Praise the Lord, not Petroleum
As a futurist, as a spotter of trends, the most interesting news item this week to me was the fact that 85 of the most influential Evangelical Christian leaders in American rose up to state that it was god’s will to fight global warming.
Seriously folks, this is a really big deal, a direction shifting event. I have been predicting (and hoping) that inevitably the religions of the world, starting with those based on the Bible would sooner or later have to embrace the larger issues of the environmental movement. If God created earth, all its creatures, and man in his own image, why would he want us to slowly, systematically destroy it, them and us? The bible speaks to God’s creation of the world and man in his own image. To my knowledge there isn’t much in the ‘great book’ on petroleum and the sanctity of the internal combustion engine.
But the key point here is that these 85 key Evangelical Christian leaders came together in a powerful visionary statement that it is time for those of the faith to rise up and fight global warming. And they conveyed this message in a full page ad in the New York Times! Yes!!
Here is why this is such a profoundly important event. The dependency on oil is the greatest immediate threat to the future of humanity. Thomas L. Friedman, in some of his recent columns, and James Howard Kunstler in his blog and books have written very clearly about this, they are not alarmist at all. For humanity to get to the next stage of its’ evolution, it needs to solve this problem, come up with renewable energy sources and decide that we cannot destroy this glorious spaceship called Earth by being stupid and ignorant.
This position is the standard position of environmentalist around the world. The environmental, or Green movement, has historically been more embraced the ‘left’ than the ‘right’. The right has come down on the side of free market, individual freedom and making profits by meeting demand, and a general debunking of the worst fears of the Green movement. Dick Cheney is the petroleum poster boy for this position.
It is also clear to anyone who has studied politics in America over the last decade that Evangelical Christians have been a big base for conservative Republicans, fueling them to control of Congress and the Presidency. These folks have supported politicians whose position is that natural beauty and wilderness is more beautiful if it has oil underneath. What are animals and trees and clean air compared to the drilling of oil? The ‘who cares about deer and bears when I want to drive a gas guzzling SUV’ position.
Might as well face it we’re addicted to oil.
Now, the largest, most morally anchored supporters of the ‘Moral Right’, of Republicans, are saying ‘hey, it is time to change’. The people have spoken, which means the politicians will most likely listen. The Republicans, and the Right in general have been more environmentally resistant than the Democrats and the Left. To have a huge segment of the Republican/Right base state that global warming is a true and large issue will change the conversation about this subject. Simply put, there is not another group that could so positively impact the cause of fighting global warming by taking a stand as these 85 Evangelical Christian leaders. Way to go guys, you are going to make a difference.
Praise the Lord, hybrids and renewable sources of energy!