Friday, July 27, 2007
Christians should be the world's best environmentalists, but we need to begin with the right assumptions which are based on a right theology.Don't forget good science David!
Christian environmentalism cannot be reduced to sloganeering. David points to the DDT disaster as an example of the slogan outweighing the facts. Climate change is another good one. The climate is changing, how much, the effects, and the casues are highly debatable. This raises enormous questions about what consitutes good stewardship of creation.
You see, stewardship is the key, further stewardship to what ends. Trying to end the proported anthropic casues of climate change would result in changing the entire economy of humanity, while coping with climate change would preserve that economy. Both paths will cause some human suffereing, one more than the other. Like DDT, the banning of which ended some human suffering, but created much more, what constitutes good stewardship is far from straightforward. The same is true for so many questions. The realtively low volume and mass, though very high toxicity, of waste from nuclear energy production vs. the enormous amounts, though lower toxicity, of waste from other forms of electrical production is one example. The same sorts of questions apply to the amounts and toxicity of waste from the production of electrical vehicles vs. standard vehicles when compared to the emission from the operations of both.
The point is it is never enough to simply say that we have to be good stewards of the planet. We have to put in the hard work of figuring out what that actually means.
That is why we are a church of many people, differently abled and gifted. In cases like those cited above, there is little the church can do other than its mission, create good Christians that are in positions to make the determinations about what is the best path. It is not incumbent upon the church to develop the expertise these decisions require, rather the church is to make the people that gain the exerptise. Those people when informed with the word of God and the values that that inculcates will then be able to determine what is the best stewardship.
Sloganeering is about institutions and feeling better. But it is a far cry from good stewardship.
Related Tags: environment, DDT, climate change, stewardship, church, Christian, Jollyblogger