Saving the Earth - A personal perspective
Don't Blindly Follow the "Experts"
A lot of people think the environmentalists know the answers to saving the earth. They don't. They are often BADLY mistaken. Always discern, and do the research, and then form your own opinion.
In this Lens, I will talk about what we personally do to help improve the environment, and I will offer insight into environmentalist answers that are dead wrong. I will offer other suggestions about what people can do to help.
I will particularly talk about inholders. Inholders are really the best experts on how to preserve the environment. They chose to live in wilderness areas and are usually very familiar with the ecology where they live, and also are the first line of defense against things like forest fires (often the first to observe them and report them). Inholders live in or near national parks, forests, state parks, and so forth. City dwellers often have very little knowledge of the crucially important issues, yet they are the ones who often have the greatest influence over public policy.
We have been inholders for decades. We understand the area where we live to a much greater degree than city dwellers, or scientists who study biology and ecology. After all, we watch the plants and animals as they come into existence and grow. We work to preserve our little piece of the land, and make it beautiful in a natural state. We watch as the government steals land from inholders.
Or take the inholders in Madera Canyon as another example. There used to be a number of little houses up in Madera Canyon. They were built on land which had been loaned through 99 year leases, and the people who first leased the land and built on it are long gone. I drove up there a few times when some of these houses were still there. I found it as beautiful as I find Summerhaven up on Mount Lemmon. And they're all gone. The government didn't steal their land, but they sure did steal their houses!
There are a few people who have tried to form organizations to support inholders. One of the more successful ones, from my own perspective, had a founder who got distracted on other issues, and the whole effort founders, not to mention the fact that you have a lot of amateurs who go into the courtroom and try to argue the law, and don't have a clue what they are doing. I think this fellow is one of them. I have done the same thing, but the difference was, I spent thousands of hours actually LEARNING the law, and the result is that I have, in general, been much more successful. The people who think they are successful are often simply people who get ignored until the government gets around to them, and then they get squashed like an ant. Don't be one of them. If you want to buck the system, and go into court, STUDY!
Religious views contribute to one's understanding of the environment and the ecology. I will touch on the Christian perspective. We are stewards of the earth, answerable to God. Anything we do to help destroy it is a blight on the beautiful world He created. We are given stewardship of particular parcels of land, when we own them. God established the absolute right of private ownership of land.
The photo is a scene in Sweetwater Wetlands. Sweetwater Wetlands is habitat for many birds; they have recorded nearly 300 species there. The water used to produce the wetlands comes from reprocessing city water. These kinds of areas are present in many parts of the state. You can barely see the mountains in the distance because the trees are so thick.
Unless otherwise noted, photographs are mine.
Courtesy of your local environmentalists
I will give you several examples of how environmentalist perspectives have made things MUCH worse.
The most egregious of these is shown by the devastating forest fires that have denuded many mountain ranges in Arizona. These are a result of the following environmental practices: failure to clear out diseased trees, and banning of logging. Environmentalists like to preserve old growth trees. The problem is, many of these trees become infested with things like beetles, and they just become perfect timber for forest fires. They need to be cleaned out. Loggers cleaned out such trees, and built firebreaks. When they are banned, eventually the forest will become ripe for a huge forest fire. The practice of controlled burns helps prevent devastating forest fires, except when they miscalculate and the fire spreads beyond the controlled burn. Controlled burns also provide the conditions for the new growth of pine trees, which will only sprout in burned ground. The other practice that contributes to forest fires is putting out lightning-caused fires, but I would contend this is probably necessary. If loggers are allowed to manage the forest, it will probably be OK. The forest needs to be managed, and we, as stewards of the earth, are tasked with this responsibility.
Environmentalists opposed the building of a new telescope in Arizona a few years ago. The excuse was that the new telescope would have a negative impact on the allegedly endangered red squirrel. There was a very costly court battle, which we, taxpayers, paid for. In the end, the telescope was built. Notice what happened next. There was a huge forest fire in the habitat of the red squirrel. And the squirrels took refuge in the compound where the telescope had been built. The telescope helped save the red squirrel. The other thing they have noticed is that the red squirrel population has thrived since the telescope was built. The exact reasons for this are not clear, but it is the case. Most likely, the red squirrel is simply a variety and not a separate species anyway. A misunderstanding of life and how it came to be can cause some serious problems with public policy. A correct understanding may have resulted in the knowledge to replace the variety if it had been destroyed.
