This week we will take a look at well intentioned efforts by environmentalists and some of the unexpected effects that may have undone their efforts. While some may think that my efforts are to make out as though ‘man’s politics’ are all bad, that is just not the case. Many polices so associated are well intended and have had a positive effect in preserving God’s gift to man. Let me give you an example.
In 1962, biologist Rachel Carson published a book that redefined what the environmental movement could achieve. She had studied the effects of government pesticide use, in particular the use of the chemical DDT, and concluded that it was harmful to human health and devastating to bird populations. Her book was called Silent Spring, a reference to the absence of birdsong that she predicted if the pesticide spraying continued. The book was serialized in the New Yorker and soon became a best seller. It was an unexpected achievement for a science-heavy treatment of agricultural policy. Rachel died of cancer not long after her book was published, but the book’s effects rippled outward for decades. It inspired the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. Two years later, Congress banned the non-emergency use of DDT. Carson became an icon of the American environmental movement. President Carter awarded her a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her image was featured on postage stamps; two of her homes were designated historic monuments; an elementary school in Maryland was named after her; and to this day the Audubon Society sponsors the Rachel Carson Award, in honor of her work to save bird populations. This I believe to be a good move by ‘man’s politics’ to care for God’s gift to man.
However, it’s remarkable to see that birds of prey are once again dying in large numbers…and it’s not chemical companies killing them. The environmentalists are. In 2011, at the urging of environmental groups, the administration’s Fish and Wildlife Service granted an exemption to industrial wind companies under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act…oxymoron. For most Americans, killing an eagle, even by accident, is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison…wouldn’t it be so nice that unborn humans were so protected? Corporate wind farms can kill eagles with impunity…and do. Wind turbines destroy hundreds of bald eagles every year. That’s in addition to more than a quarter million other birds of various species, including hawks, owls, and song birds crushed by turbine blades. Two years after granting its initial exemption, the administration gave a power company in California legal protection in the event its wind farms killed California condors, a critically endangered species with a wild population of fewer than three hundred. Now, killing condors was legal, as long as they were killed by wind turbines. Another example of ‘man’s politics’ control over life and who or what deserves to live and die. Bats are not to be excluded while deep-water ‘wind turbines’ kill untold numbers of aquatic animals. In 2017, experts concluded that noise pollution from offshore wind farms may cause the beaching of humpback whales. Fishermen in New York claim that wind turbines are destroying fisheries by altering the migratory patterns of certain fish. But to environmental groups, these carcasses of dead animals mean nothing compared to the entirely theoretical benefit of wind power.
Ignoring the results of some of man’s policies, environmentalists continue to put their agendas ahead of the damage they are doing to God’s gift. On August 16, 2016, an illegal…not in our country with permission…immigrant from Mexico with a long criminal record named Angel Gilberto Garcia-Avalos drove out of bounds in California’s Sequoia National Park and crashed his car. The accident ignited a patch of dead grass, which in turn sparked a forest fire that grew to 29,322 acres in size and incinerated a large percentage of the park.
Having been just released from a California jail for committing a felony…and not being deported… he did not bother to summon help. When Forestry Service officials finally arrived he was asked if he knew how the fire started. Of course he lied and denied responsibility…claimed his car had been stolen. In the end, the fire burned for six weeks and costs US tax payers $61 million before it was contained. Six homes were destroyed. Towns across two counties had to be evacuated. The blaze destroyed forty-five square miles of Sequoia National Park. It was an environmental disaster but environmental groups ignored it. Why not, it would have exposed another of ‘man’s politics’ policies of protecting those who enter our nation illegally? The Sierra Club didn’t issue a single statement about it. The Environmental Defense Fund issues half a dozen press releases during the period of the fire, but not one made mention of the fire. Greenpeace too, was silent.
Unfortunately, this is not the end of the tragedies supported by ‘man’s politics’. In an effort to support some political agendas, God’s gifts are left to fend off disaster as best as they can. In many cases God’s ‘creations’…man…are at work in the destruction effort. Next week we will look at some of those efforts that seemingly are protected by certain political activists who, out of hate and desire to regain power, couldn’t care less about the ‘politics of God’. To some, environmentalism is more of a religion than Christianity, and their deacons are willing to let God’s gifts to mankind be sacrificed on the alter of ‘agenda’. One might think that God’s spokespersons here on earth, His church, might have something to occasionally to say to congregations on this subject of protecting God’s gifts to us…after all it’s a responsibility given us in His Word…the Bible.
“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day” – Sally Koch