Save the Whales, Kill the Babies?!
I was stopped in the street today by a GreenPeace worker. You know the type: mostly liberal, whale-saving tree-huggers with an agenda for your money. Or maybe that’s a little harsh… Anyway, I let myself be stopped. Probably because I was having a lovely Friday afternoon (just picked up my slide film from being developed, looking forward to a nice dinner with hubby and a relaxing weekend) and didn’t mind having to refuse him at least once, if not more. I give him credit for being friendly and charistmatic. He even caught my attention when he stated that GreenPeace operates completely free of federal funding (at least we could agree on that). He even walked with me, spouting his wisdoms, for a much greater distance than necessary (at least two blocks). Finally, I asked him what he wanted from me. It was, of course, money. $30, in fact. Monthly. Did you know that’s more than I pay to sponsor a little girl in Brazil through the Christian Children’s Fun ($24 monthly)? I didn’t say this to him, but I am not going to shell out more for the whales and the seals than I do for a living human being.
But once I had let him down gently and began to walk homewards, it got me thinking about what exactly my duty to the environment is. We (humans, of course) are certainly responsible for the domain that God has given us, but we are also granted (commanded, even; see Gen. 1:28) the privilege of using natural resources as we wish. From a Christian worldview, it does not seem even possible to abuse that privilege. In the belief that God will provide–not “Nature”–and that we are to be responsible and Christ-centered with our resources rather than selfish and man-centered, how can a Christian feel panic that global warming is going to suck us all into an oblivion of volcanic ash or, perhaps, ice? The answer is: they don’t. And that is exactly my response (belatedly) to the friendly young man who stopped me on the street.
On the other hand, I am a PRINT designer and artist. That means I work with papers and other non-biodegradable or “non-evironmentally-friendly” materials (oil paints, solvent). I recycle when I can (and I think it would be a good thing if more paper companies did the same to cycle products), but that still doesn’t erase the fact that I probably throw away gobs of paper each year that just pile into a trash heap somewhere. And yet, I cannot help but appreciate the sheer tangiability of paper and all things paper-made. Books, magazines, letterheads, stationary…even postcards can be delightful. So does that make me a bad person? I refuse to submit to a world where all things become digital. I hate the idea of the Kindle (the digi-book). I prefer something I can touch and feel and connect with emotionally. Or put away without having to turn off and unplug.
I wish I could tell the little GreenPeace boy something about how the world is worse off from the advance of the Wii than it is from the Japanese “research” on whales in the Arctic.