Earth Day: Communist Conspiracy or Scriptural Mandate?



Ok, I’ll be upfront.  The title is probably a little bit misleading.  It is in reference to a little bit of trivia I read earlier this morning which cites a TIME magazine article published back in May, 1970 (the month after the first Earth Day was celebrated) which suggests that the fact that Earth Day happened to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin’s birthday was not a coincidence.  The article quotes the Daughters of the American Revolution making this shocking accusation against the organizers of the first Earth Day, “Subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them.”  

Despite the possibility of Earth Day being a secret communist plot to improve the health of our children, I thought I would post a few links commemorating the occasion.

The first link I want to post is where the “Scriptural Mandate” part of the title comes from.  And, while there is no Scriptural mandate to celebrate Earth Day, the resources on the other end of this link contend that Scripture does mandate a reverence and concern for the Earth. 

The next link is to a reflection by Brian McClaren (approriate to our recent discussion of the emergent church) which is published on the website of Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation (sorry Quickbeam).  It’s a thought provoking piece about the Gospel, the environment, and the Economic Crisis.

I give you the next link in a begrudged (and failed) effort at impartiality.  So here is a link to an encouraging (and completely impartial) FOX NEWS report suggesting that there’s no need to worry about the Antarctic melting.  It turns out that the whole climate change thing is just another one of those communist conspiracies to force us to live in a healthier planet. 

And finally, a thought provoking piece from the NY Times about meat, and its connections to the environment and global poverty.  Read only if you are already considering either becoming a vegetarian or significantly reducing your meat consumption, or if you intend to stay a glutinous meat-eater who is also a glutton for self-loathing. 

Happy Earth Day, Comrades! 



  1. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. It’s definitely good to take care of the earth, but the liberal side of this issue too often tries to scare people into doing so.

    What I really love is the recent surge in propaganda about the devastating impact that “animal waste” has on the environment. Its always something, isn’t it?

    Here’s a line from that article on meat that stood out to me:

    “These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests.”

    That little line about polluting water supplies just tickles me. I mean, the entire list of the cons to meat production is out of context and therefore hard to refute. It assumes the reader either knows the “facts” these ideas are based on and therefore agrees, or that the reader is an eco-terrorist.

    A slight tangent:

    I recently saw a commercial telling city residents that not cleaning up the poo that your dog drops can be harmful to the eco-system. You know, the same eco-system where, for thousands of years, animals have done their business without a bother on their conscience. (If you read my recent facebook note, this will be the short version of that.)

    Basically, it’s the same hippies who *now* tell us that dog poop will “pollute water” and “harm the earth” that have been advocating against chemical fertilizers because they “pollute water” and “harm the environment.” But what do they suggest farmers use? Manure, of course. Animal waste.

    So the logic is that animal waste, when used in massive quantities, is good for farmers to spray on their enormous fields. That’s good for mother earth because it’s natural. BUT… that one little steaming turd your puppy left behind is going to kill all the dolphins.

    The right thing, apparently, is to pick up the poo, put it in the city-provided plastic baggie (they have these stations in all the parks here) and drop in the waste basket to be carried off to the landfill where it can’t hurt the environment. Cause you know, landfills are … not… in… the … environment. um…..?


    And yet, how many people is this little ad campaign going to scare into cleaning up after their dogs? The answer, of course, is none. All it does is give the hippies something to yell at the guy who doesn’t pick up the poo.

    “You’re killing mother earth!”

    Oh, aren’t we all?


    1. Tony,

      I think that you are handling this a bit naively; almost as if you are saying “So there’s a dog turd out there, I can still drink clean water” Ok, sure, a single dog turd by itself is not going to kill the local ecosystem. But how many dogs are in your city? And cats? And other misc. wild animals like birds? So all of them combined is rather large. When it is swept away into the local water by rain then it enters the local ecosystem and yes, it does indeed cause harm. Especially when combined with all the other local pollutants.

      There is right now a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico THE SIZE OF MONTANA. It is a result of all the pollutants that flow down the MIssissippi River into the bay. Especially artificial fertilizers, whose massive amounts of Nitrogen choke out the natural oxygen in the Gulf. Or look up what is happening in some of the famous Bays in this country. The reason that animal crap can be used in farmers fields is because it has been properly composted beforehand. In point of fact if raw waste was to be spread on the field it would cause a ton of damage.

      I think that you are hopelessly undereducated in matters of the Environment. Even if, which I wouldn’t, but even if we were to discount Human Origin’ed Global Warming, the effects of pollutants in our water is a real and calculable problem which is becoming worse.



  2. Anthony,

    2 points: First, Ne Quid Nemis. Nothing in Excess. A little dog poo in the park is no big deal, but 50,000 tons? In the same way, a little pig poop’s ok, but too much becomes a serious problem for any ecosystem. Second, farmers (at least the good ones) don’t use pig poop, or dog poop or human poop as fertilizer. That’s how entire crops of tomatoes and spinach get salmonella. In addition, considering how many antibiotics and chemicals are given to cattle, it’s not the greatest idea to use cow poop, either. We know what this *crap* does to us and it’s not pretty.

    The author is simply arguing for moderation. Moderation is a good policy. Are you feeling guilty for letting your dog crap on the neighbor’s lawn? If so, just go say a prayer to St. Guilefort then you will be absolved.


  3. “Economic Crisis”

    What economic crisis? I was speaking to my 93 year old mother to gain a bit of perspective. She grew up prior to most modern inventions, like in door plumbing, telephones, TV’s, refregators, cars etc. Not that many of these items were available just not for the lower class.

