Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ecology, Environment and Creation Care

“… Gather up now the fragments (the broken pieces that are left over), so that nothing may be lost and wasted” (Jn 6:12, Amp).

In 1970 Francis Schaeffer wrote Pollution and the Death of Man and said, “… Christians who believe the Bible are not simply called to say that ‘one day’ there will be healing [for the pollution dilemma], but that by God’s grace, upon the basis of the work of Christ, substantial healing can be a reality here and now” [1]

In 1987 the large garbage barge Mobro from Long Island traveled to six states and three countries trying to get rid of its load. The barge finally went back to New York and the trash was burned in a Brooklyn incinerator. [2]

Just about everything can be recycled; even orange peels can be used in animal feed. It only takes 5% as much energy to make aluminum from old cans compared to making it from scratch using bauxite. Some cities, such as Freeport, IL, charge more for an extra bag of trash. If creating trash cost us something would we be such litterbugs? [3]

Turning trash to energy is one way to reduce pollution. Yes Virginia, there is profit in garbage. One incineration plant in Florida made $15 million from its electricity generation. [4] An incinerator makes ash that takes up one tenth the volume as the original trash:

Triencon is on the cutting edge of the waste-to-energy industry. They use gasification-oxidation which is different from incineration and does not harm the environment. The Fischer–Tropsch process (F-T) can convert carbon monoxide and hydrogen into synthetic lubricants and fuel. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and other trash can be converted into many useful products:

What about the carbon dioxide produced by waste-to-energy plants? When combined with hydrogen (abundant in the ocean) it can make methane gas. Waste to energy works!

Consider these thoughts from Francis Schaeffer,

Beauty does not have to have pragmatic reasons to have value. … When we have learned this - the Christian view of nature – then there can be a real ecology; beauty will flow, psychological freedom will come, and the world will cease to be turned into a desert. [5]

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Francis of Assisi

"And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth" (Rev 11:18, NASB).


1) Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer by Francis Schaeffer, (Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 1982), Vol. 5: p. 39, emphasis added.
2) “Talking Trash” by Virginia Postrel and Lynn Scarlett, Reason Aug/Sep 1991, p. 24.
3) Ibid., pp. 27, 28, 31.
4) “Cities Give Waste-to-Energy Plants a Second Look” by Ilan Brat, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 6-7, 2008, p. A3.
5) Schaeffer, p. 55.

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BK2C = Be Kind To Creation
NIMBY = Not In My Back Yard
Don’t Mess with Texas
Keep America Beautiful