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June 30, 2006

Environmental Ethics

I'm not usually a huge fan of Science Friday, but today I'm really enjoying hearing about climate change, the greenhouse effect, and electric cars. I have always been kind of an enviro-cynic: I recycled when it was convenient, but never went out of my way to curb my carbon emissions or limit my contributions to the world's landfills. I have even criticized the environmentalist movement for being racist and elitist. But as I have becoming more God-conscious lately, I have been coming to see environmentalism as one form of tikkun olam. The world does not belong to me, I belong to the world. I know there is still a lot of skepticism about the imminence of global climate change, but it seems that, if we know that carbon dioxide is toxic to humans, and we have ways to limit its production, we might as well do it. Environmentalism becomes problematic, however, when people place environmental imperatives ahead of human needs for such things as health, nourishment, and shelter, or when it is used as a front for NIMBY-ism, as it often is here in Ann Arbor.

Posted by eklanche at June 30, 2006 03:46 PM


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