Monday, August 24, 2015

PCUSA ... and PRO-Fossil Fuel ... Part 1

Consider how Christians might respond to a call for a blanket divestment from Christianity, inspired by a variety of things that have taken place in the past, or are taking place right now ... things that had (or have) nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ and the kingdom He proclaimed, yet were done (or are being done) in His name, and in pursuit of a very worldly and wrongful pursuit of His kingdom.

How might Christians respond to such a call?

Me? My response is that a blanket divestment from Christianity is NOT the answer ... and would suggest, rather, a reinvestment. That process would begin with a thoughtful and considered look at Christ’s message, and how that message – and Christ’s love – is being lived and shared by others. Based upon that search, and upon what that search revealed about other Christian gatherings, I would reinvest my heart and my mind, my body and soul into where those others are gathered, and join them in their mission.

This is what comes to mind when I read about those within the Presbyterian Church USA who demand an immediate and total, blanket divestment of the denomination’s investment funds from “fossil fuel producers.” I have to ask ... is blanket divestment the answer? Shouldn’t we, instead, consider reinvestment of those funds into responsible – even moral – fossil fuel producers?

Before I go any further, let me give you some idea of the context in which I am composing this post. It’s important to the consideration – if any! – that you will give to what follows ...

For the past 31 years, I have lived and worked in and around the city of Midland, in the western region of Texas ... smack-dab in the middle of what they call ‘the oil patch.’ There is some cattle and some cotton in the foundation of this community, but most of Midland today is built upon the energy industry, and the production of oil and natural gas plays a major, even predominant role in our local economy.

I do not work directly for the energy industry ... though I have been happily married those same 31 years to someone who is. As for me, I first worked in in this part of Texas as a contract archaeologist ... but my vocation has changed more than once with the ups and downs – especially the downs! – in the energy industry over the past three decades. So I have also worked as a television writer/producer, a newspaper reporter/editor, a website/social media manager, and for the past seven years in the public information and media office of a community college.

This has given me a tremendous opportunity to observe the industry ‘up-close and personal,’ as we used to say in the news business. I suggest that I might have more insight than some others into the industry, its people, its technology and practices, and the changes in said technology and practices. I have seen, reported-on and learned from – to borrow a phrase from a movie title – the good, the bad and the ugly of fossil fuel production ... and the beautiful, as well.

Let me qualify that last paragraph, though ... my experience observing fossil fuel producers has been exclusively with oil and natural gas. I have no such experience with the coal industry, and I am not qualified to comment upon changes that may have taken place in their technology and practices. When it comes to coal, all I have to go on are the 50-year-old memories I have of that industry – actually, the remnants of that industry – in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area of northeastern Pennsylvania ... which helped set my course down the environmentalism path as a teenager way-back-when.

Anyway, that is where I come from. Where I am going, in the weeks ahead, is to develop my pro-fossil fuel thesis, and to suggest options for a position within the Presbyterian Church USA that still promotes protection and restoration of God’s creation, yet encourages responsible – even moral – energy production that includes fossil fuels. Beyond that, I am hoping that those options might make their way into a ‘fossil fuels reinvestment’ overture that would be submitted to the next PCUSA General Assembly for their consideration/approval.

Thank you for your time in reading the above. I welcome any comments you wish to make in the space below ... regardless of your stance on fossil fuel production. It is my hope that this will be the start of a discussion among those who ultimately share a common goal, a common destination ... though for now, we may be reaching it by different paths.

9 comments:

Pottery Arizona said...

I still believe that religion has a big impact on our daily life..

Shereyn Young said...

Believe in GOD above all and have Faith in Him and everything will be okay..
Chicago Corporate Dissolution Lawyer

Ashleen Philipps said...

we must always pray and believe to GOD


Veritable Park City UT Homes

Chelseayhun said...

prayer is the most powerful weapon.

Veritable Floors to your Home Laminate Flooring Discounts

Chelseayhun said...

religion was a very huge impact to our life


Veritable Commercial Chairs company

Zaritah Pierre said...

prayer is the best way to solve problems


Heard about Seattle Assisted Living

HannahWinslett said...

religion become an inspiration to us


Heard about Top Towing in Austin TX company

Zachariah Teh said...

that was truly fascinating and fantastic


You won't believe this Westport Fishing Halibut

sai mangune said...

How might Christians respond to such a call? - maybe I'm one of them :)
You won't believe this Fishing Charter Seattle service