Are you celebrating “Earth Day”?

Well, today is the eagerly anticipated and breathlessly celebrated annual festival of everything “earthy”…Earth Day 2008!  Happy Earth Day everyone.  Are you celebrating?  Did you even remember?

               Unofficial Earth Day Flag

In doing a little research on Earth Day, I was amazed to find out that the first Earth Day in the US dates all the way back to 1970!  Can you believe that we have been celebrating this special day for 38 years?  I must say that if I had been asked to guess how long Earth Day had been recognized, I probably would have offered 20 years as my hunch for how long we have yielded  to the environmental hypochondria we are engaged in these days.  But, no, 38 years of fear and prediction of the eminent demise of our planet.

All the snarkiness aside, I do believe that as humans we need to appreciate and care for the planet we live on.  In the Genesis account of creation, God gave specific instructions to Adam to care of his garden home.  I think the same imperative applies to us.  There is no question that we have NOT cared for our home in all cases and our greed, selfishness and shortsightedness have produced regrettable messes that are difficult if not impossible to repair.  But it is equally true that to too great a degree, we have overreacted on the basis of questionable science that has been regarded by some as established fact (when it is not) and made compensatory decisions that are equally foolish.  With concerns over the price of oil and the instability of oil producing nations of the middle east, we continue to sit on huge underground and undersea oil reserves that could help to both stabilize prices as well as insure our nation’s relative independence from foreign nations who produce oil, many of which are hostile to our country.  The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, completed in 1977 is proof that good science, engineering and construction can both extend the use of our OWN natural resources, while at the same time protecting the environment from the kinds of catastrophes that the environmental doomsayers predict with certainty are looming over us.

Do I think we need to be concerned with our environment.  Of course I do, and I suspect that any reasonable and thoughtful person would agree with that.  But that agreement is measured in degrees.  Doing nothing to steward our planet will not be helpful.  But the environmental extremist mindset that suggests not doing anything above and beyond what we are doing today relative to economic expansion and development is absurd.

On a spiritual level, the romance that some have for the environment I fear borders on worship of the created, and leaves no room for reverence for the Creator.  This transcends stewardship to idolatry.

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