Are You a Victim of Eco-Guilt?
By Reed Benson
Eco-guilt, or green guilt, is a tool in the arsenal of the liberal leftists that is rapidly growing in its effectiveness. In recent polling, nearly one third—a full 29% of all Americans—feel they are directly responsible for harming the environment because of their lifestyle choices. This percentage has doubled in the last three years. These lifestyle choices for which environmentalists would have us feel guilty are not as easily correctable as dropping a pop can in the weeds or failing to recycle your plastic water bottle, but are much more pervasive issues.
Do you drive a large vehicle, especially an SUV or big pickup? You should feel guilty about the excessive amounts of carbon you emit when you rev that thundering engine and feel its power pull you down the highway! Do you live in a home that is more than one-thousand square feet? Shame on you, using so much electricity to heat or cool your overly spacious pad, probably produced from carbon sources like coal or natural gas! Do you eat beef? Oh, what a wastrel you are, living off the flesh of such an inefficient food source compared to a vegan diet!
The Climate Change, Eco-Guilt Agenda
For someone like me, living in the rural Midwest smack in the center of the American redneck zone, these talking points are easy to laugh off as zany, environmental flimflam (which they really are). But many Americans live where such issues are taken with deadly seriousness. Dozens of states and thousands of municipalities are grappling with a dominant, liberal constituency that expects laws to be passed that reflect eco-guilt values. Millions of leftist Americans demand that all of us be forced, by law, into driving tiny, eco-friendly cars and downsizing to elfish-sized apartments and consuming largely meat-free diets. The minimalist lifestyle, all the rage in Europe, must be imposed upon Americans! We must drastically reduce our carbon footprint!
Of course, I need not rehearse all of the calamitous prophecies of doom that leftists insist will overwhelm the entire planet if unsophisticated rustics like me fail to comply. Just a few will suffice. The United Nation Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (that sounds important) tells us that malnutrition will rise by 20%, millions of people will be forced to migrate, water-borne disease will proliferate, and wars will be more numerous. California Governor Jerry Brown says that Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord in June of 2017 was "an insane course of action" that will cause "oceans to rise" and that "people to die." He went on to claim that "California has lost 100 million trees in the drought directly induced by human activity." Wow. And all because I eat pot roasts and drive a Ford F-150.
But seriously, why do people fall for this poppycock? There is a reason: our human psyche has a deep need for a spiritual dimension. Religious values are not optional in humans. Even most atheists espouse a set of precepts with religious zeal. But most Americans are not atheists and never really will be. As Christianity declines, environmentalism as a set of religious principles becomes more popular. As a worldview, this new pantheism, or worship of the earth, has its own dogmas, its own high priests (so-called scientists), and its own form of original sin.
This latter item, environmentalism's original sin, is pushed by the "deep greens," the super zealous in the movement that consider humans a blight on the face of the planet. They would like to "re-wild" America, making most of the United States the home of nothing but beasts and squeezing everybody into a handful of super-cities. They have a great capacity for human loathing. This they justify because of the guilt that we bear for our sins against the earth. It is our fault, and we must pay.
But who is the target of this guilt? Not the very rich. Not the poor. It is the Middle Class. But not all of the Middle Class around the world—
only in western nations, that is, White nations. The original sin for which we must do extreme penance is not generalized on all of the world's population. They insist that climate change and the raping of the environment (their phraseology, not mine) is the fault of the White man.
When President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, he argued it penalized the United States unfairly. He is absolutely correct. It targeted only the United States, and to a lesser degree European nations. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, was not pleased with Mr. Trump. The Germans have been so drenched with White guilt since the end of World War II that they reflexively do everything absolutely contrary to their own best interests. Are you going to penalize us Germans more than China and India? "Oh, ja, das ist gut!" Apparently, and sadly, most modern Germans cannot conceive why any White person would not readily welcome every opportunity for self-loathing and self-flagellation!
That is the kind of White guilt, eco-guilt in this case, that the leftists want all of us to feel, not just the Germans. So, despite the fact that China is the world's largest polluter and pumps more carbon into the atmosphere than any nation on the planet, the Paris Climate Accord exempts the Chinese for years to come. And despite the fact that India is the fastest growing carbon menace, they are also exempt. Why? They are not White. Of course, no one actually states that is why, but it is the truth. Climate change, it is presumed, is not their fault. The White race created the climate crisis, thus only White nations need chastisement. So, except for Trump's United States, White nations have lined up for their spanking, Angela Merkel's Germany being first in line.
Why Do White People Get The Blame?
