Doing right by environment requires cultivating good in us

Loving the world, including the environment, seems to take special motivation these days

Re: The fundamental failure of environmentalism (Opinion, May 4)

I’m glad David Suzuki is still calling for people to make necessary behavioural changes to save our environment, but he sounds pessimistic.

Perhaps he’s discouraged with the many people who ignore the truth that short-term economic gain means long-term environmental pain. Sad to say, human greed seems to be saying “to hell with the future, live for today.”

Knowledge of the truth has never been enough to change human behaviour. This is because good and evil are present in every person, as local artist and Pacifica Housing tenant Evan James said in another article in your paper (“Art exhibition brings formerly homeless closer to public,” Arts, May 4).

Evil, including self-centredness, arrogance, stubbornness and refusal to face the truth, seems to come naturally to us.

Goodness, including loving the world and taking good care of the environment, seems to require special motivation.

In my experience, that motivation comes from an appreciation and a gratefulness for the love and care of family, friends and God. As the New Testament says, “We love, because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

I have hope for the world because I believe in a benevolent God. I have faith that people can be transformed, individual by individual, by the power of God.

This is the business of the church, though we don’t always do well at it.

Faith that risks and love that makes sacrifices (which are needed to save our environment) require a lot of cultivation of the mind and nurture of the spirit.

Mr. James rightly said regarding the good and evil inside us, “which one outweighs the other is the one you feed the most.”

Jim Hill

Oak Bay

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