Eco-spirituality: Utah faith groups ask question, 'Who do we think we are?' about environment

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  • Allisdair Thornbury, Vic
    Nov. 10, 2012 6:11 a.m.


    Just an up date China is commencing emission reduction systems including a Carbon Tax similar to Australia. I am always disappointed when people in "developed" countries export their production to developing countries and then complain about them using energy to product cheap goods for the developed country. Just as a simple question why shouldn't a Chinese family want to live the same energy wasteful life style you enjoy?

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Nov. 9, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    Let me see. The system cost $50,000 to the church and they got another $50,000 gift. They save $6,000 they claim so that would be a 6% return on the investment. Depending on how long the PV system lasts and how much maintenance it takes that is ok so far, but the sun is out only during the day I believe. I think solar is slowly coming down and when it is cost effective it will be good. We also need storage systems. All of these thinks may eventually happen, but don't get so sanctimonious about it. Solar and win have been 3 times more expensive, and hard to justify.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Nov. 3, 2012 9:22 p.m.


    If govt. is as incompetent as you indicate then we should trust it with nothing. Not police, not firefighting, not defense. Because it is inept and so political as to just be in the way and every decision made is simply political. Right?

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Nov. 3, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    Having worked with all levels of government for over a quarter century, I routinely witnessed government's ability to take any issue or problem, make it far worse than it started out to be, and also make it horrendously expensive. I get a kick out of those who think that "public servants" are wonderful, altruistic, caring people who just want to protect the world. The truth is, any organization that doesn't have competition operates on basically one premise: POLITICS. Most politicians and their anointed/appointed underlings are FAR more interested in feathering their own nests than in benefiting society, and all these "causes" are just vehicles and a conduits to get that done. Thinking that the government can control the weather is not really much different than believing that the Tooth Fairy will take care of all your dental issues.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 9:31 p.m.

    My mother always said, "If you make a mess, clean it up as well as you can." If we all did the same in regard to environmental matters, the earth, air and water would be cleaner. Every little bit helps. I humbly suggest we do what we can.

    On most days, one look out over the Salt Lake Valley should be enough to convince you we must do more. Look to your heart. You can do some small thing to help.

    Just do a little bit. Then add to it.

    Politics is not the issue.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 2, 2012 8:08 p.m.

    "A perfect example of the silliness is the proposed "cap and trade" regulations"

    Which were a GOP proposed solution to acid raid during the George HW Bush administration.

    And, it actually worked pretty well.

    Yes, the easiest way to get the GOP to vote down their own ideas is for the Democrats to champion them.

  • Where's Momo? Sandy, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    "All Christians should know that it is the Evil that Men Do that will bring about our destruction, not Free Market Capitalism."

    That statement is exactly right. However wouldn't you say greed should be included in the "Evil that Men Do"? Most environmental problems can be traced to one word "greed". Why do we insist on having what is beyond "sufficient for our needs"? Why do we need 3000+ sqft homes everywhere? Why do we need drive big SUV's? We are consuming way beyond what we actually need and the consequence is environmental degradation. Is it moral for us to consume the amount of the earths resources that we do and let people in other parts of the world live in poverty? Why not live in modest homes and cut back on our consumption and take our extra wealth and help others not as fortunate? One difference I have with most environmentalists is that I think cutting back should be voluntary. I think we should do it out of moral obligation and not because of government intrusion.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 2, 2012 1:07 p.m.


    Cap and trade was an idea proposed by conservatives as a way to minimalize govt. interference (set the goals and let the market figure the best way forward).

    Your point about other countries not playing by the rules is exactly the point within a country as well. Some will, some won’t in order to gain advantage. So you have to regulate in order get all to comply. How you do this internationally is a matter of treaty.

    Yes, there are environmentalists who are very liberal but not all are. Oddly the folks I know whom I would describe as very liberal are definitely not in favor of govt. control of most aspects of life (they are as resistant to govt. control as the most ardent conservatives).

    Govt. works for some things. Definitely not all or even most. It was created in part to regulate how we live together. This is one of those things. There is no other option other than “everybody just do what you want”. That is where we were prior to the 1960s with highly polluted air and water.

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    I respect the churches who have made environmental awareness an integral part of their theology, and I thank them for it. Christians, above all other people, should understand the meaning of a righteous stewardship over nature - an ethical conviction no less important than faith in God or the Golden Rule.

    The earth does not exist for our unlimited, insatiable consumption with no regard for the future. This is why Gary Herbert and Mitt Romney's scorched earth policy is completely misguided. Once the land has been pillaged for its mineral wealth, all that will remain will be the scars of industrial decimation. Ecosystems will fail, wildlife will be forced to extinction, aquifers will be contaminated, toxic sludge pits will dot the landscape, climate will become more extreme, and this country will look like China - a veritable wasteland of depleted resources and industrial carnage unfit for man or beast.

    In the 21st Century, protecting the environment, not destroying it, should be our top priority. To respect nature is to respect God. This is what makes environmentalism a religious issue.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 12:13 p.m.