So why is climate change the fault of the White Man? It is the White race that gave the world the Industrial Revolution, which, they allege, is the root of the problem.
White boy, your direct ancestors first started polluting everything—inventing all of those factories, using the pathetic excuse that clothes and products would be cheaper for the masses. That is certainly no excuse for all that smoke! And then mining all of that coal, claiming that it will provide cheap electricity! Again, no excuse for all of that smoke! Your people invented steam engines and trains, showing that products could be moved more cheaply and made available to poor people. Yet again, no excuse for all that smoke! Your ancestors developed the internal combustion engine, proving that regular folks can now travel easier, faster, further, even in the sky! What about all that smoke? You people should have known better! You White folks should have seen where this inventiveness and industrial development would take us! Even now, the seas are rising, swamping non-White island nations in the Indian Ocean! Droughts are worse than ever in Africa, starving Black people! The hurricanes are more fierce than before, killing non-Whites in the Caribbean! Why did you White people not foresee all of this?
You should have remained poor peasants in Europe, few in number, living in wood huts, burning only tiny fires from trees that die naturally. But no, you had to go and invent all kind of things using coal (horrors!), and iron ore, and petroleum, and building big things that scar the landscape like bridges, highways, and dams on rivers. If you were sensitive to the land, you would have remained subsistence farmers, or better yet, hunters and gatherers like Native Americans. But no, you had to start inventing things that pump carbon into the atmosphere! White man, you should feel guilty! Evil you are, living in those big houses heated with natural gas, driving big pickups that belch carbon fumes, farming with massive diesel tractors with their stinking carbon discharges, and to top it off, pulling out your deadly rifles to shoot harmless deer that you actually eat!
It must be in your innate genetic background to harm the earth! That's it—you can't help it! Digging tunnels in our mother earth to steal her minerals, punching deep painful holes to rob her petroleum, damming up rivers that disturb the fish! Only your race has done this on a large scale. You are thus evil! The civilization you represent and the lifestyle your nasty ancestors made possible cannot remain!
Proverbs 1:22 states that "fools hate knowledge." That is the condition of the radical environmental movement, the deep greens who despise God and have replaced Him with another deity, the earth. They are much like the pagan Canaanite religion of Baal, whose worshipers gathered in shady groves of timber on high hills in the days of the Old Testament, where they engaged in their grossly immoral worship of the sky, the trees, and the earth.
God commanded the Israelite kings to destroy these worship centers, and some made genuine efforts. But rather few followed through with the completeness actually needed to eradicate this ancient environmental cult.
"And he [Jehoshaphat] walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD: nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high place" (1 Kings 22:43). "And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchman to the fenced city. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree. And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger" (2 Kings 17:9-11).
We May Not Be So Innocent After All
While the fools who push and prod for radical environmental constraints to be placed upon us have falsely accused us of making the arctic ice melt and ruining the lives of Africans who suffer from drought, we are not altogether undeserving of punishment in the grand scheme of things. What could we have done? If we are not guilty of stimulating climate change, for what are we to blame?
Consider two facts: first, God is the ultimate judge of all the affairs of man, and, second, many of us who indignantly rebuff the foolishness of the deep greens also indignantly rebuff the commandments of God. True, our big pickups, commodious homes, and beef-eating diets are not harming the atmosphere, but many of us are just about as distant from Jehovah as the liberal leftists. Repeat: many of us are as distant from God as the liberal leftists. Our personal morals are scarcely any better, our marriages are not more untroubled, our Bibles remain practically unused and unmarked, our churches are withering for lack of our support, and our knees are unworn from lack of prayer, while our hearts are proud and our mouths full of excuses why we cannot honor Jehovah the way our grandparents and forefathers did. Yes, all of this is true of many of us in the "conservative heartland" of America. We have mistaken conservatism for spirituality and patriotism for biblical Christianity. We are have made a grave error.
As with so many issues of life, once the complexities have been stripped away, the bottom line solution is repentance. While we glibly assume the liberal socialists have more to repent for than we do (and we are not incorrect), we have missed the central point. Repentance from sin is not really a game of comparison. Willingness to repent is more important than how much you have to repent for. Again, for emphasis, willingness to repent is more important than how much for which you have to repent. The well-behaved Pharisees famously made this mistake: "Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him" (Matthew 21:31-32). We White conservatives, many of us living in the middle of the country rather than the leftist strongholds of southern California, New York City, Chicago, and other coastal metropolises, must recognize our own guilt before God and make ourselves humble before Him. God's chastisement begins with His own people: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God . . ." (1 Peter 4:17). Let us consider our ways and return to our Father in heaven.