Global warming is a horrible, horrible myth. It is based on bogus science, promoted by people with an agenda and influential positions, and outright fraud. Don't buy into it. Carbon dioxide is a necessary atmospheric gas which comprises a small percentage of so-called greenhouse gases. Increased carbon dioxide results in more luxuriant plant growth. This provides more habitat for all sorts of species, cools the atmosphere, and increases the world food supply. Human-produced carbon dioxide is a tiny percentage of the CO2 produced by volcanoes. In any case, for the moment the world is cooling off. The increased cold results in the need to burn more wood and fossil fuels to keep homes warm, which results in more CO2. The major cause of global warming is the sun. Clouds also have a major impact, and I haven't seen anyone suggest we should ban clouds.
I will explain and elaborate more below.
What We Do
Our personal contribution to the earth
We own a parcel of land which shares a border with a national park. We are inholders. We have lived here for decades. I have studied the plants extensively. This knowledge is helpful with respect to preserving the natural beauty. We cleared enough land for our home, and left the rest of it in its natural state.
We also recycle as much as possible. Recycling is actually very expensive, because transporting and processing the materials takes more resources, and also, incidentally, requires manufacturing, which entails the production of "greenhouse gases" and other obnoxious materials. But we do it anyway.
I supply my own bags for most groceries (re-usable cold bags), and ask for paper when I don't. Plastic is fragile and breaks easily, and it is bad for the environment.
We compost as much as we can.
We drive old Volvos because they are durable. People don't realize the environmental cost of replacing a car every few years. Even though newer cars may get better gas mileage, they make up for this savings when they are replaced, because manufacturing new cars takes resources and energy.
We built a house with passive solar, and built from locally available and common materials. Our rammed earth house is built with an ancient building method. The outer walls are two feet thick. The temperature here can vary as much as 40 degrees from daytime to nighttime. The walls even out the temperature inside the house, as they pass through the heat of the day at night. The temperature of the home can be lowered by opening windows at night. We keep an air conditioner in only one room of the house. We run no heat in the winter. We don't even HAVE built-in furnace or heaters. The rest of the house never goes above 90 degrees, and is usually comfortable, even in mid-summer. There is a mass wall down the center of our home which is 18 inches thick. This also stores heat. The clerestory windows admit sunlight in winter, and the eaves shade them in summer. Our electric bills are unbelievably low.
Did you know?
Did you know that when people take pharmaceutical drugs, they excrete some, which then wind up in the water? They pollute the rivers and the water tables. The fish population often shows the consequences. It can disrupt the reproduction of many species, which could potentially lead to extinction. If you don't care about your own health and how you destroy your body, then care about this: babies whose parents cannot afford otherwise or who are not breastfed (and even if they are), drink water with these pharmaceuticals in them. They say you are supposed to keep your medicines away from children. Well, DO it. Don't excrete these into the environment. Take care of yourself and stop taking poisons!
We use only natural methods for our health. This means that we do not harm the environment in any way with our health care.
Worldview matters, and false science leads to false worldview
Learn why the theory of evolution is bad science. I will be adding more titles, but these will get you started learning why. The theory of evolution lies underneath many crimes against humanity and the earth. People think they can manipulate others and the earth in detrimental ways. Scratch the surface, and you will find the evolutionary worldview is behind all of it.
The Case For A Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God
by Lee Strobel
This author writes excellent books in which he reports interviews with authorities in various subjects, supporting his case for the Christian faith. This isn't necessarily the best book for beginning, but it is a good one.
by Henry M. Morris
I wish his earlier book were still available. It contained things like charts of various measurements of the age of the earth. This is my second choice.
Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No!
by Duane T. Gish
Duane Gish was a PhD whose specialty is biology. He had an encyclopedic knowledge, and argued persuasively as to why evolution is a serious misinterpretation of the fossil record. I had the opportunity to watch him debate, and it was an exciting privilege.
In the Beginning Was Information
by Dr. Werner Gitt
Werner Gitt argues clearly and persuasively that evolution is impossible because there is no process for producing genetic information, and absent such a process, new organs will not come into being. Somewhat technical.
Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
by Stephen C. Meyer
This is a fairly technical book, but clearly makes the case that information must come from a designer. Intelligent Design theory doesn't discuss WHO the designer is, just makes the case that there has to be one.
I sometimes tell people that environmentalists espouse a Christian view without realizing it.
Know the hymn From Greenland's Icy Mountains?
It contains these words:
"Where every prospect pleases
and only man is vile."
Think about it.— ...
More Environmental Disasters
The Sierra Club wields a lot of influence. At one point, it demanded a new trail in our neighborhood. The reason for the new trail is that the government would have had to purchase a private parcel to provide better use for the old one. There were protests among local homeowners. Among other things, some of the local homeowners (inholders, you see) were aware of a micro-habitat that the new trail would disrupt. The Sierra Club got its way. When you have city slickers who think they know it all overriding local landowners, bad decisions will be made.
