Comments about ‘In our opinion: Caring for the planet’

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Published: Sunday, April 21 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Alpine, UT

Caring for the earth is a tall order, far beyond the reach of mankind, though we shouldn't stop trying, pretending to make a difference in the outcome. Years ago, in the Olympic peninsula, man removed the elk from the area because they were eating the fern. The fern flourished, but the forest began dying because the taller fern were shading the younger tree saplings, causing the trees to die from lack of sunlight. As soon as man restored the elk, the forest started to flourish again.
Man can't even accurately predict the weather. How is he suppose to manage the climate?

one old man
Ogden, UT

Thank you for an excellent opinion piece.

Ogden, UT

"Ultimately, human beings are stewards, not owners, of the earth. They may hold claim to a portion of it for a time, but death inevitably severs that claim. To care for the earth is to demonstrate a love and commitment to generations yet unborn."

It would be lovely if the church that owns this newspaper would actually put these ideas forth so the flock would finally give some thought about them. Haven't heard a logically or doctrinally consistent argument yet that justifies destruction of the Creation for material gain. Pope Francis appears to have quite the environmental ethic and isn't afraid to say it, so at least the largest denomination of Christianity is hearing it.

Salt Lake City, UT

Thank you for your thoughtful editorial. Stewardship is a shared responsibility. Someone asked why I was recycling trash, my reply was that I was doing it for my grandchildren. I recently saw a bumper sticker that said Ecology Now. The car was pouring out blue smoke and the message was clear, "ecology" is important as long as I don't have to pay for new rings for my car.

Bountiful, UT

Let's keep in mind that through all of earths history it has been changing temperature without man's help. 11,000 years ago we were in an ice age. At the time of the dinasaurs, the earth was warm enough that Anticarticia was tropical, proving that the earth is resilient enough to withstand a wide variety of temperatures.

Also who is to say that the temperature we are experiencing now is the optimal temperature? Given that plants thrive on carbon dioxide, the carbon dioxide we have put into the air is allowing us to grow more crops than we could otherwise.

Salt Lake County, UT

"Important progress has been made.

"Greenhouse gas emissions are on the decline nationwide, having fallen 7 percent since 2005."

And a great deal of that reduction only exists because the economy tanked, combined with stricter clean air regulations imposed by the post-Bush EPA in spite of the "economy before environment" argument you’re pushing with this very article - the same attitude that led the United States to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol because we didn't want to make an economic sacrifice for the sake of avoiding climate change. You can't take any of the credit here.

Your argument hasn't contributed anything to improving the environment so far, and has only kept Utah in the environmental dark ages.

Salt Lake County, UT

"Air pollution is decreasing. Some estimates say the number of deaths attributed to fine particulates is on track to drop from 68,000 in 2005 to 36,000 in 2016."

Unless you live in, say, Salt Lake, Davis, Utah, Weber, Box Elder or Cache County, where we literally refused to make any effort to improve our air quality until our consistent violation of clean air standards forced or hand (with the public health impacts being utterly ignored, their impact on the economy being largely ignored even in this piece) and even then, we needed to file for an extension, and there is still substantial backlash and dragging of feet.

Hayden, ID

Photosynthesis! We learned about it in the 4th grade, remember? Plants adsorb CO2 out of the atmosphere and in the presence of sunlight synthesize a molecule of 6 carbon sugars and release back into the atmosphere a molecule of O2. Imagine that, the planet cleans itself! God probably set it up that way, don't you think?

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Very balanced article!

Makes you wonder when some conservatives sacrificed the imperative of conservation and being good stewards of our home on the altar of all things being as cheap as possible.

It’s like consuming nothing but Twinkies and Kool-Aid because it is the cheapest “food” and creates the most (processed) food jobs.

And pay attention Utah – one of your elected representatives wants to turn over a big chunk of your beautiful State to the Twinkie factory.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Yes, MM, we learn of photosynthesis in 4th grade, but then in high school and college we learn about the extremely complex webs of life that bind everything in nature -- including us -- together in an inextricable web.

Too bad some folks missed out on that vital part of education.

S.L.C., UT

One thing is certain the climate is changing, and it is changing because of the levels of Co2 in the atmosphere 350 ppm is the maximum level with subjecting the planet to ongoing damage. Unfortunately we are at 390 something and climing. Fossil fuel are the largest of the root causes. It is disingenious to say electric and alternative fuels vehicles still pollute as the power generation process by it's nature pollutes. Gas fired generation pollutes less than coal, solar and wind don't pollute at all.
Do not be fooled into beleiving that these decisions should all be made with the corporate bottom line as the determining factor in the decision making process. We can turn this around but it will require weaning ourselves from fossil fuels, and the fossil fuel industry is spending billions telling us it's all good no worries we've cleaned up the gulf and everythings better. and on and on.
Sadly it is much easier to be fooled than to admit we have been fooled.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


Sure. Rivers are self-cleaning. Oceans are self-cleaning. Yes, the planet has the ability to right itself - but all to a degree.

