It’s been a while since we’ve seen a completely meaningless gesture on behalf of the unsinkable global warming consensus. As such, it’s my pleasure to announce that the next meaningless gesture will occur… last Saturday?

Oops.

Yes, Saturday evening saw the arrival of Earth Hour, an 8-9 pm extravaganza of switching off lights that apparently not many people knew about. For example, here’s the local reaction from the Grand Rapids Press:

…some of Grand Rapids’ most prominent environmentalists, including Mayor George Heartwell, had not heard of Earth Hour.

“Earth Hour?” Heartwell responded when asked how he planned to observe it.

West Michigan Environmental Action Council Executive Director Rachel Hood said she “probably” had heard about it, but had no plans.

“We try to save the Earth 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” said Hood, who has lots of plans for Earth Day on April 22.

Judging from the article, it appears that Earth Hour went head-to-head with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and lost in a blowout. The real winners? People who enjoy comparing Al Gore’s home energy usage to that of major engineering landmarks in the US.

While we’re on the subject of Gore, it should be noted that he is now launching a $300 million ad blitz as a part of his “effort to redefine climate change as a moral and spiritual issue.”

(Allow me to pause a moment and note that the left likes to assert that the source of funding can automatically corrupt any scholarship or commentary that fails to support the consensus – see here. Under the principle of “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” I’d be very interested in knowing exactly who is putting up $300 million to fund Gore’s campaign. I look forward to some hard-hitting investigative journalism from, say, Media Mouse.)

Now, I’d certainly agree that environmental stewardship is a moral and spiritual issue, and that I, as a Christian, have a stewardship responsibility toward our natural environment. But there’s that word – “responsibility.” We are called to be responsible stewards, to use our minds, to balance sometimes competing goods in order to come to the best possible solution. For example – on the one hand, reducing emissions and pollution is undeniably a good thing, and we should work toward doing so as much as reasonably possible. On the other hand, economic growth is also a good thing, allowing wealth to be created and the poor to be lifted out of poverty – but economic growth often creates pollution. This is where the call to be a responsible steward comes into play – we must balance these competing interests with an eye towards the good of our fellow man.

Global warming is already a moral and spiritual issue, inasmuch as it is an issue of environmental stewardship. But we all know what Gore is getting at when he refers to the issue in this way – he’s trying to frame his view as the only moral and spiritual way to approach the issue, and to baptize his proposed “solutions” with an aura of spiritual approval. Gore has never been shy about denigrating anyone with the temerity to disagree with him in rather harsh terms, and it’s not unusual for Gore and his cadre of alarmist allies to engage in some wildly overheated rhetoric in the service of their cause, so it’s not surprising on the other hand to see him attempt to wrap himself in a mantle of spirituality to enhance his image. But just as with any politician or political campaign, Christians should be wary of simply taking Gore at his word, especially considering what appears to be his rather flexible definition of telling the truth.

  • Jean Bois

    Someone please address the fact that enviromentalism and racism, while important to debate and analyze are also economic enterprises. As such on both sides of the aisle, people are making a living on these issues. That said, the issues can not be debated well because of interest conflicts. Gore doesn’t believe what he says. If he did he would practice it. Its a living to him just as racism is a living for Jesse Jackson.

  • Marc Vander Maas

    Jean – I touched on the issue in [url=http://blog.acton.org/archives/2088-Global-Warming-Consensus-Watch-Truth-is-Inconvenient.html]this post[/url].

  • matt

    Have any of you guys hear what the New Jersey Nets are doing to in the fight against global warming? Not only are there games now carbon-neutral, but they traded Jason Kidd to the Dallas Maveriks for the a “better environment” also. Julianne Waldron explained to the media that Kidd was giving off to much Carbon dioxide. “Jason Kidd always hustles when he is on the basketball court, and we all admire that greatly. But all of that running up and down the court, pushing the team out on fastbreaks, expending extra energy just to make a few extra points and possibly win a game, caused all of the players to breathe a great deal more heavily and thereby expel extra amounts of carbon dioxide into the air, and we all know that is bad for the environment. We made the difficult decision to trade Kidd in order to save the planet.” Check out this article I found on it Environmental Activism is the Key to the Current Success of the New Jersey Nets