The Sierra Club and many other environmentalist organizations think that people are a blight. They don't recognize that people are part of the ecology, and that our actions are required to keep the environment healthy.
Many environmentalists oppose the harvesting of our own oil. I personally haven't decided whether or not fracking is an acceptable practice, but aside from that, keep in mind that when we buy oil from other countries, it is probably being harvested and processed by methods that cause a great deal more pollution than the way we do it. Transporting it here requires a lot of fuel and produces a lot of CO2. It would actually be beneficial to the earth for oil to be used locally as much as possible. You may think that keeping the pollution from poor methods of processing on the other side of the earth would help us. It won't. We share one atmosphere.
There are other problems with alternate methods of producing energy. Wind farms kill a lot of birds, and may disrupt weather patterns. Solar cells are horribly expensive and require the use of materials that are scarce.
Environmentalists are not primarily responsible for other practices that harm the earth. The use of pharmaceutical drugs pollutes the water. They pass through the body. These drugs harm the fish and aquatic life, and get into people's drinking water. The practice of fluoridating the water supply is another real disaster. Not only doesn't it accomplish what it is supposed to, it harms everyone. Bone fractures that result from years of drinking fluoridated water can eat up medical resources.
Genetically modified organisms are a crime against humanity and the earth. The philosophy behind them is, in my opinion, soundly based in the theory of evolution, which is nothing more than a fairy tale. Genetically modified organisms create disease in animals and people, are responsible for the bee colony collapse problem, and result in the growth of super weeds. Millions of acres of farmland have had to be abandoned because of these weeds. If something isn't done soon, there will be mass starvation and millions of people dying from ridiculous diseases. GMOs are not labeled, so the only sure way to avoid them is simply not to eat anything that MIGHT be GMO. That is hardly an acceptable answer, but it is what we do. Even people who claim to be for the poor and downtrodden often support the huge corporations that make billions with these organisms. I'm talking about some of our public officials. Look much more closely at their records and don't accept what they SAY. Look instead at what they DO. We have fascists in high office.
What Other People Are Doing
Things that help the environment
I collect information on things other people do that help the environment. I will present some of these here as I run across them.
Here is an interesting idea. Mushrooms will destroy pollutants in the soil, and create healthy soil which is good for growing crops. As a side benefit, the mushrooms are edible and good for a person's health.
Here is more information:
Here is a family that produces no waste:
Here is an interesting site. I don't know enough about what they are doing, but it is worth reading on the site. I neither recommend them nor reject them at this point.
People who are reclaiming the land, reversing desertification:
Aquaculture is used to raise fish and marine organisms in an enclosed environment:
Using the water from aquaculture for hydroponics can make a viable enclosed system that can raise and grow all the food that a family needs.
There are a number of farms that raise pastured animals. These are usually sources of organic meat and eggs. CAFO (factory farms where animals are tightly caged and fed artificially) meat is unhealthy meat. Small farms are a good source of wholesome and organic food, but rarely can afford the certification process. Buy locally.
Dr. Mercola has an article entitled "Ten Reasons to Buy Local Food." I recommend it. Because of the limit on links, I have to recommend you use a search engine to find the article.
There are farmers' markets in most reasonably sized towns and cities. Some grocery chains also sell healthy food. I like to shop at Trader Joe's because they guarantee that their house brand contains NO GMOs. Whole Foods will have all foods labeled for GMOs and for being organic within five years.
Dr. Mercola also has a huge list of web sites and organizations that will help you find local produce, organic food, and other sustainable foods. The article is entitled, "Promoting Sustainable Agriculture."
I CANNOT recommend the animal welfare groups he lists. Please do not assume that they should be given the time of day.
Union of Concerned Scientists often promotes inaccurate information and ideas.
The Sierra Club has anti-human stands on some issues.
PETA runs a "no-kill" facility that routinely kills animals and dumps them in the trash.
For detailed information of why I cannot support the Humane Society, please see my
lens on this topic.
I am not familiar with some of the organizations he lists. Just use discernment and caution.
Vegetarianism Harms the Earth
Yes, it does!
Vegetarianism destroys health. The vegan diet in particular causes some serious problems with malnutrition. Organic gardening with only vegetable compost will ultimately result in poor soil. Putting manure on the land is vitally important.
It simply would be too expensive to keep animals if you don't eat or sell the meat. Some soft-hearted people think that male animals should not be slaughtered. It simply isn't feasible to keep milk animals if you don't eventually utilize the meat from animals that can't produce milk.
Hunting helps maintain the balance of nature. Without hunting, many species would simply overrun the land, destroying vegetation, and then experiencing mass starvation. Culling in the wild is critical to the survival of wilderness habitat. Obviously, hunting for any reason other than to acquire and eat meat would be irresponsible. The same thoughts apply to fishing.
