In reading the article by Lynn White, the first paragraphs reminded me of something I had learned while working as an outdoor school counselor. When colonizers came over to the west coast from Europe, they wanted to build as many places as they could. With the sandy beaches of the west coast, some worked needed to be done to help stabilize the land and allow for more construction. They strengthened the sand with European Dune Grass, and (likely) unknowingly having a strong effect on the natural ecosystem of the coast. With the new tall grass, a species of bird known as the snowy plover was hit hard, no longer being able to find their nests in the brush, and having nests stepped on and destroyed by travelers.
Man’s own ambition has been a detrimental factor on our worlds ecosystems for centuries. Although we claim to care for nature and want to conserve it, our actions speak louder than our words. So many species have gone extinct because of humanities actions, and so many more are on the same track to sadly join them. With global warming, accelerated by many of man’s actions, our entire world is in danger of extinction.
With all of this, as we have seen in the readings, especially from the most influential religious figure there is, religion and more specifically Christianity has an interesting relationship within man’s relationship with nature. As a religious person myself, I have always found it interesting to see the attitude that many people have towards animals as well as plants and all aspects of nature. People who claim to be very religious will also come around to support things that directly destroy God’s creation. They will use religion as an excuse for some things and disregard other sections of the Bible entirely. The Bible calls upon us to protect the Earth and God’s creation, yet here we are arguing whether or not that very creation is in danger despite years of evidence. It causes a very conflicting relationship.
Lynn White, Jr., “The Ecologic Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis,” Science 155:3767 (10 March 1967), 1203-1207.
Pope Francis,**Laudato Si