Green Watch

“Creation Care”: Conservation, not Environmentalism

“Creation Care”: Environmentalism’s Secret War on Christianity (full series)
Origins and Definition | Return of Christian Socialism? | The First Crusade
Redefining Pro-Life | The Second Crusade | Conservation, not Environmentalism

Summary: If you can’t beat ’em, deceive ’em. For years the environmental Left has tried to infiltrate conservative churches, spreading a “gospel” of global warming, junk science, and radical anti-human ideology in place of biblical teaching. The scheme is called “creation care,” and it’s brought to you by the heirs to the eugenics, forced sterilization, and abortion-on-demand campaigns pioneered by social engineers and so-called Progressives in the 20th century. Yet the goal of this secret war couldn’t be clearer: permanently split Evangelical voters from the Republican Party.


Conservation, not Environmentalism

Creation care is much more than a theological interpretation of climate issues; it’s an entire policy agenda with something to say—and lobby for—on virtually every issue from the way Americans power their homes to what they’re allowed to drive. Regardless of the language activists use to deliver it, the message is virtually indistinguishable from that of the secular Left, whose own eco-activists view creation care as a useful wedge to divide and exploit Christians for political gain.

Hijacking “pro-life” to encompass climate change and EPA regulation makes the term meaningless. After all, if pro-life refers to anything from abortion to recycling, there’s no value in identifying oneself as “pro-life.” Worse, it aligns the cause of restricting abortion with a host of misanthropic campaigns, up to and including population control, arguably the ultimate expression of environmentalism.

So where does that leave Christians? First, it’s important to recognize that conservation and environmentalism aren’t synonyms.

Conservation is simple prudence, the sensible use of natural resources and commodities given their scarcity. Christians add to this everyday prudence a deep reverence for Creation given the biblical teaching that God gave Man dominion over the Earth, not only for the protection of nature but the engagement and use of its resources. Historical Christianity has always taught that Man and Earth were created by a good God but are thoroughly tainted by sin.

Environmentalism, on the other hand, is a creation of the Left. It’s a deeply cynical ideology that inverts the biblical understanding of humanity’s relationship with nature by teaching that we’re a blight upon the Earth. Environmentalism has its roots in Marxist thought, the idea that all history can be understood as conflict between groups of people: workers vs. capitalists, black people vs. white people, men vs. women—or carbon “polluters” vs. environmental “victims.”

The logical outcome of these policies is population control on a global scale—something that (honest) die-hard environmentalists have admitted, most recently in Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans (2020). There’s a good reason why.

Global warming advocates posit that Earth is getting terminally hot and people are to blame, so government must “save” the planet. But their favorite “green energy” generators—solar panels and wind turbines—are extremely resource-intensive and embarrassingly ineffective. No serious policymaker would attempt to power the national grid with them. The Left is doctrinally opposed to nuclear energy. That leaves the (other) “nuclear” option: downsize the global population so we consume fewer resources.

Of course, the dystopian vision of forced depopulation and Orwellian planetary regimes doesn’t sell well, so activists use fear to spread their message, which they present as “science.”

Climageddon activists have ratcheted up the rhetoric so much in recent years that Oxford dictionary made “climate emergency” its 2019 word of the year. That same year 11,000 supposed scientists—whose ranks are rife with psychologists, computer consultants, and sociologists plus about 1,100 PhD students—announced that global warming threatens “the fate of humanity” and could “potentially [make] large areas of Earth uninhabitable.”

These extremists’ demands simply aren’t scientific. Why else use Sierra Club–style chants such as “keep it in the ground” to propose serious public policies or humor 1970s wingnuts who believed that an “overpopulated” world starve itself to death in the 1980s?

This isn’t a fluke. It’s environmentalism returning to its roots, and creation care with it.

Environmentalism’s Roots in Population Control

Population control has been environmentalism’s goal since the 1960s, but its origins are in the 1920s, when Progressives loudly supported eugenics, forced sterilization, and white supremacy. Progressive icon John Maynard Keynes, for instance, is still hailed for his economic theory, but few recall his 1926 call for countries to adopt a “national policy about what size of population . . . is most expedient.”

Yet Planned Parenthood and its predecessor, the American Birth Control League, was the confluence of these issues, where concern for the quality and quantity of the population met concern for what damage poor immigrants would do to the nation’s environment.

Its founder, Margaret Sanger, enlisted support for her organization from socialists such as Jules Verne; eugenicists such as George Lapouges, who pioneered Aryan racial theory, Clarence Little, president of the American Eugenics Society; the British Malthusian League, named for the 19th century overpopulation doomsayer Thomas Malthus; anti-Semites such as Austrian novelist Johann Ferch; and racists such as Theodore Lathrop Stoddard, who authored the 1920 book The Rising Tide of Color Against White Supremacy and coined the term “Under-Man” (the genesis of the Nazi term Untermensch, or “sub-human”).

Together they penned a 1934 press release railing against unlicensed, uncontrolled, “irresponsible” parenthood. “These people should be sterilized,” Sanger and her ilk declared. She even personally lobbied multiple presidents to form a Federal Birth Control Commission and Population Bureau to diagnose the “racial health of this nation,” considering it shocking that “anyone, no matter how ignorant, how diseased mentally or physically, how lacking in all knowledge of children, seemed to consider he or she had the right to become a parent.”

Eugenics and sterilization measures died out after World War II due to their obvious association with the Third Reich, yet population control groups carried on through the rest of the 20th century and into the 21st. The Population Council (formed by eugenicist John D. Rockefeller III) Zero Population Growth (created by doomsayer Paul Ehrlich and now slickly rebranded as Population Connection) bear the same falsely optimistic message of depopulating the planet as their predecessors—albeit now as a solution to global warming.

And they’re not alone. In 2014, the Atlantic proposed nationwide “voluntary family planning”— the euphemism for eugenics policies coined by Sanger and her allies a century ago—as the “climate change solution no one will talk about.” In early 2019 left-wing luminary and biologist Richard Dawkins tweeted fondly about eugenics, the pseudoscience of “beautifying” the human race:

It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice. Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology.

Depopulation is a lucrative business, too. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest on Earth, is a critical funder of ongoing experimentation with second-trimester abortion drugs banned in much of the United States and tested on poor women in destitute African and Asian countries. The Gates Foundation is also instrumental in the U.N.’s Family Planning 2020 campaign to loosen abortion restrictions overseas and depopulate the Third World.

Little-known Pathfinder International spent $1 billion over a decade pushing abortion and population control in Africa in the name of “progress” with funding from major American foundations and the U.S. government. (Pathfinder was founded by Clarence Gamble, heir to the Procter & Gamble soap fortune and a close friend and ally of Sanger.)

But Warren Buffett, the famous investor from Nebraska, probably takes the prize as the single largest donor to anti-life causes in human history. His Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (named for his late ex-wife) is the true terror of the unborn, pouring $4 billion over the last two decades into pro-abortion, pro-population control groups.

There’s no mistaking his intention, either. Pro-abortion spending accounts for 73 percent of the Buffett Foundation’s grantmaking between 2000 and 2018. To put that in perspective, Buffett’s billions are enough to pay for 8 million abortions according to data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, at an average cost of $500 per abortion.

This is the legacy of environmentalism that creation care advocates don’t reveal to Christians. Creation care isn’t the “good news” delivered by a Christ who came to save sinners. Whether it’s screeched in the streets or preached in the pulpits, there’s one message in this doctrine: The Left lusts for power, and it will lie and deceive to seize it.

Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is the Director of Policy Research at Restoration of America. He was formerly Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. Ludwig is a native of Orange County, California,…
+ More by Hayden Ludwig