The topic is not a particularly cheerful topic. There are things that I would rather talk about such as Dolly Parton’s wedding anniversary — which is also my birthday. But, I’m going to talk about the relationship between environmentalism and evolution.
And you may ask yourself, what does this environmentalism have to do with me – if anything? I hope to show you that environmentalism in its current incarnation is not so much about a clean healthy environment — but ultimately about a clash between life, love, truth and human freedom. And we are called to fight for truth until Jesus comes, and we get to rest under the shade of those trees in Revelation 22.
I preface my remarks with a verse of Scripture—Acts 16.
And at midnight Paul & Silas prayed and sang praises unto God. And the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep and seeing the prison doors opened, he drew out his sword and would have killed himself. He thought the prisoners had escaped.
In 2010 in the city of Goya in Argentina, Francisco Lotero, and Miriam Coletta ate a meal with their two beautiful children. A precious two year old son and a darling 7-month old daughter. Not long after the meal, that same day, Francisco and Miriam committed suicide leaving this little girl orphaned. Suicides are something that leave us shaken and wondering, those of us who are healthy and prospering, We wonder at the fragility of life, and how like a vapor human beings are. This world is often painful and filled with a thousand slings and arrows. If we are honest with ourselves, we feel keenly the madness, we see the struggles, we feel the heartache, and that might entice one to do the unthinkable. Still we wonder why it is that they did it. The Philippian jailer that I quoted above was driven to think that suicide was an out. You remember that Jesus Christ Himself was tempted by Satan to throw himself off the pinnacle of the temple. We hold them at bay – such wicked thoughts—as we live by the grace of God.
Sarah Irving, Toni Vernelli and Francisco Lotero. Do any of these names mean anything to you? If you have heard these names before today, it is probably because you have taken the time read about environmentalism and the green movement. Each of these people have in one way or another recommended considered or committed murder and suicide. And they rationalized their choices on the basis of perceived environmental problems.
Most young girls dream of babies and marriage, but Sarah Irving had nightmares over the perils of global warming. The loss of animal species and the destruction of wilderness, perhaps prompted by teen fears led her to the extraordinary decision to never have a child. Sarah explained her ethic as follows: I realized that a baby would pollute the planet and that never having a child was the most environmentally responsible thing to do.” Sarah’s latest boyfriend Marc, says “Sarah and I live as green a life as possible. We don’t have a car. We bicycle everywhere instead, and we NEVER fly. We recycle, use low energy light bulbs, eat only organic locally produced food. In short we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. But all this would be undone if we had a child. That’s why I had a vasectomy. It would be morally wrong for me to add to climate change and the destruction of the earth.”
Mark & Sarah, who is a regular columnist for the ethical consumer magazine, have very colorful, thought-provoking morals and ethics. But they pale next to the human blowtorch that is Toni Vernelli.
Vernelli is an attractive 30-something and like the aforementioned Sarah she cares so deeply for the trees and animals that she has denied herself children for the sake of the planet. About 13 years ago she aborted her first child. It wasn’t that she was too busy in her job, coordinating the European ops for the animal rights group PETA, she just “passionately wanted to save the planet––not produce a new life that would only add to the problem.” Eleven years ago she ended the life of her second unborn child, and finally managed to track down a doctor who would agree to sterilize her (though she was only 26 years old). She now enjoys what she considers a satisfying vegan lifestyle. She claims to have a very small carbon footprint, and she has no children. Her only frustration is the occasional person who fails to appreciate her impregnable (pardon the pun) perspective. “When I tell people why I don’t want or have children, they look at me as if I was planning to commit murder!”
One cannot help but feel sorry for the victims of the propaganda put out by vicious people like Toni Vernelli. According to environmentalists—in fact, according to almost everybody that you read in the media today—the state of the world becomes ever more precarious. Whether most people realize it, the underlying philosophy guiding these “ethical” decisions that I have described is environmentalism—which invariably teaches that nature is sacred, and intrinsically valuable. It teaches the disastrous collapse of the biosphere because of humans and it believes in the kinship of all life. Many (though not all) environmentalists are hostile to humanity because they think of people as a threat to the natural world—which they see as best left untouched by human hands.
And we find ourselves, especially the younger people who are growing up in this Social Justice generation, conditioned by the idea that somehow Mother Nature always knows best. They forget entirely that according to their worldview we are part of nature—nothing more than part of nature. Sin for environmentalists is interfering with nature, but subduing and ruling nature is that which God actually commands us to do (Genesis 1:28).
Well. Despite the doom-saying, human welfare—in a host of categories—including health and education and wealth, is actually improving. This is largely because of the continual improving of the earth by mankind, resulting in cleaner air, water, better food, less starvation, and so on. So you might be asking yourself the question—as I asked myself—what should one make of the green movement then? It sounds in many cases, good. Certainly the dues-paying rank & file members of environmentalists groups—and there are many well-heeled environmentalists groups—are probably well-meaning. Many profess faith in Jesus Christ, they care deeply about the world in which they live. They should.
But unfortunately, in our age of fast-moving pictures, the public image of environmentalism is fuzzy bunnies and baby polar bears and attractive celebrities from Hollywood, and they easily deceive soft-hearted folks, sometimes even Adventists.
