|21 Aug 2003 @ 11:09, by Quidnovi|
The world could be different next week. It doesn't really depend on anything we don't already have. It doesn't really depend on money or politics or laws or astrology or science, except for to the degree that we believe it does.
---Flemming Funch, The Grand Illusion
Ay, there's the rub.
"At the quantum level our universe can be seen as an indeterminate place, predictable in a statistical way only when you employ large numbers. Between that universe and a relatively predictable one where the passage of a single planet can be timed to a picosecond, other forces come into play: THAT WHICH YOU BELIEVE IS A DOMINANT FORCE."
---Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune
That which people believe is a dominant force.
Many fundamentalists see dying coral reefs, melting ice caps and other environmental destruction not as an urgent call to action but as God's will. Within the religious right worldview, the wreck of the earth is Good News! Or something Humankind needs not concern itself about.
Don't worry, do nothing?
Some "true believers", interpreting biblical prophecy, are sure they will be saved from the horrific destruction brought by ecosystem collapse.
They'll be raptured: rescued from earth by God, who will then rain down seven ghastly years of misery on unbelieving humanity. During this tribulation, a powerful ruler led by Satan and called the antichrist will rule the world. Then Jesus will come in glory to defeat Satan's forces at the battle of Armageddon. His return marks the Millennium, when the Lord restores the earth to its green pristine condition, and the faithful enjoy a thousand years of peace and prosperity.
AMERICA'S PROVIDENTIAL HISTORY
"The secular or socialist has a limited resource mentality" write authors Mark Beliles and Stephen McDowell, in America's Providential History, a prominent religious-right high school history textbook, "In contrast, the Christian knows that the potential in God is unlimited and that there is no shortage of resources in God's Earth. The resources are waiting to be tapped."
In another passage, the writers explain: "While many secularists view the world as overpopulated, Christians know that God has made the earth sufficiently large with plenty of resources to accommodate all of the people."
Illusion or Delusion?
World population, topping 6 billion, has already left 1.1 billion people without safe drinking water, says the United Nations Environment Program. The earth is poisoned by 500 million tons of hazardous waste annually. Fisheries are collapsing, croplands eroding, and forests shrinking -- from 5 billion to 2.9 billion hectares in the last century, says Worldwatch Institute. And 20 percent of all species could go extinct by 2030, cautions Pulitzer Prize-winning entomologist Edward O. Wilson.
Despite these alarming warnings, the federal government–with Republicans in control of the White House, Congress and the judiciary–has launched the largest rollback of environmental law ever.
More: Glenn Scherer, George Bush's war on nature