Publication:Johnson City Press; Date:Apr 15, 2008; Section:Opinion; Page Number:10A


Environmentally focused students give hope for future




    I wonder what Rev. Terry W. Jackson thought when he saw his letter published in the same Press issue that had major environment-related stories on the front page of two different sections.

    Jackson wrote, “Environmentalism is idolatry.” Sane people realize that statement is a lie. He added, “Environmentalism is the worship of the creation and not the creator.” That’s another lie.

    Genesis 1:28 says, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (lower case) and subdue it.” Apparently, Jackson believes “subdue the earth” means “squander Earth’s resources and render it uninhabitable.”

    Jackson, showing signs of paranoia and delusion, wrote, “The establishment’s religion is environmentalism. Environmentalism is the government-established religion of America.” If this had appeared on April 1, I’d have thought it was an April fool’s joke.

    I have a degree in environmental health from East Tennessee State University. Although only 14 percent of the students voted, I was proud to see the “green fee” accepted. If managed well, I believe it will eventually help limit fees.

    I was also very proud to read about the students at 17 area high schools who participated in this year’s Envirothon. In them, there is hope for our future, and the future of Earth.

MICHAEL A. BALL

Mountain Home

Use and abuse of Earth

    In response to “Environmentalists are regressive, not progressive”: If I understand the Rev. Terry W. Jackson’s article correctly, God made the Earth and he commanded man to subdue it. The definition of “subdue,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: To lead astray, overcome, arrest; to conquer and bring into subjection.

    The reverend believes man can do anything he wants to the Earth because it is man’s to use — that is what God says. Profit is the bottom line. It isn’t profitable to take care of the environment we live in and are dependent on for our physical lives, so to hell with it. And if you don’t think like the reverend, you are an idolater.

    What the reverend believes is arrogant, ignorant and destructive. I was taught in my Christian church the Earth is God’s creation. He commanded man to be stewards of the Earth; take care of it; tend to it. God made the Earth’s resources finite. If we don’t use them wisely and plan for future generations we will perish through our ignorance and arrogance. God gave us free will and a brain to use, hopefully wisely — before it’s too late.

    But maybe I was misled by my church and common sense. Maybe if I care about the Earth and believe it is God’s and not man’s to use and abuse, I am an idolater.

    Maybe the reverend exclusively knows the mind and will of God, but it sounds to me like the reverend believes in his own wisdom, power and will. KATHERINE NOBLET Johnson City Free market increases costs

    The Rev. Terry Jackson wrote recently to decry environmentalists as “idolators” and to blame “government regulation” on rising energy costs which, he claims, only the “free market” is capable of fixing. Hmm. ... Who’s the idolater here?

    Raise your hands if you’ve ever hiked to the top of a mountain, beheld the lush valley below catching the rays of a golden sunset, and silently said a prayer of awe and thanks to God who, in his infinite wisdom, created the world in its intricate balance and majestic beauty. Good. Now raise your hands if you’ve ever shoved your way onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and — beholding the frantic, screaming traders — felt your heart moved to worship the Creator. Nobody?

    There’s a reason Christ used the natural world and agricultural images for the settings of his parables (“I am the true vine;” “The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed;” “Consider the lilies of the field,” etc.). There is also a reason he said, “You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

    Incidently, the reason energy costs are so high is because of the free market: Our modern industrial civilization is tied to a shrinking supply of fossil fuels for which there is an ever-increasing demand. We can greedily exhaust the resources for the pleasure of our generation, or we can begin the transition process to alternative forms of renewable energy, for the sake of future generations. BRADLEY FOSTER SMITH Johnson City Go vegan to save Earth

    Earth Day is this month and almost everyone has heard about going “green.” Some are finding ways to do so such as buying organic, switching to fluorescent light bulbs, purchasing a hybrid. But, sometimes going green can be a little expensive.

    Becoming a vegetarian is one of the most inexpensive ways to go green yet also one of the best things you could do to help the Earth, animals and yourself. Why? Raising animals for food is one of the top three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems. Farmed animals produce about 130 times as much waste as the human population and these factory farms do not have sewage systems as our cities do; the waste ends up in our water, topsoil, air, etc.

    Nearly half the water consumed in this country is used for livestock. According to the U.N., the meat industry generates more greenhouse gases than all cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world.

    The average American meat eater is responsible for nearly 1.5 tons more carbon dioxide than a vegan is. This year more than 140 million pounds of beef was recalled because of diseased and abused dairy cows headed for slaughter caught on video by the Humane Society — this was not a freak incident. The abuse these animals endure is more than barbaric and you are what you eat.

    So, save your money, observe Earth Day and celebrate the lives of animals.

    Visit www.goveg.com. CHARLEE OVERBY Johnson City