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Consolidating Opposing Views

Ranger Steve’s Nature Niche. By Ranger Steve Mueller

One would think scientific physical evidence would be a used to protect the family. Science cannot provide absolute definitive conclusions. Science is under constant review, testing, and modification. Concerns like human caused climate change has massive evidence indicating our activities since the mid 1800’s threatens a healthy future. That is a conclusion supported by 97 percent of climatologists using empirical evidence.

Ranger Steve Mueller

About 3 percent of scientists question if evidence is adequate. Money supporting those views is used to sway public opinion to benefit businesses with fossil fuel interests. Published scientific study evidence overwhelming supports climate change is exasperated by human activities. Most people do not read scientific articles but studies are presented in newspapers and on TV news without analytical methods described. 

How people interpret the bible determines whether “Creation Care” is addressed as our responsibility. Some people think 30 million species were taken on the ark, cared for, fed, and housed until land reappeared. Others think is it is a parable designed to illustrate or teach a truth, religious principle, or moral lesson. 

Scientists present opposing views in journals. Religions have opposing views in religious writings. Those views should be considered in their respective writings. Science and religion can complement each other. The greatest difficulty arises when we dismiss one worldview because it is not the one we want to embrace. Faith is meant to explain “why” and science is meant to explain “how.” Together they might help us understand our existence.

Currently, at the forefront of Creation Care are PFAS, lead in drinking water, and genetically modified crops with neonaticides. It appears most people do not address issues directly but leave decisions to chemical industries or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA funding and use of science is being limited and dismissed by presidential order. 

The EPA’s job was to protect our health and protect water bodies from misuse that jeopardizes community health. President Trump’s announcement to gut clean water safeguards strips away vital protections for streams and wetlands, threatens floodplain homes, endangers drinking water supplies and impairs important habitats for species aquatic nature niches that support birds, fish, ducks, and other wildlife. 

Some think when vulnerable floodplains are converted to cultivation that results in crops being destroyed and soil washed into streams, farm loss subsidies should be appropriated to help farmers. Others think when homes downstream are flooded as a result of eliminating floodplain protections that hold floodwaters and release water slowly, homeowner subsidies should help them recover losses created by upstream farming practices. 

Following the 1930’s “Dust Bowl”, practices were implemented to alleviate farming problems that resulted in soil loss from economically devastating farming. As a society, our memory is short. Conservation methods designed to help farmers are now being abandoned for those known to harm farmers and communities. 

Some Americans do not want wetlands protected on land they own or manage even if the activities harm neighbors’ and livelihoods downstream. Such issues are always difficult. People should ask themselves if they should concern themselves with “me first” verses “present and future generations first.” It is not either/or!

The landmark Clean Water Act has protected drinking water supplies, swimming spots, homes, and fishing holes from dangerous practices for nearly 50 years. Under this Act, the Clean Water Rule was established to clearly define which bodies of water are covered under this protection and they include wetlands that filter pollution, curb flooding, and streams that feed drinking water supplies. 

President Trump’s EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers finalized its repeal of the Clean Water Rule, jeopardizing groundwater drinking supplies for millions of Americans, streams, wetlands and homes.

The question should be whether it is morally correct and legal to damage the health and wellbeing of neighbors  for personal benefit. We should each debate in our minds our moral values and elect officials that make laws according to our conclusions. Your answer can use both religious and scientific views rather than an either/or. That is the consolidated philosophical worldview I suggest.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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