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Every Day is Earth Day

For a lot of people on the center-right, the virtue signaling around Earth Day can be exhausting. No one cares more about land than landowners, and they don’t take a day off from caring. If all we do on Earth Day is think about that fact, it’s a successful Earth Day. 

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Still, Earth Day is a good time to reflect on how our culture thinks about environmental stewardship and how we debate (or don’t debate) areas of disagreement. 

I have the honor of delivering the annual Earth Day homily at our local historic church. I think it’s wise for people of faith to realize that Earth Day itself has taken on a religious dimension and offer a response. The reality in our culture today isn’t that people are less religious, they’re just religious about other things.

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Conservatives often reflexively critique the “climate religion,” and there are many serious flaws in the dogmatic degrowth left’s climate agenda. Yet, the sense of wonder normal people feel about nature is a natural and good thing, and an opportunity to find common ground.   

As I argued in this year’s homily, faith and science don’t need to be in conflict. Faith doesn’t compete with science; it completes science and gives us an understanding of reality and our place in it.

Instead of trying to “own” the other side, it’s more productive for the center-right to describe what it is for and then find areas of agreement we can explore solutions, which are always about tradeoffs. 

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I think about this often where I live and have land. My farm is in a region in Maryland called Pleasant Valley and the views never get old. Every day I get to watch the sun set over Elk Ridge (which is near Harpers Ferry) and cast a shadow over South Mountain (home to the Appalachian Trail and a historic Civil War battle). Some nights I launch my drone to cheat the sunset. If I get a little elevation, I can see a “sunset rise” and watch the sun peak over the mountains. It’s a reminder that when we reach for higher ground, we find common ground and never lose the light.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

Copyright © 2020 Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions

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