Unnaturally Evolving Past Nature

This weeks readings focus on the origin of the current age of Anthropocene, which indicates the time period we’re currently living in where human interaction and involvement with the earth has had a major impact on our environment. My perception of environmental activism has been that recognizing that climate change is an issue wasn’t common thought about until relatively recently and especially that it is a serious and life-threatening issue. I see now that there were environmental activists who, back in the year 1967 in this case, were spot on in some of their assessments regarding our involvement and impact on the environment. The science regarding our actual impact wasn’t developed like it is today, but the sentiment was the same then. Not even that, but White Jr. was able to, depending on your view, assess valid blame for why we are the way we are. He argues that it is the views and morals that are brought up through the Christian religion that have and currently dominate Western culture’s worldview that is to blame for how we treat the world we live on. Among many examples, along with detailing other cultures technological advancements and their relationship with those advancements, Lynn points to the scripture of Christianity and specifically Genesis, the origin story. This is something that Pope Francesco, in the other reading, which was sort-of a reply to Lynn (or at least his school of thought), couldn’t deny. Genesis intentionally lays the groundwork for humans to have a relationship with our Earth that puts us in a position of “rightful” power over plants and animals and the overall environment. Animals were made for the company of man and for food, and plants and fruit were made for humans to eat. In contrast, cultures like the Indigenous people of America are able to have their form of religion, develop many types of technology, advance their society, but because of their world view they don’t destroy the earth in the process.

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