For decades the planet has been awash in doomsday environmental propaganda proclaiming the imminent demise of earth due to environmental calamity, which only drastic action (and large amounts of government money) can avert. As the avalanche of horror stories mounted - a mixture of truth and fiction - various legislative bodies passed laws and regulations based largely on the recommendations of extreme leftist environmental activists, whose prescription usually advocated some combination of the following:
- A gradual elimination of capitalism and replacement of it with socialism;
- Expansion of governmental control over private life and the diminishing of personal rights by a multiplication of mind-boggling environmental laws, regulations, and controls;
- Gradual abolition of private property or private control over property;
- Application of extreme financial and criminal penalties for "polluters"; and finally,
- In its extreme form, removal of humans from large portions of the earth's surface and return of the environment to its pristine state. (The forest fires in the western U.S. last summer are an example of what happens when forests are left alone.) Humans are viewed on a par with the rest of creation, since they are all equally evolved.
While it is noble to protect the environment and rescue endangered species, the reality of radical environmentalism is far from that.
Idealism: Bad Science and Economics
In the past, environmental laws were frequently enacted while ignoring the fact that environmental issues do not exist in an idealistic vacuum - the laws themselves may have a negative impact on people, the economy and, yes, even the environment. Each new government policy ripples throughout a broad spectrum of other concerns as well.
Quite often, the "science" cited to support environmental causes later proves incorrect, but this is rarely ever publicly acknowledged, and the legislation that was originally passed doesn't get repealed or altered. New horror stories simply replace the old and the crisis rolls forward.
In the U.S. many property owners consider finding an endangered species on their property to be a disaster, when it should be a privilege to participate in helping preserve a species. In business, excessive clean water and clean air standards skyrocket the cost of manufactured items, affecting all consumers.
Ranchers, farmers and property owners have lost houses and land due to excessive and, oftentimes, unreasonable regulation. In some cases they were desperately trying to comply with laws or even improve the environment. Property has been seized, fines issued and, in some cases, jail time served. Contrary to the hype, the "polluters" are frequently not big businesses belching out tons of pollutants, but private property owners who just can't keep up with the blizzard of environmental do's and don'ts.
Radical Environmentalism Built on Junk Science
The effects of decades of unwise, unscientific environmentalism are now becoming evident. California's electricity crunch is just one example of radical environmentalism run amok in a socialistic state, a totally man-made crisis. Over the past two decades, environmental groups fought the construction of new nuclear power plants in California and even forced the shutdown of plants which were on-line but had not been on long enough to pay back the immense costs of construction, which was multiplied several times over due to a labyrinth of environmental regulations. As a result, power companies quit building plants.
As the state's population expanded, demands on power rose with no corresponding construction of generating facilities. Then the state "deregulated" (only in the most bizarre sense of the word) the power utilities, allowing wholesale prices to float but capping retail prices to consumers. They also prohibited power companies from engaging in long-term energy contracts, forcing them into daily energy bidding to outside power sources, which drove wholesale prices ridiculously up. Power companies were economically caught in an impossible situation and the power crisis was on...or off as the case may be.
While California looks to the Northwest to make up its energy shortfalls, environmentalists in that part of the country have been trying to tear down the hydroelectric dams on the rivers there, another example of returning nature to its pristine state no matter the cost.
So who got blamed for California's problem? The state government and radical environmentalists that created the situation? Of course not. It was the greedy power companies trying to make a filthy profit. This was consonant with the long-term rhetoric of environmentalism that business is bad but environmentalism is good.
Environmentalism Is Big Business
But environmentalism is mega-big business. It is popular to portray environmentalism as pitting big business (the polluters) against the small guy and helpless nature. But saving the earth, even when it doesn't need saving, is itself a big business growth industry.
In 1999, environmental organizations received $3.5 billion in contributions and work out of posh offices in big cities, a far cry from the dedicated granola-eating environmentalists of 30 years ago, who were close to the land and worked for free to "save the planet."
