by E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.Founder and National Spokesman, Cornwall Alliance Recently we reported that Left-wing bloggers (at RightWingwatch.org, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, Care2 make a difference, Mother Nature Network, Southern California Public Radio, and Good Culture)" />
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April 21, 2014

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Major Scholar on Environmental Movement Defends Resisting the Green Dragon

By E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.

by E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.
Founder and National Spokesman, Cornwall Alliance

Recently we reported that Left-wing bloggers (at RightWingwatch.org, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, Care2 make a difference, Mother Nature Network, Southern California Public Radio, and Good Culture) have attacked Cornwall’s Resisting the Green Dragon. Even RT.com (which is Russian TV) has attacked us on The Alyona Show. We must be doing something right!

One thing characterizes all of these attacks. Relying on RightWingWatch’s pirated, edited-down, 3-minute version of our promo video rather than carefully assessing the full series, they misrepresent us as pitting people against nature, while our actual message is that human prosperity enables good environmental stewardship. Portraying the environmental movement as religiously neutral, they also protest our insistence that much of it is driven by a revival of Gnostic, pantheistic, polytheistic, or animistic religions.

That won’t play among serious thinkers. Real scholars on environmentalism are well aware of the heavily religious nature of environmentalism. One of the foremost, Bron Taylor, Professor of Religion and Nature at the University of Florida, author of Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future, and editor-in-chief of the multi-volume Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, came to our defense in response to Huffington Post’s attack, writing, in Huffington Post itself:

Progressives may ridicule those who claim that there is now a cultural ‘War on Christmas’ but Christian conservatives do have reason to worry. They know that their cultural influence has been waning, and that those with evolutionary and ecological worldviews are growing in number and influence. A DVD series released by a group of conservative Christians entitled “Resisting the Green Dragon,” provides one recent example of such fears. These fears are based on an accurate perception that there is a religious dimension to much environmentalism. Those expressing such fears understand, accurately, that those engaged in nature-based spiritualities, both overtly and in subtle ways, are converting many to an evolutionary worldview and an environmentalist spirituality and ethics. They know that this is one reason they are having trouble even keeping their own children in the fold. [emphasis added]
A few days later the New York Times’s Green blog did a somewhat even-handed review. But the biased, ad hominem, poorly researched attacks continue.

Environmental political activist blogger Timothy Hurst, who represents himself as a journalist and the executive editor of LiveOak Media and publisher of its blog ecopolitology, first took a crack at us on October 18, three days after we appeared on Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck Show. Last week, having seen Mother Jones’s attack (almost eight weeks after it appeared), he decided to have another go at us, saying that in his first attempt he “didn’t really pursue the story with much journalistic rigor or enthusiasm.” Now, it seems, he wanted to do a more thorough job.



So, describing us as “scary,” our language as so “incendiary,” “revisionist,” and “outlandish” that he wondered if we were joking, he concluded that Resisting the Green Dragon “is dangerously misguided propaganda aimed at mobilizing political action and hate-filled mistrust toward people of all walks of life—shrouding that hate and intolerance by depersonalizing it and directing it towards a constructed, mythical enemy, ‘The Green Dragon.’”

What new exercise of “journalistic rigor” led him to this more enthusiastic attack—and misrepresentation? “… now that I've watched … the full 12-minute preview* of the 12-DVD set, ‘Resisting the Green Dragon, I can honestly say ….”

Well. Isn’t that interesting? First he admits that before his first blog about us his research amounted to nothing more than watching a pirated, edited-down, 3-minute version of a trailer. Now this “journalist” has watched a full 12 minutes out of what he describes as a “12-DVD set.” And on that basis he draws his conclusions.

As a former newspaper reporter, then editor, then publisher, as a former magazine editor, and as one who has written scores of published book reviews, I can only say that Mr. Hurst still hasn’t pursued the story with journalistic rigor. He is careless enough to refer to Resisting the Green Dragon as a 12-DVD set when it’s a 12-part lecture series on 4 DVDs—something he’d have discovered had he had the journalistic rigor to obtain the set and view it all. (We’d have sent a free review set to him as a journalist had he asked.) And apparently he thinks a 12-minute preview is enough to go on to write a critical review of a “12-DVD set” (actually 12 lectures plus a documentary introduction adding up to nearly seven hours).

Readers of ecopolitology and LiveOak Media should read with caution if this is representative of Hurst’s journalistic standards.

For more in-depth analysis of the religious underpinnings of the environmental movement, see James Wanliss’s Resisting the Green Dragon: Dominion, Not Death (2010) and Robert Nelson’s The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion in Contemporary America (2009).

Meanwhile, the Cornwall Alliance will continue to bring you well-researched information carefully analyzed from the perspective of Biblical worldview, theology, and ethics, using sound science and economics, to promote simultaneously economic development for the poor and wise stewardship of God’s beautiful Earth.
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