Today is International Day of the Forests, which is a UN-created initiative, so we know it will be chock-full of progressive nonsense. Yet at the same time, some truth is woven into it. Our job as conservatives is to separate the wheat from the chaff, not to throw out the entire bushel:
“Participants stressed the broad importance of forest ecosystems and noted that forests comprise an inter-dependent web of animals, plants and microorganisms, which together provide a wide range of goods and services beyond carbon sequestration. These include biodiversity conservation, rainfall generation and products that are crucial to the livelihoods of local forest dependent and indigenous peoples as well as to the economies of many countries.
Those attending recognized the importance of building on the vast knowledge and experience that exists on sustainable forest management (SFM) and called on negotiators to consult with forest stakeholders as they develop climate policy.”
So far, mostly so good, but then:
“Include forests in climate mitigation and adaptation mechanisms and strategies
Ensure full inclusion and participation of civil society in international, regional, national and local decision-making processes
Recognize and respect the rights of women, poor people and Indigenous Peoples”
As conservatives, we can leave behind all the blah-blah about women’s rights and indigenous peoples, instead focusing on how important forests are for all of mankind’s well-being.
The problem with environmentalists is that they are nearly all leftists/liberals/progressives, and therefore, lacking in true religion, they resort to worshiping the earth (Gaia) and despising humanity as the corrupter of their god, the natural world. Yet they have correctly identified a serious problem: Mankind is generally not behaving as good stewards of the garden that the true, living God gave us.
Conservatives rightly identify the false religion of leftist environmentalism as the paganism that it is, but instead of working on the actual problem (poor stewardship), they get stuck in reacting foolishly against environmentalists. This is how we end up with childish idiocy like Carbon Belch Day, which occurs one week from today; here is their pledge:
Yes! I will increase my CO2 output on March 28th! I am joining people from all walks of life in taking the Carbon Belch Day Pledge! On March 28th I will do my best to increase my CO2 output and unleash a Carbon Belch on the planet. I do this with no fear or concern that I am destroying the planet, but rather to show the absurdity of the “going green” wackos who want to make something out of nothing.
Conservative Christians should not participate in this nonsense, which surely cannot please our Lord. Rather than behaving just like environmentalists, we conservatives ought simply to point out where environmental alarmists are wrong and then move forward on fixing those areas where they are right.
So where are they right? I believe they are right when they say that forests are of great importance to the health of our earthly garden and its inhabitants. The reason we should care about sustaining forests (and we should) is not because we hate humanity (as environmentalists seem to) but because we love humanity and want forests to serve human flourishing.
I do not worship Gaia and I am not a climate alarmist, but I recognize my role in taking care of the true, living God’s garden. To that end, I want to manage my own little piece of God’s garden as well as I can and I want our earthly governments to enact sane, reasonable policies that both serve mankind and manage our natural world well without giving in to hysterical, left-wing, human-hating climate alarmism.
And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Genesis 2:8-9, 15
[Note: This is the first in what will be an ongoing series called “Separating the Wheat from the Chaff”, in which I will consider the health of our natural world and environment in the context of conservatism and Christianity in an attempt to extract the wheat and discard the liberal, progressive, Gaia-worshiping chaff. I’d be grateful for reader input on these issues.]