Sunday, October 15, 2006

Does the Gospel Require We Use Renewable Energy?

I'm very conservative on many issues (e.g., low taxes and sanctity of life), but I prioritize one issue much higher than my fellow Republicans often do: Care for the environment. It frustrates me that we don't have a national goal to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil by developing renewable sources of energy (see what Scotland is doing, for example). To me, the most important reason for this goal is that it would dramatically reduce pollution. Of course, there are other reasons such as the importance of not sending our money to the Middle East, but that's for another discussion.

I think that the Gospel would require us to make every effort to use our stewardship--this earth--wisely and to not waste its resources or pollute it. I don't think we'll find much to support this in statements from Church leaders, but take a look at these Ensign articles:
However, I have found some quotes:
  • "The leaders of the Church continually cry out against that which is intolerable in the sight of the Lord: against pollution of mind and body and our surroundings...." (Spencer W. Kimball, “The Lord Expects Righteousness,” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 4)
  • "We recommend to all people that there be no undue pollution, that the land be taken care of and kept clean to be productive and to be beautiful...." (Spencer W. Kimball, “Why Call Me Lord, Lord, and Do Not the Things Which I Say?” Ensign, May 1975, 4)
A related issue is global warming, but I'm tired of how political the discussion of global warming has become. Besides, whether global warming is happening or not, it seems clear to me that we need to pollute less and conserve more. Using renewable energies, both for generating electricity and for powering vehicles, is the way to do this.

So, does the Lord expect us to all be tree huggers? To a degree yes though not to excess. The Lord gave us this earth to use, but we must use it wisely and with gratitude as righteous stewards.

Submit to Sustain'd


Connor said...

I agree with the need to conserve and not pollute, however I do also believe (as I previously posted) that the Lord has provide enough goods in this earth for all of his children. It's just a matter of accessing and distrubiting those resources. Countries and wicked men often abuse such stewardships, preventing others from benefitting from those resources.

NWFUNGUY said...

Just a point of technical detail, but I recently visited a new Windfarm project in Central Oregon that was just purchased by PacifiCorp to meet the requirements by the Oregon Public Utilities Commission.

To be build a WindFarm must be able to produce 100% output of it's power capacity for a minimum 30% of the time. This makes these not the most efficent for the use of equipment, but with a zero cost for energy and a great tax credit these are a very hot item in the power industry.

I believe in these as a good way to provide a very cost efficient source of power but they are ugly and it takes one man to maintain 10 Wind generators.

Folrida Power and Light is planing on building a large WindFarm at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon.

endlessnegotiation said...

The problem with the renewable energy sources we have at our disposal today (ethanol and other plant-based fuels are net energy consumers today) is that they are not all that portable nor all that efficient. Wind enery costs 3x as much to produce and deliver as energy from coal. Eventually we'll develop technologies that eliminate the inefficiencies and so in the mean time just turn down your themostat, consolidate automobile trips, buy a car instead of a truck, and recycle where you can.

BTW, wind enery produces a great deal of pollution in the 4-5k of birds that get chopped up annually by each individual windmill. It's somewhat amusing that the tree-huggers in Minnesota are now beside themselves with what to do about wind energy now that the morbid reality of the generation process has reared its ugly head.

Doc said...

So Connor,
Wouldn't the logical solution then be to establish a world government to equalize this distribution and end the abuses? Not exactly the Constitutional platform, but it seems to me the only way these injustices could end.

Connor said...

Wouldn't the logical solution then be to establish a world government to equalize this distribution and end the abuses? Not exactly the Constitutional platform, but it seems to me the only way these injustices could end.

Yup, but wicked, uninspired men cannot control such a globalized government, for it will surely result in Communism and tyranny. Only Christ will be able to organize and administer such a government (and such distribution of goods and resources) when He reigns.

shiningcity said...

Amen to Connor's comments. I also appreciate this level-headed discussion of the environment. This topic has unfortunately been hijacked by the extreme environmentalists whose environmental stances are actually geared toward hurting the United States.