Presidential Message on Earth Day, 2019
By: Jim Virkler
April 22 has been established as the date when Earth Day is celebrated around the world. The initial Earth Day occurred in 1970. I personally recall that one reason for the event in the school where I taught was inspired by concern for environmental pollution. Following is an excerpt from my previous post of 9/14/18:
Earth Day clean-up events at my school are still etched in my memory. (We remember)… that government policies on air and water pollution were seriously deficient. It is difficult to recall that there were inadequate regulations on clean air, clean water, and endangered species. Soon there were government regulations on air, water, and endangered species. Studies in ecology and activism in environmental issues have sometimes morphed into weighty political issues. It has been difficult to find an appropriate balance between prudent environmental concern and the natural tendency of many citizens to actively propel their favorite movements or causes, often driven by personal politics.
Fast forward to April 22, 2019: Concern for environmental pollution is still a worthy cause for anxiety and remediation. However, the very title “Earth Day” gives us an opportunity to glorify God who created Planet Earth in all its glory and beauty. Sadly, this message is subsumed under pessimism and alarmism about our environment and warnings about impending planetary catastrophe in the near term. Juxtaposed with the heavy politics surrounding the ever-present media intonations of ‘climate change,’ we may have reason for mood depression.
Donald Trump’s “Presidential Message on Earth Day. 2019” is worthy of a hearty “shout-out.” He mentions “God’s wondrous creation,” and “God-given treasures” and finally, “glorious blessings and awe inspiring majesty of our planet.” The president has taken a number of hits from the media for ignoring climate change in today’s written Earth Day address. A Bloomberg headline stated ‘Trump ignores Climate Change in Earth Day Statement.’ The Daily Caller lamented, “Activists Melt Down After Trump Leaves Climate Change Out Of His Earth Day Message.”
We close with several quotes of President Trump’s Earth Day Statement:
“Earth Day is a celebration of the abundant beauty and life-sustaining bounty of our natural environment. On this day, we reaffirm our responsibility to protect God’s wondrous creation for future generations.”
We are “…blessed with some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth. As Americans, we all share an immense pride in these God-given treasures and a tremendous appreciation for our abundance of natural resources.” With respect to our nation’s strong market economy which the president characterized…”is essential to protecting our critical natural resources and fostering a legacy of conservation,” our chief executive “is committed to being (an effective administrative steward) of our environment while encouraging opportunities for American workers and their families.” Finally, our president expressed hope that “…all Americans will reflect with gratitude on the glorious blessings and awe-inspiring majesty of our planet.” The citation of glorious blessings brings to mind the agent of the blessings. In our view, the blessings are gifted to humanity by the Creator of All Things.
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Jim Virkler, a retired New Jersey public school science educator, now devotes his time investigating the harmony of scientific discoveries and Christian faith. He and his wife, Eleanor, now reside in the mid-west near their children and grandchildren.