Texas Tech University

The Fundamentalists Holding Us Back from a Climate Change Solution


August 21, 2017

Vice - The evangelical Christian movement has been at war with environmentalism for decades – but the stakes have never been higher.

To understand how Christian ideology got to this point you need to go back thousands of years, to the dawn of agriculture in Mesopotamia. The region's light soil meant you only needed two oxen to plow. But as the practice of farming trickled west to the people of Northern Europe, four times as much power was needed to dig into the wetter earth. Because no subsistence-farming peasants owned more than a couple animals apiece, early Christians pooled resources and developed a process of plowing that violently dragged a vertical knife and a moldboard through the mud using eight animals.

Basically, that's when much of the world went from thinking that we needed to get permission from a tree's guardian spirit if we wanted to cut it down to the belief that everything on earth was there for humans to use as they saw fit.

n 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich wrote a book with his wife Anne called The Population Bomb. The speculative tome argued that we needed to do whatever was necessary to reduce the number of human beings on earth in order to save it-including promote contraception and allow abortion. According to Mark Stoll, a professor of environmental history at Texas Tech University and the author of Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of Environmentalism, the publication of Bomb was the beginning of a decades-long battle between evangelical Christians and liberals.

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