Environmental organizations engage in mass-mailing campaigns of unsupported horror stories and environmental claims. Some groups spend so much money on fund-raising that only a very small percentage ever goes to saving the environment.
According to Sacramento Bee journalist Ken Knudson:
Six national environmental groups spend so much on fund-raising and overhead they don't have enough left to meet the minimum benchmark for environmental spending - 60 percent of annual expenses - recommended by charity watchdog organizations. Eleven of the nation's 20 largest include fund-raising bills in their tally of money spent protecting the environment, but don't make that clear to members. 1
Environmentalism is no longer tied to science, but has now entered the realm of big politics and big money. Scientific facts are only utilized when they appear to support the latest political fad.
Few people have seen the radical environmental plans of the future and what it will cost them. In the U.S., the Wildlands Project is an active proposal to relocate Americans off about 50% of the landmass they currently occupy and return the land to its pristine state.
According to Matt Bennett of Citizens with Common Sense:
The Wildlands Project (TWP) is "the most ambitious and far-reaching attempt yet to reinvent the North American" continent...Wildlands will be core reserves of millions of acres connected by vast corridors following rivers and other migratory paths from west to east, from Central America and Mexico through the U.S. and Canada, using national forests and other government lands . 2
Other countries conforming to the terms of Agenda 21 and the Biodiversity Treaty of the Rio conference face a similar fate.
The Greening of Religion
Various Christian denominations are falling prey to efforts to recruit congregations into what is essentially a pantheistic belief system. The philosophy of radical environmentalism is based in the religious belief of pantheism, that god is in all and all is god; that earth is our mother (Gaia); that all living things have equal value and that mankind has overstepped its bounds, even being a cancer on the rest of nature. Socialism, they say, is the only form of government said to be capable of saving the planet, which must be returned to its pristine, prehuman state. Capitalism, above all, is bad.
A key player in introducing the pantheistic environmental movement into Christian churches is the Lucis Trust organization, originally called the Lucifer Publishing Company, founded by Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Lucis Trust is a major consulting organization to the U.N.
According to Dr. Michael Coffman, Ph.D. of Environmental Perspectives:
...one of the mechanisms for ensnaring the Christian Church... comes through the Temple of Understanding, whose interfaith purpose is the "reintegration of the sacred into our lives" via "the world's religious traditions" and through "universal spiritual wisdom." The Temple is housed in the Episcopal Cathedral Church of the St. John the Divine in New York City, which is considered by many Christian researchers to be the new age center in the U.S. [emphasis ours]
Dr. Coffman goes on to say:
...the Temple cosponsored a number of international interfaith meetings leading to the creation in 1992 of the National Religious Partnership on the Environment, also housed in the Cathedral of the St. John the Divine. Billed as a "federation of major American faith communities," it is in fact a sanitized version of the new age Temple of Understanding packaged in a way that doesn't alarm Christians ...3
The Partnership has sent environmental literature to over 67,000 congregations and 100 million congregants calling for the Church to make the protection of the earth a central message of the Church. Although written in "Bible-eze," it nonetheless represents a deceptive interfaith attempt to shift the emphasis of the Church from the Gospel of Christ to one of protecting mother earth by creating guilt in Christians for not protecting God's creation...Church leaders are fair game for this kind of deception because they actually believe we are destroying the earth. Like most Americans, exaggerated or false reports of environmental destruction is the only thing they have been told .4
Stewardship vs. Radicalism
In all fairness, there have been serious environmental problems in the past. Much of this was a learning process as technology advanced. But while many problems are being or have been corrected, environmentalism has now gone beyond sane policy and is a mixture of radical idealism and big business/politics, yelling the "sky is falling!"
It is important to be good stewards of the environment that God created and we have indeed learned lessons from the past of what should and should not be done. But true stewardship demands that wisdom be based on sober science and sound economic policy. As God intended, such policy should encourage good stewardship rather than punish those who can't seem to comply with thousands of confusing, complex, arbitrary and constantly changing regulations. If California is any indication, left unchecked, radical environmentalism promises to trash the planet in the name of saving it.
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