Patriotism and morality are terms that generally are not associated with environmental concerns. However, my feeling is that these have great application, since love of country and the search for principles of right and wrong conduct are important values in this country. Most Americans openly express their convictions concerning some aspects of patriotism and morality, and yet they are somewhat reluctant to equate these with the beauty of God’s creation and how environmental issues have an effect on our quality of life.
My position, as a resident and small business owner in western North Carolina, is dependent on a healthy economy. For many of us, however, we value the natural beauty and natural resources found here in the mountains and find this to be a major reason why we make our homes here. The natural beauty is also a high priority for others and a reason that many from our highly developed urban areas have found a desirable lifestyle in the mountains. It is essential that if we are to maintain this appeal we need to look to the future with a sense of love for God’s creation and search for ways to protect it, while at the same time moving forward.
An example of an educational solution was the 14th annual Wilderness and Wildlife Week, which was recently held in Pigeon Forge, TN. One of the world’s best known photographers of nature, Ken Jenkins, started this event fourteen years ago and it has grown to some 13,000 participants representing all parts of the country. It might be noted that the staff of over 40 does not get involved in politics, but rather attempts to educate, inspire, and motivate those in attendance to become better stewards of all aspects of creation. This type of conference could be of great benefit to others who have become discouraged and even angry regarding the environmental direction that we seem to be heading in this country.
In conclusion, my concept of the environment is that it has been loaned to us by God, and it is not owned. We are to use this loan, recognizing that in the end we return it so it may be used by future generations. It is patriotic and moral to be concerned regarding “God’s stuff” since in reality it is ours for only a little while. Hopefully, we can continue to educate, motivate and inspire others so that the environment can be a source of joy for generations to come.
John Edwards, Cashiers, NC
Edwards is the North Carolina state representative of the non-profit group, Republicans for Environmental Protection. www.repamerica.com
Greetings, Just seen your [web]site and hope that you will succeed in your fight against strip mining (opencast). I’ve been a collier here in South Wales for 35 years now, finished with ill health (dust related diseases). After our epic one-year strike to keep our coalmines open and our communities safe we went back to work because we were beaten by the Tory Government and scabs. There’s only one coalmine left here now and its owned by the miners themselves. There is strip mining going on here and it seems that these companies want to strip more of our valleys. I only hope that our Welsh Assembly will not permit this and leave our valleys alone. I also hope that you will succeed in your fight against these big mining companies. GOOD LUCK...SOLIDARITY.
Ex-coalminer, Wales, UK