Thursday, October 7, 2010

The disservice 10:10 does to the environment.

Others have noted the gruesome video posted by the British wing of the environmental group 10:10. I won't link to it here, because it really is disgusting; but here's a good summary of the controversy. In short, it's a series of scenes in which a teacher, a boss, a football team, and so on "suggest" that people reduce their carbon emissions by 10%. They ask who is on board, and who isn't. "No pressure." Then they push a little red button and those not on board explode, covering everyone else, and the camera lens, with blood and guts.

Now, environmental stewardship is one of the important features of Catholic morality: we are here to keep and tend the garden, after all. But ads like this betray a bizarre and anti-human attitude among some environmental activists. It's vital to realize that humanity is itself part of the environment, and the part for which we have the greatest responsibility to protect and respect.

In other words, environmental protection only makes sense as a life issue, and when you throw out the connection to human dignity you end up in the culture of death.

Other Catholic responses:
Mike Flynn
Mark Shea
Jeff Miller


  1. Rather like Monty Python, I like the video already.

    "It's vital to realize that humanity is itself part of the environment, and the part for which we have the greatest responsibility to protect and respect."

    Actually, the environmentalists get it right. We are not part of the environment, and they naturally see it. But then they in turn unfortunately draw the wrong conclusion from their initial understanding.

    As for carbon emissions, the difference is that as Catholics, reduction of emissions usually goes hand in hand with a movement back to a more natural way of living, so that the reduction is not only good for the environment it's good for us.

  2. @ltg - you say:
    We are not part of the environment

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. We are animals, embodied spirits, whose bodies obey all the same laws of nature as every other animal in creation.

    It is true that, being endowed with reason, we also transcend the mere physical nature that we share with the rocks and plants and critters of various kinds. But I don't think this removes us from being a part of the natural world of which we are stewards.

  3. Robert,

    Prior to the fall, it would not have been possible for tigers to eat men. They simply would not have done it.

    Fallen nature does not change our nature, but corrupted it so that tigers are no longer capable clearly seeing us for what we are but yet they still partially see us for what we are.

    The environmentalists are not unlike tigers, they see us for what we are, but see us through a glass darkly. They get it partly right and partly wrong.

    Tigers have sharp teeth in order to eat meat, but it's not natural for them to eat men who are made of meat, while it is natural for them to eat any other critter which is made of meat. Environmentalist in a way recognize this by their automatic exclusion of men, but then in turn make the error of seeing men as a virus to be eradicated.

  4. I looked at the video, and looked through the comments, and they're both about what I expected.

    And that expected reaction is why Catholics have a long way to go in coming back to a sensible understanding of how God made us. Just as the environmentalists have bought into the system, so likewise have most Catholics, reminding me of typical lib disagreements where they think they could not be further apart while all the while being in secret agreement.