I have talked to so many vegetarians who have harmed their health with their diet. Even family members have suffered significant health problems from it.
Keeping farm animals and then slaughtering them humanely as we did helps the earth and it helps our health. Farm animals live a privileged life. God actually COMMANDED people to eat meat after Noah's flood, and in fact, the Hebrew used indicates that we WILL eat meat. The price of not eating meat is not acceptable.
There are many parts of the earth that are best suited to grassland. On these areas, it makes sense to raise meat animals. Even grazing cows on land that is primarily desert will eventually restore the soil.
These days, many acres are being devoted to GMOs that should be left as grassland. Important tropical forest is being destroyed in order to plant GMOs. The increase use of pesticides poisons the soil. The use of biofuels results in more grassland and tropical forest being destroyed. Biofuels are a VERY, VERY bad idea.
Tropical forests contain many irreplaceable animals and plants, including medicinal plants.
In India, planting GMOs has resulted in massive crop failure. Many farmers in India have committed suicide by drinking Roundup.
I will be adding much more to this Lens as time permits. Please come back!
Learning to live off the land creates a love for the land
Vital Information at Amazon
I own and have studied most of these books.
Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West: A Guide to Identifying, Preparing, and Using Traditional Medicinal Plants Found in the Deserts and Canyons of the West and Southwest
by Michael Moore
Thorough. Excellent and knowledgeable author.
Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West
by Michael Moore
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West
by Michael Moore
Medicinal Plants of the American Southwest (Herbal Medicine of the American Southwest
by Charles W. Kane
I know the author. He is quite knowledgeable, and knows many different plants.
Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada
by David L. Spahr
Sonoran Desert Food Plants: Edible Uses for the Desert's Wild Bounty
by Charles W. Kane
The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants
The Illustrated Guide to Edible Wild Plants
by Department of the Army
Gathering the Desert
by Gary Paul Nabhan
One of my favorites.
Socialism and Communism Are Bad for the Environment
Voluntary communes excepted
Some further thoughts...
As a government policy, both socialism and communism cause serious harm to the environment.
Private ownership of land is vitally important. People protect what they own. They make their own land productive. When people are not allowed to keep the fruits of their labor, they become parasites on people who are productive. Without sufficient capital, there is insufficient money to clean up the environment and keep it clean. Most of the restoration of the environment has been a result of prosperous companies and individuals who had the money to pay for it. Countries where socialism is predominant usually lack such resources. Socialism is taking its toll on certain European countries, and it is starting to show in a big way. In countries where there is a natural work ethic, it takes a lot longer to destroy the economy, but eventually it does. When too many taxes are collected, people lack the means to restore and preserve the environment.
Attempts at central planning are often serious disasters. Governments that impose socialism and capitalism try to engage in central planning. One of the most egregious examples was when Stalin required people to grow corn in Ukraine. Corn doesn't grow well there. The result was mass starvation.
Lower taxes result in more productivity and more funds available for preserving and restoring the environment. Here's why. Any money taken in taxes goes to government. It doesn't tax itself. The remaining money enters the economy. It changes hands and gets taxed again. The lower the taxes, the more money circulates, and the more often it circulates, it results in more tax revenue than if the tax rate were higher. Even rich people create wealth no matter what they do. They provide jobs, which means more taxpayers. They do this through capital investment. If, on the other hand, they buy something with it, say a yacht, they employ other people who provide this for sale. More taxes are collected.
If the government would stick to what government is supposed to do, the environment would be cleaner.
Poor countries don't have the resources to preserve the environment. Creating prosperity through allowing large families, providing micro-loans, bringing medical help and help to develop agriculture and provide clean wells all help lift people out of poverty. Many Christian missionaries devote their lives to helping third world nations. When the people become more prosperous, and have better assurance their children will survive to adulthood and take care of them in their old age, the birth rate drops.
Socialism hurts poor people the most. If, on the other hand, private charity helps them, they will prosper. But when taxes kill jobs, poor people can't find jobs. Socialism makes people dependent and robs them of their self respect. They become thieves by proxy (through government) instead of adding their productivity.
Abortion causes serious harm to the economy of any nation. I will get into that in another Lens.
Both socialism and communism, and also fascism, are based on the theory of evolution and its view that human beings are just another animal. We don't have rights to property.
In the Old Testament, God gave each Israelite family a parcel of land, and they were required to erect cairns of stones on the corners of their property. This delineated the boundaries, and other people were not allowed to encroach. People could mortgage their property in time of need, but every 50 years, mortgage holders were required to return the land to the family.
