Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Worldview Conflicts

See, it's not so much that we're reality-based and they're not -- although they aren't, of course -- as it is that they're just living in a different reality.

It's the one I got to know out in Idaho, among the Mormons, where it really didn't matter what we did to the environment, since we were living in the "Latter days" anyway. God's about to put paid to this planet, isn't he? And since he's going to do that, it's perfectly okay for us to use this planet up, isn't it? Ride our ATVs all over the friable hills and erode them away, isn't it? Roar our snowmobiles around Yellowstone Park and pollute the dickins out of it, isn't it? Shoot all the wolves and bears and elk? Isn't it?

Bill Moyers writes about Bushco and the Rapture:


They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That's why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It's why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelations where four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of man." A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed - an essential conflagration on the road to redemption. The last time I Googled it, the rapture index stood at 144 - just one point below the critical threshold when the whole thing will blow, the son of God will return, the righteous will enter Heaven and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire.

So what does this mean for public policy and the environment? Go to Grist to read a remarkable work of reporting by the journalist Glenn Scherer - "The Road to Environmental Apocalypse." Read it and you will see how millions of Christian fundamentalists may believe that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed - even hastened - as a sign of the coming apocalypse.

As Grist makes clear, we're not talking about a handful of fringe lawmakers who hold or are beholden to these beliefs. Nearly half the U.S. Congress before the recent election - 231 legislators in total and more since the election - are backed by the religious right.

And what's the environmental impact of this belief system? I mean, so far?

So far the Bush administration .... "wants to rewrite the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act protecting rare plant and animal species and their habitats, as well as the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the government to judge beforehand whether actions might damage natural resources....


wants to relax pollution limits for ozone; eliminate vehicle tailpipe inspections, and ease pollution standards for cars, sport-utility vehicles and diesel-powered big trucks and heavy equipment.


wants a new international audit law to allow corporations to keep certain information about environmental problems secret from the public.


wants to drop all its new-source review suits against polluting, coal-fired power plants and weaken consent decrees reached earlier with coal companies


wants to open the Arctic [National] Wildlife Refuge to drilling and increase drilling in Padre Island National Seashore, the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world and the last great coastal wild land in America.

Meanwhile, the International Policy Network, friendly to the administration, has issued a new report [funded by Exxon Mobile and others] claiming that climate change is "a myth, sea levels are not rising" [and] scientists who believe catastrophe is possible are "an embarrassment."

Meanwhile, Bushco does what it can to bankrupt the country, destroy social security, and put a university education out of the reach of all but the wealthy.

You tell me. What sort of future do you think they're planning for?

(Via Infinite Stitch http://stitch.blogs.com/the_infinite_stitch/2005/02/moyers_gets_it.html)

No comments: