Given my assumption that God cares about his creation, I think I should care about it if only because he does, and as a Christ-follower who believes he is indwelt with the Holy Spirit, not caring is denying something about what God made me to be. (Forgive me for not getting into the theology about all that; basically I am saying that a Christ-follower not caring about God’s creation is just silly.) So my question is not really, ‘Should I care about the environment?’ but, ‘To what degree should I care about the environment?’

I look at my American lifestyle and see how it has consequences for the rest of the world. You might have heard some statistics about American resource usage in a global context. North Americans constitute about 5% of the world’s population, yet we use about a third of the world’s resources. To give you an idea of what the world would look like if everyone lived the way you do, play Consumer Consequences. I gave it a spin and here’s what I found:

I live in a small house with three other people (Wifey and two urchins). We recycle, compost most of our kitchen scraps, and we use slightly less than average resources to power our home (mostly because we have evaporative cooling instead of air conditioning). We also don’t buy a lot of new stuff, and generally try to repair things when it is more economical than buying something new.

Nonetheless, Consumer Consequences says that if everyone lived like we do, the world would need 4.6 earths-worth of resources. The score is mostly because we occasionally get on an airplane, we drive everywhere, and we don’t eat much if any locally-produced food. That last one was a kicker! It takes a lot of resources to provide us North Americans the huge variety of inexpensive foods in our grocery stores.

So despite those green things we’ve done, relative to the rest of the world I and my family are resource hogs.

Anyhoo, so back to the question, why should I care? If I decide it’s not that important that this change, what will happen? What are the consequences? What does it say about my view of God? Conversely, if it really is important, then how do I respond?