Kibbutzim in Israel worked fairly well for awhile because of the Jewish work ethic. They are failing now. In kibbutzim the children are raised communally. Ultimately, this is bad for children and for society. Israel engaged in a lot of socialism because they had to absorb so many penniless immigrants. They will probably move to a more capitalistic society as they have been doing.
I know of one example of a VOLUNTARY commune that works. Communes must be small and totally voluntary. They generally must have a charismatic leader and some kind of unifying religion. The exception I know about is The Farm in Tennessee.
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is the ONLY environmentalist organization I support without reservation. They appear to have kept their advocacy clean of all erroneous ideas. Most other environmentalist groups promote evolution and abortion, and often their ideas for saving the environment are detrimental anyway.
The Nature Conservancy's mission is to maintain and preserve wilderness lands. They acquire their lands through inheritance, and buying land with donations. They trade land with the government. They make their land available to responsible visitors in most cases, and charge a nominal fee for access. I have spent some time on one of their preserves near Patagonia, Arizona, and it was an excellent experience.
I wish the government would turn all the national parks and forests over to them for management!
Theory of Evolution
Do you believe in the theory of evolution?
Environmentalists for Life
Passing the Torch
When I was in my 20's, I was one of a handful of people that launched a civil rights organization. I poured all my efforts and resources into that activity. But I saw a need for another organization that as far as I know, has never been formed, and needs to be. I talk about this need below, and the hope that someone reading this Lens will take up this cause and develop it into something influential
The worldview, or Weltanschauung, you hold, will determine what side of an issue you favor. For the purpose of this Lens, I will consider the worldviews that influence various stances on issues related to environmentalism.
There are basically two different worldviews, with many nuances in each. One is naturalism, and the other is belief in a being who created the universe and designed the living things within it.
Naturalism involves believing in the Theory of Evolution. I will write more extensively on this topic later, but for now allow me to summarize the idea. The Theory of Evolution is a proposition in science that holds that every living creature on Earth was developed through chance, and has (except for the lowest forms) ancestors that are different from itself, but considered less developed. Different traits that make an organism more or less able to survive in the local environment will result in some changes dying out, and others prevailing. This is called Survival of the Fittest. Science will not consider any forces that involve supernatural events or beings. Science will not allow anything that cannot be measured. (Oops! Except it acknowledges emotions like love; they exist, even though we have no way of quantifying them, and science also cannot test the Theory of Evolution, which is made up of a huge body of conclusions that are not necessarily based on anything.) The fossil record is seen as evidence of eons of time during which many different kinds of organisms developed, thrived for a time, and then went extinct (except when it’s not, such as the evolutionist I heard speak who said he would like to ignore the fossil record.) I can’t pretend to give a totally accurate summary of the implications of the Theory of Evolution, since I don’t believe in it, but I hope this will suffice for now. The Theory of Evolution has led people to believe it is acceptable to deliberately eliminate the unfit (people with a different skin color, or different age or level of disability), or to enslave them. It has led people to believe that the rich industrialist is more worthy than the assembly line worker, or than children. I hate to say it, but the world’s most deadly tyrants, who killed millions of their own people, were generally atheists or believed in the Theory of Evolution. Human beings are just another form of animal. And we are allowed to kill animals for any reason at all. Yet, there is an element in that same group of people that thinks we should never kill any animal (don’t ask them what they do to mosquitoes), and that animals have the same rights we do. The fact that most animals don’t have a clue about any of these rights really doesn’t seem to matter. Human beings are destructive, so for the sake of the animals, the fewer of us, the better, and they will often embrace some pretty inhumane methods for achieving this goal. This is how I see it, anyway.
There are religions that I won’t be discussing here, such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and others. That is another discussion.
The other worldview involves belief in God, Someone Who created the universe and all living things, out of nothing at all. Human beings were made in God’s image and for that reason, we have rights that belong to human beings alone, apart and separate from our duty to care for animals and plants, to act as worthy stewards of what belongs to God, not free to despoil or destroy, but required to preserve, maintain, and improve the environment. We are not free to take any innocent life, whether it be the unborn, a disabled person, or a person of another skin color. There is only one race: the human race.
Here is what I am NOT saying. I am NOT saying that a particular individual who believes in the Theory of Evolution will commit atrocities. I am NOT saying that you, the reader of this Lens, is somehow lesser than I if you disagree with me on basic worldview. I am NOT saying all environmentalists ascribe to a false worldview. I am talking about the general trends I see, and how they look through my own eyes.
Another Pair of Paradigms
First Example - Forests
Do you think human beings are part of the ecology, and that we are integral to the success of the habitable parts of the planet, or do you think we are nothing but a scourge, who has no business in wilderness areas, or even existing at all? This is an important distinction. As I will show, the evidence is in favor of us being part of the ecology. Our management and stewardship are vital to maintaining the vitality of the ecosystem. We were appointed to manage and nourish the earth.
