The Root of Ecological Crisis
1.Human beings did not evolve from non-human primates, but were created in the image of God. Men and women are more than merely very complex and highly evolved apes. They possess physical attributes that are not shared by animals, such as an erect posture, hands with a highly developed opposable thumb that can do work faces capable of expressing great emotional feelings, and a brain and tongue capable of articulate speech. More importantly, they possess spiritual attributes not shared by animals, such as a moral consciousness, the ability to think abstractly, an understanding of beauty, emotion, and the capacity to know and worship God. 2.Human beings are commanded by God to be fruitful and to populate the earth. Men, women and children are this worlds greatest resource, not its greatest liability.
Estimates of the worlds human carrying capacity, that is, how many people this world can sustainably support, are meaningless unless we answer the question of how many people can be supported at what level of material affluence and habits of consumption. While the six-fold increase in world population over the past two centuries has been alarming, our world is currently undergoing a demographic transition. The United Nations recently estimated that 44% of the worlds population live in countries where the fertility rate has fallen below the replacement rate, and demographers are now predicting that world population will peak within 50 years and then decline, perhaps sharply, with potentially serious consequences.
3.God entrusted humans to be the earths stewards. To subdue the earth and rule it, while not phrased in politically correct speech, is analogous to the process of gardening. For a garden to be a success, the soil must be broken up, seeds planted, the initial seedlings thinned, the young plants watered, weeds pulled, and pests controlled, but in the end there is a harvest.
Gardening involves subduing and ruling a small patch of wild nature to yield a benefit useful to people. The Scriptures even tell us that it was God who planted the Garden of Eden as a home for the first man and woman (Genesis 2:8)”as if providing an example for us to follow. On a worldwide scale, subduing and ruling is like managing and administering. Humankind has been given the honour and privilege of managing and administering Gods creation, with the expectation that we will do it responsibly.