Friday, August 28, 2009

Rowan Williams: Working in the grain of creation?

Somewhat overwrought PSA from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Perhaps it would be far simpler just to pull out some John Denver who was green as green can come, long before it was cool.

But how different John Denver's optimistic approach was back in the day, celebrating creation and the beauty of the earth with it's deep connection to embrace individual freedom and creative expressio. But then it's not about freedom today, is it?

That's not what we hear from the Archbishop of Canterbury.


It's all about fear.

Here's some more from John:

What do you think? Fear - or freedom?


Floridian said...

The whole global warming thing is a myth/theory just like evolution.

Global warming has been debunked by notable scientists... which Al Gore is not.

BTW - This is the coolest August we have had in Florida in YEARS.

Floridian said...

Neither is Rowan Williams a scientist nor an expert in micro or macroeconomics.

If he comes to speak in your neighborhood on either topic, save your time and ticket money.

It's a sham put on by the Green/UN/pansexuals* who are promoting a new religion that is pro-abortion, pro-homosex, pro-euthanasia and will solve poverty and stop all wars.

*Thank the religious think tanks of Ted Turner, Tony Blair, Bishop Swing and the URI, et al.

Daniel Weir said...

I am all for freedom, but the unrestrained use of freedom by North Americans frightens me. Our use of energy resources has led us into crisis after crisis and will continue to do so unless we learn to live responsibly.

Andy said...

I grew up as part of the generation that watched a noble native American cry on TV as well as listening to Woodsie tell us to "Give a Hoot". Too, I've seen how the generation that now scolds us turned Max Yasgur's farm into a toxic, urine-soaked mud bog (The part folk seem to forget..)

I would give the uber-greens a better hearing if they didn't spend their energies blocking safe, clean sources of energy like Nuclear Power and Hydrogen technologies. No, it seems they would much rather see a regressive, post-theistic dystopia with a population level that's been reduced 500 million.

Kinda make me wonder who the'll off the other 5.5 billion of us?

Daniel Weir said...

There seems to be an increasing tendency to ignore some environmentalists entirely because they aren't perfect or because they have blind spots - I am much more accepting of nuclear power than my mother was. Perhaps we should remember that the perfect is often the enemy of the good.

Don said...

Rowan Williams' perspective on the environment is so unsatisfactory that atheist Brendan O'Neill has taken exception to it. He wrote an article entitled "Mankind is more than the janitor of planet Earth," which I reproduced in part and commented on in my own piece Messing in Our Own Box.

Daniel Weir said...


I read your post and, while agreeing with about the stewardshop of the earth, I am less optimistic than you appear to be about what kind of grades the Owner might give us. I thnk we have done a miserable job and while I would not speak of the challenges that we face in the same way the Dr. Williams does, I think we have to deal with the crises that we have, for the most part, caused.

An issue which Dr. Williams does not, as far as I know, address is the damage that is done to the environment in lower-income neighborhoods in this country and elsewhere. The placingn of polluting industries as far away from the rich as possible has reulted in high levels of respitory ailments among poor children who love near the polluters. Read Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation which describes his visits to a South Bronx neighborhood where a large percentage of children suffer from respitory ailments. One of the people that Kozol came to know and admire was the rector of the local Episcopal parish.

Don said...

Anyone who ascribes optimism to me (my blog name notwithstanding) is on dangerous ground.

That being said, as an engineer I come from an ethic where problems are to be fixed. Unfortunately that's not the approach most environmentalists take, especially in this country. Too many of them romanticise a pristine past devoid of humans, which puts them on a path of forcing people to reduce. Moreover they won't advocate a simple approach (like a tax on imported oil) and instead go for the Byzantine bait and switch of cap and trade.

Sad to say, too many Christian leaders go along with this because they have no sense whatsoever of what could be done if simple economics and technological development were applied to the problem in the place of hand-wringing and political grandstanding. Most have no technical or economic background (another problem that should be fixed in the Anglophone world) so they allow fellow luddites to lead them around by the nose.

As far as your issue of locating factories in low-income areas, part of the rationale behind that has been to locate the potential workforce near the place of work. That in itself makes environmental sense, because it reduces commuting and thus motor vehicle (or mass transit) emissions. It also makes it convenient for people to go and make a living.

Given the web of environmental laws that industrial facilities have to adhere to in this country, one can only say that their emissions are the result of deficient enforcement of the current law.

It's frustrating to watch as the years roll by and our people are trapped between two ridiculous extremes, neither of which is going to get us anywhere. And it's even more frustrating to see the church attempt to sanctify either side before it takes an intelligent look at what can be done.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard the Denver song for a long time. It is very special and was, if I remember correctly, composed as a background for a TV documentary called "The Eagle and the Hawk." It was a wonderful film. The clip you use is fairly goofy, although it has its moments and provides a good delivery device for a great piece of music.


Anonymous said...

ooops - I should have kept going in the YT links. I found some of the original Denver material. Great. Thanks, BB, for building a little bridge to some wonderful music that I hadn't listened to for a very long time.


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