Let me give you an example. When human beings do not manage the forests, they burn. Forest fires are part of the cycle of life. However, the size and devastation of the fires, and whether or not things will regrow, depend on whether or not we manage the forests. Environmentalists have, collectively, stopped most forest management, and the damage has been severe. Loggers used to clear out dead trees. Now they are left behind, and beetles from the dead trees infest other trees and kill them. Dead trees are like tinder. If they get set ablaze, they will burn vast tracts of land, which will make it more difficult for wildlife to escape the fires as well. Loggers used to build fire breaks. This would limit the size of forest fires. Forest employees used to cause controlled burns. These were intended to keep the forest in good health rather than allowing an entire mountain range to succumb to a forest fire. We also put out forest fires, but in so doing, we may leave unhealthy parts of the forest behind, which will burn later. So there has to be a balance.
Forests provide shelter and nourishment for wildlife. If there are too many animals, they will strip the land of edible food, and many will starve. For this reason, controlled hunting, to keep the wildlife population down to a sustainable level, is beneficial to forest wildlife in the long run. Human beings were meant to take meat from wild populations, for food, and our taking is part of what maintains the balance. A wisely administered program for game hunting and fishing helps maintain that balance.
Several years ago, environmentalists decided the Red Squirrel was an endangered species. Please note that if you believe in the Theory of Evolution, you may not recognize that the Red Squirrel is most likely simply a variety of a much more common type of squirrel. This can pose problems. But anyway, to get back to my narrative… When some astronomers decided to build a new telescope on a local peak, the environmentalists put up a howl because they felt that the construction would harm the red squirrel. So they filed suit and caused all kinds of havoc. This greatly increased the cost of the telescope for no good reason. The telescope was eventually built anyway, and the red squirrel population actually THRIVED at the site, doubling their population size very quickly. Then there was a devastating forest fire in the mountains. Red squirrels took refuge in the telescope compound, and were saved. There are plenty of examples of where reasonable use of the land has actually benefited the wildlife. Environmentalists are often far too eager to impose their will on everyone else, through laws and regulations. For many of them, though they don’t want to admit it, their real desire is to wield power over others. Environmentalism is simply a means to do so. I’m not talking about sincere people. I am talking about those who exploit the movement (and there are plenty of them, unfortunately). Power-hungry environmentalists don’t bother to find out what would be best for the environment, and when they set out to do things a certain way, it is much more likely to be dead wrong than helpful.
Let each person own his own parcel and be responsible for it, because when you own it, you take care of it. And that’s what stewardship under God is all about in the first place. Don’t try to use violence and force to deprive landowners of their rights to own and use their own land. Sure, some people will abuse the land and even destroy it, even though they own it. But in the vast majority of cases, owners WANT to keep their land beautiful and preserve it. When it comes to housing developers, there is more of a tendency to be destructive. But for individual owners, that is the polar opposite from being a developer.
What I am NOT saying
and what I AM
I am NOT saying that just because you favor government controls to protect the environment, you believe in the Theory of Evolution.
I am NOT saying that just because you believe in the Theory of Evolution, you favor government controls to protect the environment.
I am NOT saying that just because you want to control the environment, that you are ignorant of what would be best for the environment.
What I AM saying is that even if you accept the Theory of Evolution, wanting government to control what people do with their private property for the purpose of protecting the environment, runs contrary to the instructions given by the Creator. This is particularly true in light of the fact that God gave strict instructions about private property to the Israelites. He gave each family a specific plot of land. The family was to build cairns of stones at each corner of the property, to define the property lines. Nobody was allowed to disturb these. The family was instructed to leave 10% of their harvest for gleaners, people who were poor, and who could then gather food. If a family mortgaged their property, the property had to be returned to the owners by the mortgagor at the end of 50 years (there were 50 year jubilees when this was done, so sometimes a mortgagor would have to return the property much earlier than 50 years down the road.)
What I AM saying is that if a person wants to control a piece of property, he needs to BUY it first, not just get government to demand certain behavior on the part of property owners.
What I AM saying is that if someone uses his property in a way that pollutes other people’s property, he has a legal duty to restore the other property to its original condition, and stop polluting.
What I AM saying is that God gave us STEWARDSHIP of the land, and only HE can make demands on how we are to treat the property we own.
What I AM saying is that this stewardship entails responsibilities directly to GOD, to protect the animals and plants on the property. We are allowed to landscape our property. This is a mandate. This may mean leaving it in natural condition but making sure that the ecology is preserved through direct action if need be. That duty is to GOD alone, not to the government, and not to self-appointed environmentalists.
