Saturday, January 12, 2008

Commentary: A great start. A great question.

I am thrilled to have found other Latter-Day Saints who share my interest in sustainability. Thanks to all who have commented and visited my blog! Lets keep things going...

A great (large) question: How can we go from "preaching to the choir" to changing attitudes, practice, and convention? Maybe too large a question for a month-old blog, but I'm shooting for the stars. A quote to consider:

"Once people begin to acquire and enjoy and take for granted and waste surplus resources and space as a routine part of their lives, and to view them as a sign of God's favor, then it takes a genius to make a career -let alone create a culture- on the basis of agreeing to limits."
-William Appleman Williams

Any geniuses out there?

By the way, Latter-Day Prophets have made observations similar to William Appleman Williams.


Anonymous said...

I just came from the Green Mormon Architect blog, saw your comment and followed the link here. It is a breath of fresh air to see more LDS thinking "sustainability." I've listed some sustainability resources on a forum I created called the Establishment of Zion Think Tank that perhaps you haven't heard of. For example, one of them is called a BioHOME. Not the prettiest thing, but very, very interesting in its sustaining capabilities. Go to my blog and click the Establishment of Zion Think Tank link on the right side, then go into the Technologies section. I hope more LDS hop on this sustainability bandwagon.

green mormon architect said...

I think much of the environmental movement today is based on fear. Many people I speak with are scared, and that, in turn makes them angry. They fear that civilization will collapse because we have destroyed the planet. They may be right, but this is not what drives me to want to be sustainable. I think fear as a motivator turns off a lot of members of the Church, myself included. Just as fear is a low-priority motivator for following the commandments, the same is true for environmental stewardship. In my opinion we need to move away from fear if we’re going to have success changing attitudes in the LDS community.

Walt & Jean said...

I want to coil some black hose, connect it to a water source, and put it on my house facing the sun. Why isn't there a simpler and cheaper way to do solar heating? Half the problem for me going greener is it costs too much.

Latter-Day Sustainablist said...

ldsanarchy -thanks for stopping by and commenting. I too hope more Saints hop on the sustainability wagon- hence the blog!

GMA -I concur that much of the movement is based on fear and guilt, and that these are poor motivators.
A read an article recently that addressed the downsides of environmental guilt-trips.

W&J -I have two responses to your question of cost.

1. The first is to consume less. This is a green action that actually saves money. Sometimes easier said than done. Maybe put a sign by your fridge ;)

2. Elder Snow told us in the October general conference "It is better to do even things of little consequence than to do nothing at all."

Mellifera said...

Going green, in a lot of ways, is a lot like coming to Jesus. (In terms of mental process- not eternal ramifications on one's soul.)

CS Lewis went off on this one quite a bit. Before you come to Jesus, you do have to have a reason to do so: ie, a conviction that something is wrong and needs fixing. You do have to have some, say, godly sorrow, before the change is going to happen. Hence fire-and-brimstone preaching, and the environmentalists who love to spout off stats on what's going wrong and after a while you start to feel kinda helpless and paralyzed and despondent. (At least, that's what happens to me.)

But fear does not equal repentance! Nay- coming to Jesus is repentance. Taking some action against the problems is going to fix the problems, not repeating them endlessly to each other until you all turn into nervous puddles of organically-grown goo. Environmentalism right now is a lot like a fire-and-brimstone preacher who forgets to include the altar call (that's the "Come up and git saved!" part) at the end. There's a got shot he'll turn a lot of people against religion altogether, and in any case nobody's gonna go to his Bible camp.

Long story short, with all the sustainable things that we *can* do, we should talk about them more. And do them, so other folks just might feel more comfortable adopting them. I'm glad that environmentalism is no longer for "those" people. (Though pretty alarmed at how much of it is just buying "green" products that are marked up way beyond their actual worth... there's a whole rant
about pricing anti-consumerism out of the market waiting to happen right there.)