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Ecological Confusion among the Clergy

Allan Fitzsimmons


Clergy and religious organizations increasingly take positions on environmental policy issues. By adopting a deviation-from-pristine-nature standard for judging human stewardship, they believe an environmental crisis threatens Gods good garden. They call for government and society at large to take extreme measures to protect ecosystems and to end timber harvesting on tens of millions of acres of public lands. Such calls are based on a poor understanding of environmental conditions and demonstrate little grasp of the current state of ecological science. Green-minded clerics seem to be unaware not only that ecologists have abandoned the notion of natural harmony and balance but that the concepts of the ecosystem, ecosystem sustainability, ecosystem health, and ecosystem integrity remain vague and controversial. It follows, therefore, that such ecological misunderstanding and theological confusion would result in misguided policy pronouncements.

Allan Fitzsimmons, "Ecological Confusion among the Clergy," Journal of Markets & Morality 3, no. 2 (Fall 2000): 204-223

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