What I AM saying is that carelessness and wanton destruction are NOT within the will of God, and the owner has the responsibility to make sure he doesn’t engage in any of these things.
What I AM saying is that the “geo-libertarians” (an oxymoron) and Georgists are violating the will of God, Who established the right to private ownership of land. Georgism is socialist and collectivist in nature, and has no place among people who believe in liberty. We are material beings. We require food, clothing, and shelter. All of these things come from the land. If you sever the people from their land, tyranny will follow. It has always happened in the past, and it will always happen in the future. We cannot exercise liberty without the right to property, including land.
Sure, I decry developers who go around bulldozing land and building hideous collectivist housing such as apartments and condominiums on it. But the current practices are NOT the way to fix this problem. Letting people keep what they earn will go a long ways toward fixing the problem, because people will aspire to have decent individually-built homes, and will buy them. Changing monetary policies so that people are less likely to enrich themselves to the point where they can buy large tracts of land and develop it will also help. One of the major ones is property tax. Property tax is a violation of God’s will, and destroys the concept of property. During Old Testament times, landowners who farmed or raised animals were required to bring a tithe from what they PRODUCED, which was used to sustain the working priests. We don’t have priests. We don’t owe a tithe to those who do not exist. Government officials are not priests. Neither are the poor. And indoctrinating children in government “schools” is also contrary to God’s will. God gave the responsibility to educate the children to their PARENTS. The parents may delegate some of that responsibility by paying for a school education, or by allowing the church to run schools for them. They may not plunder property from property owners to support Government Indoctrination Centers (GICs).
Finally, what I AM saying is that it is government’s duty to get out of the way and allow the property owner to manage his property in accordance with God’s mandate. Government’s sole responsibility is to provide courts so that people can litigate against anyone who damages his property (including the plants and animals).
Am I espousing an absolutist position? Yes, I am! I will apply what I am saying to this question.
and the Bambi Complex
Some environmentalists are against hunting. However, the environment is DESIGNED for us to hunt. Without well managed hunting (and I do support government-issued permits for land it manages, as well as privately issued permits for land held privately), certain species will multiply to the point where they will strip the land of vegetation, leading to mass starvation of the species in the long run. Starvation is very inhumane.
I enjoyed the movie Bambi immensely. However, there is reason to believe that the movie anthropomorphized the animals to the point that some environmentalists think they should never be killed for any reason, including to feed human beings. They ignore that all carnivorous animals also kill, and they do not do so humanely.
There is a distinction between how we hunt and how wild animals hunt each other. Unlike carnivorous animals, sometimes our hunting involves no suffering on the part of the animal taken. Ideally, we should always kill humanely, to minimize suffering.
A Unique Relationship
We should follow their example
The black madrone butterfly (Eucheira socialis) is indigenous to a small part of Mexico, and inhabits only five species of trees. Sadly, the number of these trees is declining, due to mismanagement. The butterfly has a very unusual relationship with man. The caterpillars spin tough bags made of double-stranded silk. They are so strong local natives use them as containers and bandages.
The pupae are eaten by the natives, and for this reason, some scientists worried about the possibility it would become extinct. However, they learned that the Indians cultivate the butterfly by moving silk bags from trees that have too many bags to trees with no bags. This helps maintain the population of butterflies.
This is a good example of proper management of the earth’s resources, in keeping with God’s command to exert stewardship over the earth. Our attitude is most important. If we think of living things as being there by accident, we have no reason for preserving a species, because it is a normal part of life for species to become extinct. However, if we recognize each species as a gift from God, something we are to preserve, we develop a new respect and do a much better job of taking care of all living things. Many people who have only a faint memory of God, a few pieces of knowledge, still sense their responsibility and role in managing living things. It is not just people who know God who have this knowledge. We are all gifted with this if we will cultivate it.
Thank you to CreationMoments.com for some of this information.
The photo is by Notafly and is licensed under Creative Commons attribution, share alike license 3.0 and Gnu documentation license 1.2.
What Could the Massacre of 40,000 Elephants Possibly Teach Us?
Before you begin to read this section, please read this article:
Human beings customarily kept herds of cattle, and these would graze the land. As they grazed, they released urine and manure on the grass, and trampled it down. Because of this, they moved on, and did this to a new area. This actually causes the land to become wetter and more fertile, resulting in the reversal of desertification. The person responsible for setting up national parks in Africa, Allan Savory arranged that local people were to be removed from the land. As soon as this was done, the land began to deteriorate. Savory concluded that elephants were overgrazing, and so 40,000 elephants were slaughtered. The land got worse. Savory learned from his mistakes, and now advocates letting large herds graze the land.
