Thursday, May 19, 2005

Environmentalists - a victim of their own success?

As I saw several stretch Hummers on London's roads this last weekend, I couldn't help but think...where have all the environmentalists gone?

While I'm too young to remember the real raping and pillaging of America's natural highways and byways, I do remember Earth Day celebrations in elementary school, adopting recycling (didn't that seem so radical then?), and learning about the virtues of car-pooling in my driver's ed class.

Yet, I look out at our world today and don't see a real push for caring for the environment. The United State Senate has voted to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and will be voting on the "Clear Skies Act" that, as comedian Al Franken points out, will "clear our skies of birds."

President Bush flatly rejected the Kyoto Treaty and is pushing an energy bill that makes coal our new source of energy for the 21st century.

On a personal level, more people are driving SUVs, buying bigger houses that need more energy to heat and more stuff to fill, and we've stopped eating food that is grown in accordance with nature's methods and cycle. Is this because we no longer see the immediate effect? There has been no Bhopal, Great Smog or Cuyahoga River Fire for this generation. Yet we face massive problems today. We have global warming, deforestation, oil production and consumption, overfishing of our seas and oceans, and a hole in the Ozone.

What will it take for this generation, my generation, to wake up and start to put God's creation over our own personal consumption?

FYI - The guys over at the Breakthrough Institute have published "The Death of Environmentalism." It is a 35 page document asking many of the same questions I have, but with some policies and suggestions on how to rethink/reframe/retake the debate.