I count among the victims of the green propaganda, the green Argentinian Lotero family. What I refrained from telling you before, Francisco Lotero and his wife first shot their two children, and then they killed themselves. In a note left on the kitchen table, they explained that their suicide was prompted by their fears of global warming. Their toddler son died from a gunshot wound to the back. By God’s grace their seven month old daughter survived a gunshot wound to the chest after the bullet missed all the vital organs. She had to stay there for three days before she was found in her own blood. It’s a terrible thing to think about.
One can only imagine the fevered discussions around their kitchen table and the probably painful conclusion that the only way out, the only way for them to reduce their carbon footprint and have a role in saving the planet was to kill their children. I mention these examples to make the point that ideas have consequences. Every one of these adults demonstrated by their actions that they feel morally constrained by their devotion to Mother Earth to behave & believe as they do/did.
They are not irrational in the sense that they have depraved opinions and reach them thoughtlessly. It’s not willy nilly—they have come to these decisions as the product of a very clear ideological stance. They have deeply held religious convictions. All three of these people are deeply religious. In the end, if you think about it – they loved death. Religion is the root of any culture and environmentalism has become a fully-fledged religion.
The word environmentalism comes from the French – meaning surroundings. That means everything. It means literally everything-ism. And it explains why environmentalism is so inherently totalitarian in its impulses. Hug the earth. Kill the humans.
Why do the Toni Vernelli’s of the world believe this? What message should one gain from their words? Not just to be shocked – but what is their message? I’d like to answer by pointing out the ubiquity of these ideas in present society. They are everywhere in our current culture.
These ideas are in the classroom to the movie theatre to the church pulpit (in fact, very heavily in the pulpit). And—of course—in modern day Gomorrah, Hollywood. I’m not recommending movies, but James Cameron’s sci-fi extravaganza Avatar suggests that humans are a kind of universal filth – infecting the entire cosmos. Cameron said of his movie “Look, at this point I’m less interested in making money from the movie and more interested in saving the world.” This begs the question “From what exactly—or from whom—is he trying to save the world?” The theme of the movie (which has humans as evildoers and tree worshippers as the good guys) may give you a clue.
Prince Philip, the president of the worldwide fund for nature and husband to the queen, the head of state for the UK–makes the message a little bit clearer. “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.”
Let’s consider another person with influence—Stanford professor Paul Erhlic, (whose name means ‘honest’ in German). He is a close acquaintance with previous president Obama’s science czar Dr. John Holdren. Ehrlic agonizes over a changing wild landscape while writing
“A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells. The population explosion is an uncontrolled explosion of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer.”
Are you getting the message? He wants less people.
Question for you. Do you think that we humans are special creatures in a class of our own, quite separate from—and superior to trees? (Matthew 10:31.)
What is the message that environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Sierra club, Earth First, the Pope and others consistently preach? According to the founder of PETA, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” Is that clear enough, friends? Clear as mud.
Such esoteric egalitarianism teaches that no one, least of all humans, should get all hoity-toity and act as if they are better than anything else. That’s the message that we are hearing as it relates to animals.
Let me quote it in another way from the founder of the Sierra Club.
“Nature’s object in making animals and plants might possibly be first of all the happiness of each one of them—not the creation of all for the happiness of one. Why ought man to value himself as more than an infinitely small composing unit of the one great units of creation?”
When you begin to think like this you ask questions like, “Is it worse to cut down a tree, or to murder a human? To a philosophically conscientious and consistent environmentalist—“It depends.”
The late Carl Amery, the catholic philosopher who founded the German green party, summed it up like this
“We, in the green movement aspire to a cultural model in which the killing of a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal that the sale of six year old children to Asian brothels.”
Yet ironically, in spite of all the hype (particularly since the 60’s) population growth is one of the least problems facing humanity. Rapid aging followed by depopulation not seen on a scale since the fall of the Roman Empire threatens the modern world. See David Read’s article A Culture of Death.
Philip Longman writes in his book “The Empty Cradle” the startling forecast that amidst the demographic collapse that faces the (western world) America’s Christians are going to be the ones breeding themselves into a position of global dominance. For the most part, western culture has turned its back on God, resulting in mortal existence which is intolerable without the promise of immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). Animals breed and foster their young out of instinct. Mankind does so out of love. That is how we exercise the God-given desire to be fruitful and have dominion. We hope that something of our mortal existence survives to continue our family, our culture, our faith.
Perhaps now you can grasp why suicide is seen as good by those who have no hope, or who have misplaced hope. Why it is seen as a legitimate response to fears of environmental disaster? To them it is the end of the world. There is nothing more.
As David Goldman writes in his book A Father’s Love
“The world faces a danger far worse than the worst green imaginings. The environmentalist who wants to shrink the world’s population to reduce carbon emissions will spend her declining years in misery, for there will not be enough Europeans alive a generation from now to pay for her pension and medical care.
For the first time in human history, the birth rates of the whole developed world is well below replacement. And a significant part of it has passed the demographic point of no return. The Toni Vernelli’s of this world are in for a shock. And knowing this, that there is a demographic collapse pending (it has already started in Japan and certain countries in Europe) knowing this helps answer the question: What are the foundations of the green movement? What are the foundations of the religion of environmentalism?
In part 2 we talk about Evolution.