton, FL: Freedom Books, 1999), 169. 

9 Charles Colson, “Taming Beasts,” Christianity Today, April 2003: 120.

10 Colson, 120.

11 Colson, 120.