    Any thinking, caring person knows that the environment is important. But some disagree with those who think that government is the ultimate arbitrator, and has the infinite ability and wisdom to control the temperature of the planet. A perfect example of the silliness is the proposed "cap and trade" regulations, which penalize those who use energy or cause emissions, and reward those who sidle up to the government's edicts and delusions of ultimate fairness. Even if such policies did work, do you think that you can get them adopted in China? India? South America? These ideas come from those who believe that the U. S. Government should try to control all aspects of life, and make all the judgments on all issues. They also come from those who are woefully naive regarding the efficiency, effectiveness, and sanity of universal central government control. Doesn't work, never has, and never will.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    Informed Voter,
    The opposite side always looks extreme from where one stands, doesn't it? For the sake of argument, allow me to suggest that these extreme environmental views are merely a reaction to the equally extreme environmental damage done by the human race in the 20th century:

    We are causing the extinction of species at a more rapid rate than occurred when the dinosaurs went extinct. We justify such extinctions using a single verse from an ancient religious text. We will completely drain large rivers (i.e. the Colorado) so we can have cities in the torrid desert. We pollute the entire Gulf of Mexico when our search for oil goes awry. We develop every available acre of land to satiate unquestioned population growth. We see little value in any aspect of nature if a dollar amount cannot be assigned to it. We take away, bit by bit, and then demand that you compromise on the ever decreasing share of the planet that isn't spoiled, calling you an extremist if you protest. And all this is happening in America, which is one of the most environmentally progressive nations on earth.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 11:31 a.m.

    American First:
    [Yes 'Who Do We Think We Are' to pridefully think we have the power to destroy God's creation? We don't.]

    Oh, but we absolutely do. We could destroy it in minutes with all out nuclear war. So, maybe, we also have the power to destroy it over generations with pollution.

    [All Christians should know that it is the Evil that Men Do that will bring about our destruction]

    What evil is worse than destroying the Earth that all humanity, and life as we know it, depends on? If we destroy the Earth we kill all people living and unborn, as well as the memory of those who have already lived.

    Until we develop the ability to live, long term, outside of and without the resources on this planet, we should probably take care of it.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    Christianity does a very poor job of addressing environmental issues one way or the other. The scriptures for these religions, be it the 2000+ year old Bible or 1830s Book of Mormon, are old enough that modern environmental degradation and concerns didn't exist at the time of their writing. We've since filled the planet, severely compromised entire ecosystems, and have the ability to wipe out species at a rate that exceeds any time in natural history before us.

    Religious groups now have to interpolate ancient text to define what they think mankind's role is on this earth and what inherent value other species have. Whether "multiply and replenish the earth" has limits. Whether having "dominion...over every living thing" also implies a responsibility to not wipe out species that I can only assume God created for a purpose beyond our consumptive use.

    Good luck with that. Traditional Christian denominations have a text that has been silent for millenia. LDS claim to have living prophets and continual revelation, but that so far hasn't provided any kind of real guidance, either.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 11:18 a.m.

    American First: Excellent comment. You have nailed the issue perfectly. The environmental cause has been hijacked by extremists who place 2" fish above the entire Central Valley of California by shutting off Sacramento Delta water to what was previously the agriculture breadbasket of California. It is now a dust bowl with no crops and 40% unemployment. They sanctimoniously refuse drilling in Alaska to save carabou even though carabou huddle around the existing oil pipeline for warmth and the herds have increased. The ANWAR portion where drilling is sought is a barren wasteland and oil companies only want access to a portion of ANWAR equal to a placing a postage stamp on a football field! Extremists deny power plants because there real motive is to raise utility prices to reduce consumption and even block desert wind farms because of desert turtles or toads. A worthy concept of common sense environmentalism has been carried to a ridiculous extreme.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 10:43 a.m.

    I've always been a bit disappointed that a religion that believes this is God's creation is so against taking care of it. Not that the church really gives counsel one way or the other, but in the current political climate it is nearly impossible to be a Republican and say that you have have respect for the planet and want to take care of it.

    That said the environmentalists can be a bit extreme even for me. As usual the best place is somewhere in the middle, it's just too bad there isn't any middle these days.

  • American First Merced, CA
    Nov. 2, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    Being good stewards of the Planet isn't the issue, how condescending of this Pastor and so many LDS members to assume people don't want to care for the planet, we all live here and no responsible person regardless of political party wants to destroy the Earth...the issue at hand is whether marxist political parties and governments have the right to misleadingly use climate change for political purposes with the ultimate goal of taking away peoples individual liberties and choices. Climate change cannot be proven to be man made and no partisans should pretend it has been. All Christians should know that it is the Evil that Men Do that will bring about our destruction, not Free Market Capitalism. Yes 'Who Do We Think We Are' to pridefully think we have the power to destroy God's creation? We don't.

  • LDS Tree-Hugger Farmington, UT
    Nov. 2, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    Meanwhile --

    Fellow LDS members chide us "tree-huggers"
    and our new "Solar Powered", Eco-Friendly LDS Stake Center here in Farmington.

    Pathetic that fellow members deride the brotherns decisions,
    Sadder still when they put belief in Rush Limbaugh over Pres. Monson about it.

  • Dave D Pocatello, ID
    Nov. 2, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    “So much of what happens as a result of climate change affects those who are least able to respond,” Soleil said. “The poor, the elderly, the sick — every faith feels responsibility for them. As the world experiences the harmful impacts that surely result from climate change, what are we going to do about those who are already struggling to take care of themselves?”

    This is a moral issue. I encourage those of us who are Latter-day Saints to be more aware of how we use the earth's resources. I encourage anybody who believes that God would have us care for His creation to become a part of LDS Earth Stewardship, a non-profit group devoted to promoting good environmental decisions among Latter-day Saints.