Letter- Essay reveals "original sin eco-guilt"

Western Christianity dates back over 2,000 years. An essential part of Christian belief is the concept of Original Sin. The Church provides baptism as a sacrament to provide individuals a “clean slate” by removing both the guilt and the punishment due to Original Sin.

Gaia dogma dates to the late 1960s as a philosophical construct of Dr. James Lovelock. While working on a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) project he postulated a unique, symbiotic, and self-regulating relationship between organic and inorganic entities on Earth. Environmentalism worshipers have elaborated upon this concept and preach a life of Earth worship akin to paganism. However, they neglected to provide an equivalent to traditional baptism to extirpate eco-sin.

The public flaunting by Jeff Feldman of his wife’s and his own green eco-guilt [Hook February 21, 2013 essay, "Children: Adorable environmental disasters] over the normally natural joys of parenthood reflects this omission, and their attendant cognitive dissonance. Many parents announce that “they are having a baby.” Jeff has a new take on biology claiming, “We gave birth to a child.” Congratulations. 

Jeff laments a postulated 25-to-1 ratio of U.S. consumption to that of developing countries without acknowledging relative economic productivities. Higher birth rates in developing countries are a reflection of their lack of basic sanitation, food, and energy needs leading to higher death rates. As such countries achieve higher living standards, birth rates fall. The moral aim is to raise their standard of living; not to disparage our own. The U.S. fertility rate is now below replacement rate. And no, the Earth is not running out of resources. We are now able to feed more people on less land.  We do that so well that we are able to devote valuable farm land to raise crops to burn as fuel in our automobiles.

When you think about hybrid automobiles, think of the large environmental footprint attendant to the manufacture of lithium ion batteries and rare earth use for the motors. Think of electric cars? Think of Fiskar and Tesla failures; think of a coal power-plant providing charging energy.  Think of solar, think Solyndra. Think of millions of pounds of carcinogenic waste sludge, in China out of your sight.  Just where are those electric cars “commonplace”?

In your role as ambivalent eco-parents, I hope that your publicized angst over your child’s birth does not carry over to his awareness that he might have been a green “eco-error.” I wish him a happy childhood; one free of the stigma of your “original sin” eco-guilt, and able to enjoy all the blessings of growing up in America.

Charles Battig
Albemarle County

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Thanks to Dr. Battig for his thoughtful, commonsense response to Mr. Feldman's essay. I experienced dismay and sadness while reading the father's confounding thoughts.

Yes, we should all be good stewards of the natural resources and environment that sustain human life - but the paganistic leap to "Gaia" theory (misspelled in the letter as "Gia") clearly leads to the irrational angst that has already manifested itself in the Feldman family.

It is a shame that their wonderful newborn baby has been born, and will likely be raised, under a cloud of suspicion and regret. This child is not poison to the Earth, but a gift from God to his parents and community.

Fantastic letter. Succinct, to the point, and factual. Thank you for writing this Mr. Battig.

Well, Dr. Battig, you may be full of shlt about global warming, but you're spot on with your critique of some of the exercises of 'Blowing green smoke" up our collective heinies....