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Jeffrey (JD) King is on a mission to save the earth. As a millennial and lifelong Montanan, he wants to cultivate and preserve the most beautiful, life-filled planet possible. With that desire, he took a critical look at today's Green movement and asked, Does Green suggest solutions that further those ends? And a related question, Does Green enhance human flourishing? The answer to both questions, he found, is a resounding No. Here are four clear findings from his investigation that flatly contradict Green orthodoxy:
1. CO2 is a boon.
Leighton Steward, geologist and founder of Plants Need CO2, held the established view of CO2 as a pollutant until he conducted a critical examination for himself. As it turns out, many scientists dissent from this Green dogma. Aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin says that higher atmospheric CO2 levels are "making the earth a more fertile world," which shouldn't flabbergast any of us who recall from third-grade science that CO2 is plant food. Zubrin says photos taken from space since 1958 corroborate the claim, showing a 15 percent increase in non-agricultural plant growth (jungles, grasslands, forests, etc.) corresponding to a 19 percent increase in CO2 concentration.
2. Development is beneficial.
"Economic development is actually the best friend of environmental stewardship," says Calvin Beisner, founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Energy production generates productive industry and wealth. The environment is demonstrably better-managed and cared for in developed countries than in undeveloped ones because people can afford responsible caretaking.
3. Population growth is good.
Actually, what we should fear is underpopulation, says Beisner. "The world needs more people," says Zubrin, "because people are not just consumers; people are producers." The more people there are, the more inventors there are, the greater the divisions of labor, and the faster the rate of technological innovation. "This is why, as the world's population has gone up, the world's living standards have gone up. And not just in this century . . . but through all of human history." We live much better today, he says, because of all the people who lived in the past.
4. Government rarely helps.
While there are legitimate roles for government, in America, "we're protecting things to death," says ecologist and retired USFW ranger Ray Haupt. "Governments have far and away the worst environmental records," notes Beisner, citing the Soviet Union, China, and the Americas. "The healthiest forests in North America are those forests that are privately owned," he says, and "the least healthy are the ones that are owned by the US Forest Service." It's the people who own and work the land—the farmers, miners, loggers, and foresters, as opposed to centralized bureaucracies—who are best positioned to manage their property, both for their own interests and the interests of their communities.
In sum, Green gets the whole thing backwards. It begins with a false, misanthropic outlook—nature good, humans bad—and winds up harming both. A Christian who believes we were created to be stewards of the earth, King proposes replacing Green with Blue. A healthy environment and human prosperity can coexist, he says. In fact, they are interdependent and inextricably linked with proper stewardship of creation. That is what Blue is all about. Humanity's mission, according to Blue, is to reflect God by enhancing the beauty and fruitfulness of the earth. We do this to the glory of God and for the benefit of our fellow man. •
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