27
May
08

green is a little grey

With current concerns about our environment and what is or isn’t happening to it [depending on who you talk to], I’ve been trying to think through my response to it all. Obviously, I believe God has created this planet for our use and enjoyment and given us the task of caring for it – therefore, how am I contributing to “creation care” ?  What things should I change?

What lifestyle choices should I re-evaluate?

Answering those questions is not as simple as some may think. From what I’ve been reading lately it seems that green is rather grey….as in not black and white. For example, this weekend I was reading an article in Wired Magazine – which reports on how technology affects culture, the economy, and politics. The article entitled Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready To Rethink What It Means To Be Green [05-18-08] reveals a number of common myths about being green. No matter where you stand on the environmental issues – you may find the following facts interesting…I did.

Living in cities is kinder to the planet than living in the burbs.
Leave it on…the A/C is OK.
Conventional agriculture can be easier on planet than organics.
Old growth forests can contribute to global warming.
Carbon credits don’t work – the benefits are illusory.
Used cars over hybrids.
Climate change is inevitable.

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5 Responses to “green is a little grey”


  1. 1 Larry Eisner
    May 28, 2008 at 4:03 am

    I’ve yet to read my issue of Wired… I’m looking forward to this article. However, I feel that there are ways to be green without being GREEN, if you know what I mean. (no intention on the rhyme there, I swear…UGH!) Point being that I believe anything you (meaning anyone) can do to reduce our impact is a “good thing”(TM) and that can include recycling, being responsible about your old electronics, batteries, oils, tires, etc… Also, being simply more observant about yourself is going to tend to make yourself more green as well. Being aware of how often you eat out, and therefore use all this extra waxy paper product will in turn likely impact how you eat. However, on the flipside, eating out means less dishwater used (meaning more reliable world-wide drinking water not being used to hose down that porcelain plate…

    Grey indeed. 🙂

    But again, I think simply being aware is going to lead to more good stewardship. I don’t think anyone needs to go overboard if we all take a little bit of precaution, you know?

  2. 2 DAN VAN DER MOLEN
    May 29, 2008 at 5:32 am

    MY WIFE CAUGHT ME COPYING WHAT SHE CALLS POLITICALLY INAPPROPRATE MATERIAL FROM THE COMPUTER TODAY. I ASSURED HER THAT IT CAN’T BE THAT BAD SINCE ITS FROM THE PASTORS WEB SITE.
    ITS REFRESHING TO SEE THE GREEN MOVEMENT BEING SUBJECT TO THE SCRUNTINY OF LOGIC. FOR INSTANCE THE IDEA THAT IT WOULD BE GREENER TO DRIVE A USED CAR THEN A PRIUS. THE PROBLEM I HAVE WITH THIS IS HOW WILL MY FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS KNOW THAT I AM BEING GREEN? THEY MAY JUST ASSUME I AM FLAT BROKE AND CAN’T AFFORD A NEW CAR. I NEED SOME OF THE GREEN RITUALS AND PRACTICES TO SIGNIFY MY INTENTIONS.
    I WONDER IF THIS MAY BE SOME OF THE APPEAL OF CHRISTIAN RITUALS AND PRACTICE HAVE TO US JUDIZERS. JUST A FEW RITUALS TO PROVE OUR ALLIANCE.
    I HAVE ATTENDED CONFERENCES AND READ BOOKS ON GREEN BUILDING BUT STILL I AM CONFUSED AS TO WHAT IT MEANS TO BE GREEN. SIMILARLY I HAVE PARTICIPATED IN CHURCH SERVICES, READ THE BIBLE AND OTHER CHRISTIAN BOOKS BUT STILL SEE GREY AREAS IN CHRISTIANITY. I CALL MYSELF A CHRISTIAN BUT HOW DOES THAT PLAY OUT IN DAY TO DAY LIFE?
    AGAIN I CAN SYMPATHIZE WITH THE JUDIZERS. I FEW RULES AND RITUALS TO FOLLOW COULD ALMOST BE COMFORTING AND MORE CONCRETE THE THE CONCEPT OF GRACE.
    HEY IF I AM RECYCLING AND BUYING THE PRODUCTS MARKETED AS GREEN I MUST BE GREEN. IF I GO TO CHURCH, HAVE A FISH STICKER ON MY WINDOW AND PUT A FEW DOLLARS IN THE COLLECTION BASKET I MUST BE A CHRISTIAN. RIGHT?

  3. 3 rkollbocker
    May 29, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I appreciate your thoughts D. Esp the question of Christian rituals & pracitces. I’m not sure they start out as ways to prove our spirituality or religiosity — but unfortunatly often deteriate to externals by which we measure ourselves against others.

  4. 4 Keith
    May 31, 2008 at 12:57 am

    First, I love these articles. One of Newton’s laws is “For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction.” It seems the green folk who develop many strategies do not consider the reactions to their concepts. Ethanol…great biofuel…shame about the famines.

    I am doing some things that are allegedly green but I approach them as stewardship…financial and creation. I am doing more things at my workplace to prepare for a “carbon constrained” world. I approach it from a business perspective, however. I must demonstrate the financial benefits to get a project to be implemented. If there’s no financial benefit to “green” then business can’t survive.
    I came across the following articles today. They provide great insight to certain aspects of the green movement. They somewhat align with the Wired articles.

    http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=16601
    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=756359
    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=296954845672756

  5. 5 Tonya
    May 31, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Dan, I agree that it is truly refreshing to see the green movement being subject to the scrutiny of logic! I also think your parallels between how some try to be green and how some try to be Christian was very insightful. I would also say that there are many parallels in the results of your quest for either. If you’re participating in green rituals for the sake of being green, I think this leads to a compulsive, obsessive, illogical style of living that changes every time a new article is released declaring that doing this or that has now been discovered to have this or that effect on the earth. However, if you genuinely care about the effect that the things that you do have on others and on the earth that God gave us, it leads to a satisfying lifestyle that is generally considered to be responsible (except maybe by the green-for-the-sake-of-being-green people). Similarly, if you assume being a Christian to be going to church, fish sticker on the car, and a few dollars in the collection plate, you’re going to end up feeling unsatisfied, confused, hypocritical, and guilty (and thinking there’s grey areas in Christianity). If, however, you accept the grace of Christ, you are absolutely transformed, and church, fish stickers, and money in the plate are only small manifestations of the work that Christ is doing in you. Trying to do the stuff to get to the grace is backwards. After truly accepting grace, you actually get excited to put your money in plate! Just like buying products marketed as green isn’t going to help you care about your impact on the earth — that’s backwards. It’s caring that leads to making truly green decisions. And it’s the grace of God that leads to the good works of Christian men and women.


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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
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