The 2012 election season is drawing to a close. Most people will be relieved, and not just in this country. We have wars on women, fiscal cliffs and larger than ever deficits. But as Mother Nature keeps trying to tell us, the deficits and fiscal cliffs won’t matter if the planet pushes all humanity off the cliff of sustainability and life. Deficits and slow job growth will mean nothing to the larger scale destruction that no one wants to talk about because few people even recognize or acknowledge the presence of what the end really means. I’m not talking about some kind of religious apocalypse, what I’m talking about is the destruction of the very thing that gives and sustains life. Earth.
What keeps getting in the way of talking about the eminent destruction of the planet? How many people are too many for this planet to sustain? What will it take to live in harmony with the very thing that gives us life? And do our religious beliefs interfere or prevent us from taking global warming seriously?
The language that’s used in the way we talk about the environment can subtly influence or mask the real dangers. Political lingual strategists turned global warming into climate change, a much milder and not as threatening phrase. Climate change isn’t something that requires our immediate attention, but global warming screams imminent danger, as least in terms of language. Hurricane Sandy has been turned into a Superstorm, a term that doesn’t even exist. It was indeed a hurricane, not some really wide thunderstorm with lots of rain and strong winds. So what we call it has a lot to do with how we perceive it.
Do traditional Christian religious beliefs about the second coming of Christ get in the way of believing the planet might have other plans, especially if you believe the planet was created by God? Several groups, such as A Rocha, the Evangelical Climate Initiative and the Evangelical Environmental Network, have broken with traditional evangelical Christians in believing that stewardship of the planet includes using renewable energy sources and supporting lifestyle changes that protect the environment.
But hugging trees and saving the planet are typically ideas supported by the liberal agenda and mostly democrats and with other societal issues like marriage equality and women’s rights that can get in the way of us coming face to face at all, we just can’t address the things we do agree on with regard to the planet.
Reducing meat consumption, enforcing slow sustainable population growth and quickly transitioning to only renewable energy sources are the issues we need to address and very soon. Economic recoveries and tax cuts mean absolutely nothing when you look at what the big picture really is. Our elected leaders should be able to unwind from the minutia of politics and election strategies to present a coherent plan for proper stewardship of the planet.
This planet isn’t getting any bigger or any more resilient to the stresses we put on it. Balancing the budget pales in comparison to balancing what we take from this planet to what we give back to it. Our very life and the life of future generations do not depend on budget deficits and tax cuts, but it does depend on what we eat, breathe and drink. It’s not about what politician gives the biggest tax break, it’s the planet, stupid.