The article goes on to say that when farmers convert from grazing cattle to planting corn, this also encourages the deterioration of the land. It goes into the question of genetically engineered corn, describing how this is even worse. The increase of corn and other carbohydrates in the American diet has caused a deterioration in health. Grazed cattle are superior in nutritional value to cattle raised on grain (which is often genetically engineered as well).
Grazing animals on the land also reduces agricultural carbon emissions, and binds carbon and methane into the soil. Factory farming requires more land for the growing of grains, than the grass that could feed the same cattle. In factory farming, animals are confined to small areas and not allowed to roam and graze. It produces significant air pollution, and other problems. Factory farming results in the use of antibiotics because cattle will not remain healthy. The cattle are being fed GMO grain.
We can learn other lessons from this article, if we put 2 and 2 together. Human beings were designed to be omnivores. A vegetarian diet is not healthy. Likewise, a vegan diet is much worse. Red meat contains several substances that actually help regulate weight, and perform other useful functions in the body. The manure from cattle and other grazing animals is vital to the health of an organic farm. If you don't ever use manure to fertilize, eventually the land loses its vitality. Human beings were likewise designed to digest meat. Our digestive system is clearly intended for the diet of an omnivore. We are part of the balance of nature, of the ecology. We must use our stewardship wisely, but the earth depends on us for our management.
Native tropical lands in the Americas are also being cleared to plant soy, resulting in the loss of precious resources, including many species of beautiful animals and plants, and medicinal plants of great value.
I have PERSONALLY seen what a difference it makes when land is grazed. Patagonia Lake State Park is located in southern Arizona. Most of the surrounding area is desert. This is the way most land is, in southern Arizona. However, on the east end of the lake is a flat area with hills on several sides. Cattle are allowed to graze in this area. The character of this land is totally different. It is not desert. There is a thick bosque which provides habitat for birds, and as a consequence, this is considered a birding area. Obviously, there are water birds on the lake, but most of the songbirds and other land birds concentrate in this area. The floor of the area is covered with grass, patches of manure, and boggy areas. Yes, BOGGY AREAS in the middle of the desert. You have to watch where you step. You can end up sticking your foot in a boggy area and getting stuff all over your shoes! I have seen the reversal of desertification through cattle grazing with my own eyes!
Other parts of Arizona are open to grazing. There are large areas of grassland along the road up into Madera Canyon, and these are grazed. There is a lot of grass. There are also grasslands between Sonoita and the mountains due east. There are also grape orchards, and the grapes are used to make wine. As soon as the grazing area ends, it's desert. Obviously, the key to reversing desertification in Arizona is to graze large herds of cattle. Don't get me wrong. I love the desert and the desert plants. But obviously, there needs to be a reversal of the desertification that we are experiencing worldwide, and the grazing of cattle in Arizona is doing our small part.
Environmentalism and Legal Abortion
Most environmentalist organizations support human abortion. But this is not compatible with the stand in favor of the environment. There are many reasons why.
1. Human unborn babies are part of the ecology. We need to preserve them in at least the same manner as animal babies.
2. Human beings bring with them some necessary skills: ingenuity, stewardship. The more human beings, the more problems we will solve.
I won't support an environmentalist organization that favors legal abortion. I don't know of many that don't. As far as I know, Nature Conservancy does not. They have a number of wonderful qualities that in my mind make them unique. For one thing, they seem to be one of the few (if not the only) environmentalist organizations that don't hunger for power. They quietly do their thing. It's all private. No government coercion involved. Yes, they trade lands with the government. Personally, I'd like to see the government turn the management of all the national parks and forests over to Nature Conservancy. I think they would do a much better job of running them. Let Nature Conservancy hire the good employees from the parks and forests. If you want to visit one of their preserves, in my experience they charge you $5. That is entirely reasonable. Much of their land is donated by individuals, sometimes from their estates. Nature Conservancy can agree to allow certain land uses that will improve things for everyone (such as grazing cattle in arid places), and otherwise, they preserve the beauty and make it accessible. After the last time the government just closed the parks for no good reason, it becomes glaringly obvious that the government is a poor steward, and the constant fighting, and seizure of property without compensation needs to be stopped. Once more, I urge you to support The Nature Conservancy.
It's Up to You!
Do you have a passion for the beauty God gave us? Do you have the right temperament and skills? If so, why not start an Environmentalists for Life organization? Let me know if you want to do this, and I'll tell you what I know about starting such a group, and I will give it publicity.
Such an organization is critically needed. Pray about it, talk it over with your loved ones. If you just want to be a member, let me know that, too, and if someone else starts one, I'll pass that information on.
I'm retired. I spend my days birding. My days of starting something like this are over. So go get busy. :D