by Sandra Coleman
Our incredible prosperity in America has a simple source: fossil fuels. What are they? Caches of living things, long dead. Trees and plants love to breathe them.
Human ingenuity tapped these resources to make life bearable and to provide protections from climate for billions of people, supplying 80% of the world’s power. Fuel is the industry that powers all other industries from the buttons on your shirt to that air conditioner and furnace.
Now there is no question that, in tapping these resources, man has many times, both knowingly and unknowingly, exploited and plundered the earth: PCB contamination in our oceans (a chemical by-product of the manufacture of electric insulators, flame retardants, and computer chips), overuse of chemicals in farming, the list is endless.
What to do? Whom to trust? Knowledge is power. For example, did you know that those solar panels on your roof are made using caustic chemicals? It takes electricity to produce them and they create disposal problems? Wind turbines rely on unreliable, intermittent wind and sun and also depend on fossil fuels.
In the debate over wind turbines in Reno County, a commissioner expressed his opinion that there was abundant evidence on both sides of the health effects issue. The question is the authenticity of the evidence. The validation of evidence can be a formidable task because some experts are all too eager to arrive at the right facts for the right amount of money or to advance an agenda.
Much of the confusion stems from our current cultural worldview, Postmodernism, brought to us courtesy of the French philosophical influences.
One tenet of this view is that power is knowledge. In other words, the root of our most cherished institutions, hospitals, schools, businesses and prisons is a network of power relations. Powerful people make the rules, manipulate the language to create reality, and provide filtered facts.
For example, powerful people had convinced us for decades that antioxidants are very, very good for us. Now we know that “fact” was, maybe in large part, a marketing tool.
Multi media has perfected to science the techniques of coaxing people to do certain actions, think certain thoughts, believe certain truths and untruths.
Why is the green movement suppressing nuclear and hydroelectric power, the only two reliable sources that could provide worldwide scale energy?
It couldn’t have anything to do with power and money, could it?
We all want to protect and preserve the earth. Time and time again, we see knowledge and justice reduced to power; there is no claim to truth that is innocent.
As Christians, we do indeed know that power is knowledge(Wisdom)- only if that power is the living Word. The mind is relative to the right order of love, the direction of our heart, seeing reality through the lens of Jesus Christ. There is a story that requires eyes to see and ears to hear. It does not appeal to universal reason. It is a proclamation that demands the response of faith.
It is a proclamation that compels us to love our neighbors.
We are in the midst of profound technological change. Let us keep the right focus.