Nov 15

Why Is So Much Environmentalism at War with Humanity?

What really drives the environmental movement? Why are so many people so quick to believe hyped up claims of manmade eco-disaster lurking around the corner, when those claims never seem to pan out? And why are so many intelligent scholars so prone to huge errors—like those that yielded the now infamous “Hockey Stick” graph of global temperature, and those behind the “Climategate” email scandal? What really motivates climate alarmists?

People ask me questions like these all the time. I always say the reasons and motives are manifold. Some people have some—and others, others.

But what I also always try to drive down to is this: At bottom, the claims almost always involve misanthropy—a word derived from the Greek words for “hate” and “human.”

Not that environmentalists all hate people. I suppose some do, but I think the vast majority don’t.

Rather, it’s that their understanding of people and our role on Earth arises out of someone else’s hatred of humans: Satan’s. And Satan’s hatred of humans leads to his using all kinds of ways to deceive people into thinking badly of humans—sometimes even when they mean well and have no idea they’re thinking badly of us.

Environmentalism’s dominant view of human beings is as consumers and polluters—using up resources and poisoning the planet in the process. The more of us there are, the more we consume and the more we pollute.  The solution? Reduce our numbers.

And that turns out to be part of the prescription for solving all kinds of alleged environmental crises—from acidification of the oceans to zoodepletion. (Okay, I made that word up! It means the depletion of life, and I’m substituting it for species extinction—but it starts with “Z”!) From topsoil erosion to algae blooms. From global cooling to global warming.

These and a myriad other environmental problems get blamed on people not because scientific research has demonstrated a clear causal connection, not because they can’t be corrected, but because there’s an underlying antipathy to people, because they’re seen solely as consumers and polluters, that drives those operating out of an anti-Biblical worldview directly to such conclusions.

The Bible gives us an entirely different vision of people. We’re the image and glory of God (Genesis 1:26–28; 1 Corinthians 11:7). We’re “a little lower than the heavenly beings” and “crowned [by God!] with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5). God commands us, and has equipped us, to have dominion over the land and seas and skies and everything in them (Genesis 1:26, 28; Psalm 8:6–8).

Are we all sinners? Yes (Romans 3:23). But that doesn’t negate these other truths about us, and by faith in Christ, we can be renewed after the image of God (Colossians 3:10).

E. Calvin Beisner
Founder and National Spokesman  Cornwall Alliance