I recall when rivers burned and oceans were becoming waste areas. With those too we had once thought that we could not possibly fill them up with enough pollutants to make a difference. We were wrong.

Now the same arguments are trotted out for the atmosphere. It's too big. We can't possibly affect it. It will cleanse itself.

What we have proven over the millennia is that we can change our surroundings (for good or bad).

Think about this. Using 60 year old technology, we can wipe cities away and change the face of the earth. In the 1970s just two nations could wipe out human life several times over and make the entire planet uninhabitable in just a few hours.

Then surely, the entire world with all of its industry can have some effect.

4word thinker
Murray, UT

Ogden, UT

"It would be lovely if the church that owns this newspaper would actually put these ideas forth so the flock would finally give some thought about them."

Then it must be lovely! I have been going to that church for decades and the concept of stewardship of the earth, our children, etc. is exactly what is taught. I am sure you see that life is lovely.

Scam artists love to prey on the trusting Mormons. We have to be very vigilant, and walk a difficult line between allowing ourselves to be scammed and retaining our belief in our fellow man. We do many things to help the earth be all God meant it to be. We shouldn't let those who come to rob us take all we have, promising they will fix the climate if we just hand everything over to them. That would be helping with the scam. We are better stewards than those global warming scammers.

Hayden, ID

@ Old man. Then in high school you may have also learned that since plants are the basis of the food chain and that all animals, insects and birds ultimately depend on plants and photosynthesis for food, if not for CO2, there would be no life on earth! Furthermore maybe you learned that when there is a higher concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere the rate of photosynthesis increases commensurately? Isn't intelligent design remarkable?

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

Brigham Young said,

"At a time when "free as air" signified that a thing was of negligible worth, Brigham Young was insisting that the greatest physical asset the Saints possessed and one they should treasure most highly was pure air. "What constitutes health, wealth, joy, and peace? In the first place, good pure air is the greatest sustainer of animal life."4 "The Lord blesses the land, the air and the water where the Saints are permitted to live."5 "We have the sweet mountain air, and a healthy country. . . . What kind of air did you breathe, who lived in eleven, twelve, and fourteen story houses in your native country?"6 "Speaking of the elements and the creation of God, in their nature they are as pure as the heavens."7 But since the earth is a place of testing, "every faculty bestowed upon man is subject to contamination—subject to be diverted from the purpose the Creator designed it to fill"

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

It would be nice for the church to clarify some thing but Brigham Young was quite adamant about our responsibilities to the Earth.

?It behooves us as fortunate visitors in the King's palace to behave circumspectly, to look and admire, damage nothing, take nothing with us, and leave everything as nearly as possible as we found it. Restraint is the watchword in dealing with God's earth: The products of the earth are "to please the eye [that always comes first!] and to gladden the heart; yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell . . . to be used with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion" (D&C 59:18—20). We may neither waste nor exploit what we find around us"

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

"We may neither waste nor exploit what we find around us"

Oil. Don't waste it. The best internal combustion engines are only attaining 25% peak efficiencies. The car they are in are only %5 efficient use of energy after that.

So you can call it being "scammed" by the evil environmentalists but you have your own religion to live up to that has much higher standards than environmentalists.

Diligent Dave
Logan, UT

Certainly there have been and continue to be good fruits of the environmental movement. But that said, there also have been and are many bad fruits of environmentalism, to the degree to which it has been and remains radicalized by certain persons and groups.

To a significant many, it has taken on tones of a sanctity that, if any word is spoken against it, such contrarian views are treated as secular heresies, and supposedly "anti-scientific".

To a great extent, environmentalism has an anti-human dogma. Man and mankind are generally spoken of as being a blot and a plague upon the face of this planet. Central to the doctrine of environmentalism is the concept that fewer humans than there now are upon the planet is better. The UnaBomber imbibed this aspect of environmentalism hook, line and sinker.

Such societally allowed practices such as abortion has helped to destroy in the United States alone an estimated 54-1/2 million unborn children since Roe v Wade. This statistic speaks to the "saints" (the innocent unborn babies) that our nation has destroyed. This number substantiates our nation's war against innocent human beings.

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

It saddens me when so-called good Latter-Day Saints listen and believe the words of AM radio college drop-outs about us "enviromental whack-os",

over the very Prophets and Apostles have been telling us for nearly 200 years.

I'm glad I attend a new Mormon church, which is 100% "enviromental whack-o" green.

Tooele, UT

Re: "It saddens me when so-called good Latter-Day Saints listen and believe the words of AM radio college drop-outs about us "enviromental whack-os" . . . ."

No doubt.

That doesn't mean every word of what you hear on the Rush, Glenn or Sean programs isn't true. It just saddens tree huggers to hear it.

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