Comparing Political Platforms (13) The Environment

Good Christians and good Americans care about the environment. That we can agree on. Less certain is how to show that we care. As we continue our look at the political party platforms to move beyond personalities to ideas, here is what the Democrat, Libertarian, and Republican parties believe about the environment.

DNC Democrats will increase funding to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers, with particular attention given to promoting environmentally sustainable agricultural practices. (p.20) We are committed to principles of environmental justice in Indian Country and we … call for a climate change policy that protects tribal resources, protects tribal health, and provides accountability through accessible, culturally appropriate participation and strong enforcement. (p.23) Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time … The best science tells us that without ambitious, immediate action across our economy to cut carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases, all of these impacts will be far worse in the future. We cannot leave our children a planet that has been profoundly damaged. (p.27) The impacts of climate change will also disproportionately affect low-income and minority communities, tribal nations, and Alaska 29 Native villages—all of which suffer the worst losses during extreme weather and have the fewest resources to prepare. Simply put, this is environmental racism. (p.28-9) Democrats oppose efforts to undermine the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act to protect threatened and endangered species … we support efforts by the EPA under the Clean Water Act to establish proactively science-based restrictions on discharges of dredged or fill material … we believe that in order to be effective in keeping our air and water clean and combating climate change, we must enlist farmers as partners in promoting conservation and stewardship. (p.30) Climate change poses an urgent and severe threat to our national security, and Democrats believe it would be a grave mistake for the United States to wait for another nation to take the lead in combating the global climate emergency … In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists, and indigenous communities to chart a course to solve the climate crisis. (p.45)
LP Competitive free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Governments are unaccountable for damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights and responsibilities regarding resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Where damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law, restitution to the injured parties must be required.
RNC Conservation is inherent in conservatism. As the pioneer of environmentalism a century ago, the Republican Party reaffirms the moral obligation to be good stewards of the God-given natural beauty and resources of our country. We believe that people are the most valuable resources and that human health and safety are the proper measurements of a policy’s success. We assert that private ownership has been the best guarantee of conscientious stewardship, while some of the worst instances of degradation have occurred under government control. (p.20-1) The environment is too important to be left to radical environmentalists… using yesterday’s tools to control a future they do not comprehend. The environmental establishment has become a self-serving elite, stuck in the mindset of the 1970s, subordinating the public’s consensus to the goals of the Democratic Party. Their approach is based on shoddy science, scare tactics, and centralized command-and-control regulation. Over the last eight years, the Administration has triggered an avalanche of regulation that wreaks havoc across our economy and yields minimal environmental benefits. The central fact of any sensible environmental policy is that, year by year, the environment is improving. Our air and waterways are much healthier than they were a few decades ago… we have drastically reduced pollution, mainstreamed recycling, educated the public, and avoided ecological degradation. Even if no additional controls are added, air pollution will continue to decline for the next several decades due to technological turnover of aging equipment. These successes become a challenge for Democratic Party environmental extremists, who must reach farther and demand more to sustain the illusion of an environmental crisis. That is why they routinely ignore costs, exaggerate benefits, and advocate the breaching of constitutional boundaries by federal agencies to impose environmental regulation. At the same time, the environmental establishment looks the other way when environmental degradation is caused by the EPA and other federal agencies as was the case during the Animas River spill. (p.21)


comparing platforms environmentAs Christians, should we hand over responsibility for the environment to the government?

That’s not what God did.

He handed the environment over to Adam and Eve and blessed their ruling and subduing it.

It seems to me that we’ve gotten so good at giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s (Matthew 22:21) and demanding that our neighbors give “their fair share” to Caesar, that we’ve moved right along to giving to Caesar what is God’s. Look at the all the ways we’ve allowed the unaccountable and ungodly blob of government to infiltrate every blessing that God gave to Adam and Eve as two individuals.  Here’s the blessing:

Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground– everything that has the breath of life in it– I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

  • The blob of government has inserted mandated insurance coverage for birth control into the “be fruitful”
  • abortion into the “increase in number” with special needs babies and minorities considered the most deserving of death-by-mom-and-Uncle-Sam instead of helping to fill the earth.
  • The blob of government has inserted regulation upon regulation
  • and tax upon tax to tell everyone how to fill, rule, and subdue the earth.
  • There is no more ruling over the fish of the seas and birds of the air without having a higher court, an Endangered Species Act, or an EPA telling us what to do and how to do it.
  • And then taking us to court and establishing a fine for causing climate change.
Didn’t God give stewardship of the environment to responsible individuals, not to some unaccountable and political bureaucracy?

That’s why I’m still watching the Upper Des Plaines Watershed like a hawk as part of my ongoing ministry. I am an individual caring about our environment…just like my Lord and Savior Jesus did… ever since He created it in the beginning.

About Jesus, we read, Colossians 1: 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Maybe the world would be a better place if we all received God’s blessing with the individual responsibility for stewardship attached
… and we received it as individuals held accountable by God for it
… and didn’t just hand it off to the blob to do it for us,
thinking that giving it to Caesar was just good as each man or woman loving the Lord and doing it for God’s glory. 

Maybe we’ve just gotten too good at giving it all to Caesar so we don’t have to be bothered lifting a finger to care about the environment ourselves.

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Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on August 20, 2016

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