Today is Earth Day, and since I haven’t written about this foolishness for a while, let me do so now.
You have been trained to think — although conditioned to think would be a more accurate way to say it — that the debate over environmentalism is a debate between those who want to take care of the planet and those who do not. But this is, as Lao Tsu might have put it once, “not it.”
C.S. Lewis once explained, in The Abolition of Man, that when we speak of man’s conquest of nature, we are often speaking of man’s conquest of other men, with nature as the instrument. So it is here.
If there were ten of us in a room, and some of us thought the room too hot and others thought it was too cold, if one person took it upon himself to station himself by the thermostat with a revolver in order to settle and control the debate, it would not be accurate to say that he had simply “seized control of the temperature,” although he had. If we wanted to understand the complete picture, we would have to acknowledge that he had seized control of the people in the room, using the temperature as his stated “cause,” the issue that finally forced him to take action.
Think it through. What is the revolver for? It is not so that he can shoot the temperature.
Environmentalists do not want to control the environment. They want to control you, with the environment as their instrument. Ah, no, not at all, you say, they don’t want to run anybody’s life . . . Hold on a sec — I have go sort out my garbage.
They are the ones wielding fines and jail time, and they use the weather as their instrument.
Of course, if the debate were between advocates of good stewardship and bad stewardship, the Christian wants to be on the side of good stewardship. But stewardship only applies where you have authority, which you would have if talking about your own property. But when a man from the government shows up and threatens you because you were collecting rain water or something, he is not showing good stewardship over the earth, he is showing bad stewardship over you.
Environmentalists are stewards all right, but of a particular kind.
“But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful” (Luke 12:45-46).