Stop Killing People v. Save the Earth

A couple of decades ago I established an “Environmental Committee” at my church up north (the webpage is still floating in cyberspace http://www.auroraonline.net/interfaithccc/haec.htm & http://www.auroraonline.net/interfaithccc/half.html),  after coming to the realization that we are killing people and harming God’s creation through our environmental harms.  It is a SIN OF COMMISSION, I came to realize by God’s grace, and not a sin of omission.

I was overzealous.  I wanted to use the motto “SKiP” for “Stop Killing People,” but the nun in charge of our group said that would turn people off, and insisted we use “Save the Earth,” so we went along with her.  But in a way that’s unfortunate, because it is not being honest.  We aren’t being called to be like heroic life guards out to save lives (something we can feel really proud of); we are being admonished to stop holding people under water and drowning them (so we can stop being ashamed in our state of sin). 

People tend to think of environmetalism (doing the EC or environmentally correct things) as an optional charity, rather than stopping sinning.  They see is as a “special interest,” not a general, fundamental interest concerning all life on planet earth.  I get people telling me now and then, “You’re doing important work.”  And those are the good people (the bad ones attack me for being a dirty-rotten-lousy environmentalist).  Yes, important work, but it’s everyone’s important work, not just mine.  My efforts are just a meaningless drop in the bucket without everyone else acting.  It’s not like we should be satisfied that 5% of Americans are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions (or even 30%); it’s that ALL OF US have to do whatever we can to reduce.  Emissions in America have gone up 20% over the past 20 years, during the same time that my husband and I reduced ours by 60% (thereby saving us $1000s without lowering our living standard).  Unless all in America and around the world can reduce emissions by more than 50% within a couple of decades we’ve pretty much doomed our grandchildren and their children to bitter strife and death.   That’s a sin, pure and simple.  It’s not an optional charity for those so inclined.  We all need to do whatever we can.  Or, to be frank, we need to stop/reduce doing all those things that cause those emissions.  We need to stop killing people.  We need to stop sinning.

It almost seems because I caved into “Save the Earth” rather than stick up for the “Stop Killing People” motto, the Catholic anti-environmentalists, who have become legion and ferocious in recent times, are now using as the BIG FAT RED HERRINGS (or THE MAIN POINTS) the Pope’s side issues regarding the dangers of some environmentalisms tending to be anti-human, or pro-abortion in their overzealousness to control the population (supposedly to reduce harm to the environment so their own children can thrive), or amounting to neopaganism.  It’s as if the denialists are saying that these problems need to be fixed first, then we might consider turning off lights not in use, maybe in a few decades.  They totally avoid even touching on the popes’ or bishops’ main point of “stop harming the environment and life thereupon.”

The idea of being called to STEWARDSHIP and to being STEWARDS of God’s creation is also misleading regarding the situation we are in now.  JPII said in God Made Man Steward of Creation, “Man is no longer the Creator’s “steward”, but an autonomous despot, who is finally beginning to understand that he must stop at the edge of the abyss.”  To me it appears we are worse than despots; we are killers, stewards gone berserk on the attack of that which we’re supposed to care for.  Like parents aborting their child.

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