Fires spread by the Diablo winds and fueled by dry grass and brush spread through California's Napa and Sonoma regions in early October 2017. Scientists say climate change is loading the dice for wildfires. Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
Inspirations for Job One For Humanity Evolutioneers
A rationally compelling environmental ethics is dependent on religion. Ironically, the only way to resolve conundrums regarding science, religion, and morality is to stand environmental ethics on sacred ground. Only when we perceive that the value of the living natural world is grounded in something greater than ourselves, in something other than our human ability to value it, will our rational capacities be satisfied fully that life on earth matters...Even though I consider a religious worldview essential for a compelling environmental ethics -however- most days I am agnostic. Yet I also have deep, effective experiences of the value of people, of our earthly home, of our miraculous kindred relations. These experiences are meaningless in the absence of the sacred, and yet they are as convincing as what I know scientifically. In the final analysis we must choose -either to believe in a fascinating but meaningless universe - or in one congruent with our own experiences of the value of people and place. Choosing is difficult. Yet, I am compelled by my own affective life, my aesthetic preferences, by a few moments in nature that are beyond words, to affirm that it all matters. I am not sure of much, but I am sure of this.