Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Political Conservatism and The Greens

I listen to a fair amount of talk-radio. I find it interesting and informative, often dealing with things I wouldn't have otherwise thought of. I listen to NPR for the stories, and I listen to a lot of "Conservative Radio" on our local WCBM AM-680, with folks like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. (I also listen to music. I sometimes even enjoy listening to 99.1 El Zol, but I'm odd like that.)

There's been a lot of talk, lately, on Conservative Radio about Global Warming. They don't like it. Well, nobody likes it, but what I mean is that they don't even like the idea of it. They view it all as nonsense. If they even admit that things do seem to be warming up a bit, they insist that it has nothing to do with us, and that we couldn't do anything about it anyway.

Now let's say, for the moment, that they're right: There is no such thing as Global Warming, and if there is, there's nothing we could do to stop it anyway. I can live with that as a possibility. But why is it that what follows seems to be, "so let's pollute the air, water and earth as much as we feel like?" In other words, from a Conservative perspective, is there something wrong with taking care of our environment?

Years ago, I heard Rush talking about nuclear proliferation. There was something about some environmentalist wacko group (and many of them are wackos) complaining that we could already destroy the planet and somesuch. I don't remember the issue exactly, but I do remember Rush's response. He said, "I simply don't believe that God would allow us to destroy the planet." Now I thought about that statement. I agreed with him. God seems to have plans for us, and wiping all life off the Earth doesn't seem to be included in those plans - at least not yet. But I thought about it more, and discovered that, while I still agree with that, I don't think I do quite the way he seemed to.

See, we believe that God doesn't like to do things outside of derech tevah - Natural Law. And that even when He does do nisim - miracles - He does them such that they at least fall within Natural Law somehow. God didn't just make the Egyptians pursuing us, as we left Egypt, disappear or suddenly drop dead in their tracks or fall into a black hole that just happened to pass by at that moment. He also didn't just teleport us across the water. Ostensibly, He could have, but He didn't. He chose to work with Natural Law, even when performing a miracle. That's why the Torah specifically tells us about the winds that blew all night before the Red Sea split, for example.

So I decided that it would only make sense for God to do His work to protect us from ourselves, also through natural means. In other words, Rush was right: God isn't going to allow us to destroy the planet, but perhaps some of the mechanisms He's using are the environmentalist wacko groups who put political pressure on the EPA and the rest of the Gov't. That, while their beliefs and methods may be extreme and even illogical, they too have a purpose in God's world. (Which is ironically amusing considering that many of them are also rabid Atheists!)

The same thing applies to Global Warming. Ultimately, God may want to use Global Warming as a mechanism for His works. The US put pressure on Israel to make Gush Katif Judenrein. The day Israel finally complied and kicked the Jews out, Hurricane Katrina kicked hundreds of thousands of Americans out of their homes. Environmental groups point to Katrina as a harbinger of cataclysmic events that will be brought on by Global Warming. I see God's fingerprints on that. So maybe they're right - perhaps we can't do anything to stop it, really. Be we can do the best we can, can't we?

Lo alecha ha'm'lacha ligmor, v'lo ata ben-chorim l'hitbatel mimena. It's not up to you to finish the job, but that doesn't free you from your responsibility to do what you can.

G'mar chatima tova to all!