Cows, Kids, and CO2
The fundamental fallacy of the modern environmental movement is its inherent denial of supernaturalism and metaphysical reality. Rather than acknowledging that the entire Universe was created by the transcendent God of the Bible, Who both prepared and perpetuates the Earth for human habitation (Genesis 1:1-2:19; 8:22; Hebrews 11:3), the environmental movement posits an eternal Universe that must be protected and preserved by humans in order for life to continue. The future of the Earth is viewed as dependent on mankind. If man damages the fragile environment, he is hastening its imminent demise.
It was one thing for those young people who embraced this perspective to march in the streets in the 1960s and promote their wacky ideas. But now that they have moved into powerful political positions, their ideas permeate policy and literally wreak havoc on people’s lives. First it was the “deadly” ozone-depleting hairspray aerosols. Then it was the evil internal combustion engine. Two recent instances demonstrate the absurd extent to which environmentalists are willing to go.
A 400-page United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization report has identified rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the environment (Lean, 2006). We are told that the 1.5 billion cattle of the Earth are responsible for 18% of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming—more than cars, planes, and all other forms of transportation combined. More than a third of the greenhouse gas, methane (which warms the world 20 times faster than carbon dioxide), is emitted by cows and their manure. And it’s not just methane, since cattle also produce more than 100 other polluting gases, including more than two-thirds of the world’s emissions of ammonia—one of the main causes of acid rain (Lean, 2006). That’s right, gaseous expulsions by cows do more to damage the planet than cars. The environmentalists are beside themselves.
But it doesn’t stop there. While it is common for environmentalists to blame mankind as the prime perpetrator of environmental destruction, now one environmentalist insists that, more specifically, children are significant culprits in the human assault on the natural order. Parents, we are told, should limit their offspring to no more than two children in order to reduce carbon dioxide output. The report published by the environmentalist group, Optimum Population Trust, insists that the greatest thing one could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child (Templeton, 2007).
The arrogance of measly man thinking he can control the forces of nature by his paltry tinkering with the created order—as if he even had the knowledge and wisdom to do so. Ultimately, this feeble, faltering faux pas manifests willful ignorance and a lack of faith in the Creator. The environmentalists need a healthy dose of spiritual reality—the same one Job received when he thought it necessary to question God’s superintendence of the Universe:
Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements, since you know? ...You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!....Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.... Then I will also confess to you, that your own right hand can save you (Job 38:2-5,21; 40:2,14, emp. added).
If there is no God and evolution is true, then humans are no more valuable than rocks, cockroaches—and, yes, cows. So if we really want to get serious about saving the planet, simply kill all the cows and kids. When humans eliminate God from their thinking and jettison the biblical worldview, insanity begins to sound sensible. That’s the real “inconvenient truth.”
Lean, Geoffrey (2006), “Cow ‘Emissions’ More Damaging to Planet than CO2 from Cars,” The Independent, December 10, [On-line], URL: http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2062484.ece.
Templeton, Sarah-Kate (2007), “Children ‘Bad for Planet,’” The Australian, May 7, [On-line], URL: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21684156-5009760,00.html#.