Religious Environmentalists Panic over Trump Presidency

In Climate Change, Election 2016, Environment, Religion, The Big Picture by Wesley Haverlah0 Comments

Over the last weeks, we have seen markets, politicians, and citizens weather the whiplash of alternating surges of fear and exultation. Protests-turned-riots and the ideological fault lines that fragment our political culture have tested the pride of the American government in what is typically a peaceful transition of power.

A bit ironic since Hillary Clinton was such a staunch advocate for accepting the election results before she found out what those results were.

In early November, the American people did what Hillary Clinton previously hailed as unacceptable. They “put a climate denier in the White House.” Clinton is not alone in her fear of what a Trump presidency will mean for environmental reform. Writing for the Salt Lake Tribune, Lauren Markoe gave voice to the views of several religious environmental activists. These activists are apprehensive that the President-Elect’s convictions will result in the loss of the alleged progress of the Obama administration.

Speaking on behalf of Creation Justice Ministries, Shantha Alonso offered the following:

“The fear is that we lose some of the achievements that we have worked very hard for. The Obama administration has done more for the climate and for conservation than any previous president.”

Alonso noted the Paris Climate Accords, the Clean Power Plan, and the EPA’s efforts to reduce methane emissions as some of the administration’s successes.

However, these alleged “successes” have been revealed to be ineffective, if not harmful. The Paris accords will harm the poor with rising energy costs; the Clean Power Plan will cost $13-$25 trillion for wind and solar alone; and the EPA’s methane reductions have been estimated to prevent warming by a trivial 0.002 degree Celsius.

Furthermore, all three initiatives clearly disregard the anthropocentric nature of environmental conservation, or, in biblical terms, the critical role of human beings as the stewards of God’s creation.

Christians, who care for the environment, should await the President-Elect’s tenure with some apprehension. Wisdom and caution should be hallmarks of the way we treat candidates who have never held public office. However, the fears resulting from President-Elect Trump’s opposition to President Obama’s initiatives are not rational.

Rolling back these initiatives would be a major step in the right direction.

Featured Image Courtesy of Mark Taylor/Flickr CC.

Wes Haverlah is a student at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School studying marketing with a minor in philosophy. He is an intern with Earth Rising Blog, a project of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Growing up in a family with deep agricultural roots, he is passionate about responsible stewardship of the environment and balancing conservation with relevant economic concerns.

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