    As a teenager in the great depression she spend 4 hours daily in line to get 2 cups of soup and a loaf of bread for her family which was 5 plus her grandparents. Unemployment was over 30%. That’s a crisis.

    Vegatables were something you grew in the garden, later Victory gardens rather then something to get in a store.

    Sorry but when I graduated in 1979 the stagflation was at 18% and unemployment was over 10%. Its only an economic crisis for those unemployed and that’s true even if the economy is booming.

    As far as the environmental crisis goes I think the industrial revolution of the late 19th century likely put out as much polution as we do today.

    While I believe in preserving resources, we don’t need to pay carbon credits, that’s just going to create an economic crisis. In my limited opinion sun spot activity, and volcanoes affect more of our environment then anything we do as a species.

    I love ARBOR day, but hate Earth day. That was about Johnny Appleseed, Joyce Kilmer and of course planting a tree. School kids saved the top soil, created oxygen exchange and created windbreaks for the prairie. Today its write your congressmen (electronically) for some stupid resolution which will be ignored by India and China.

    While us boomers can certainly learn a few things on the environment from the younger generations, I’d really like to see a reduction in the MERCURY footprint of gen-x-ers & gen-y’s in their consumption of I-phone,I-pod,PS3, and laptops. I get the impression from my kids(gen-y) that they aren’t willing to do so even as they rag on me to recycle my empty soda can.


  4. Okay, okay, hold on…. This one I simply cannot back down from.

    First of all, I don’t even have a dog. I take this one up on principle alone. It’s piss poor logic from the outset.

    Here’s the only question you need to consider:

    Where do you think dogs, who don’t live in big cities, go to the bathroom?

    Outside. In the environment.

    For the last several million years, or six thousand years, depending how much science you want to ignore.

    It is simply ridiculous logic to say that all the other wild animals (dogs, pigs and everything else included) that live in the great outdoors and have lived in the great outdoors for as long as animals have existed are totally fine leaving their crap wherever they please, that the planet can handle that like it has for so long…. but NOW our city dogs are poisoning lakes and streams and killing mother earth.

    What changed?

    This whole fear-mongering issue is just completely ridiculous. It’s nothing more than people not wanting to step in poo, which is fine, but using a totally ridiculous approach, which is not fine.

    Hell, I can support their goal. I don’t want to step in poo, either. I just cannot allow people to use ridiculous scare tactics that dog poop is killing the environment. It’s not like dogs are imported from other planets and our planet is now having to adjust to this new species and it’s toxic waste.

    Dogs have been here longer than we have. If the problem is domestication, you know, suddenly having too many dogs for the environment to handle… then Hell, I’d be okay with shooting the buggers and decreasing the surplus population. See how well that goes over with the hippies.

    But don’t get me wrong, I’m no dog lover.

    I simply like good logic and sound reasoning over the opposite. Call me horribly undereducated if you must, but I’ve been reading up on this one for a while now, and the whole issue stinks. Pun fully intended.


  5. To push the illogic one step further:

    Since our city dogs have *some* people cleaning up after them, but the wild dogs and other animals whose poo is so bad, have *nobody whatsoever* cleaning up after them, then by the logic of this idea, it makes better sense to organize pooper scoopers to go out in to the wild and start cleaning up that poop before it can poison the water.

    I mean, we’re working on the city dog owners, but no one is even addressing all the other wild animals. Don’t those animals know what they’re doing is bad and wrong?

    Of course, the next thing to consider is: w\Where should the pooper scoopers put the cleaned up wild animal poo? Apparently we’ll need to ship it to another planet, because it’s just too much for the oh-so-fragile environment on Earth.

    I can see it now; The New Space Race. Will Russia beat the US in the first rocket mission to deliver animal waste to the far reaches of space? Stay tuned!

    (P.S. I love you guys. I hope you can see the humor in this, even if you disagree!)


  6. Tony, I think we’ve been arguing about different things here. You can have your dog poo, and your space age crap solutions (which are ingenious and hilarious). But, the article is not about dogs or wild animals. It’s about industrially processed animals, thousands literally stacked upon thousands of them. We’re talking about 50,000 tons of pig poop a year! What’s changed in the last 2 decades, as opposed to the previous 6-10 million years? Industrialization and our attending loss of attachment to the reality of where our food comes from has enabled human greed and human consumption to grow outside of sustainable limits. We are “processing” more animals than our environment can healthily deal with (especially when you have thousands upon thousands of animals all crapping in the same place, with their tons of steaming poo being dumped in the same little stretch of river). Furthermore, we’re feeding those animals food that they were not meant by nature to eat (this applies more to cattle I suppose), and we’re not treating these animals with the respect that a reverence for God’s creation demands (treating them more like products in an assembly line than living beings, for instance). So, you win on the dog poop thing, but that’s not the argument I wanted to have. BTW, My dog pooped in the park last night, and I left it there just for you :).

    Grace and Peace,


  7. I, Ladies and Gentlemen, have your solution.


    Kill all the people, well, at least those icky poor and unemployed people anyway. It would solve all of, but not limited to, the following – no more high food demands (no more ranching poo), lower pet ownership rates (no more city poo), unemployment rates, imigration, exploitation, global warming, and polution!


  8. Ooohhh….

    I guess that’s what I meant by denoting the rant as “A slight tangent.”


    I do agree with the main thrust of the article, I just like to knit-pick minor, nearly inconsequential supporting points and then go on tangents about somewhat related things that have bugged me recently.

    Okay, rant …. subsiding… anger … retreating…. vision… un-blurring.


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