The Corner

Divining Wrath

Back in the early April 20s, I got a letter from a reader. Tucked it away in my files. He said, “Just to review the mainstream-media talking points: 1) It’s crazy for Pat Robertson to suggest that natural disasters are examples of God’s wrath. 2) It’s not crazy — is in fact worthy of front-page coverage — to suggest that natural disasters are examples of Mother Earth’s wrath for our environmental sins.”

He then pointed me to something that led CNN’s homepage: “Is the Earth striking back? A warming climate shrinks ice sheets, redistributing pressures on the Earth’s crust. As it reacts, a volcano erupts in Iceland, quakes shake China and Chile. Author Alan Weisman wonders if the planet is telling us something.”

And today, I read about Ted Turner: who says, “I’m not a real religious person, but I’m somewhat religious. And I’m just wondering if God is telling us He doesn’t want us to drill offshore. And right before that we had that coal-mine disaster in West Virginia where we lost 29 miners . . . Maybe the Lord’s tired of having the mountains of West Virginia, the tops knocked off of them so they can get more coal. I think maybe we ought to just leave the coal in the ground and go with solar and wind power and geo-thermals where it’s applicable.”

Uh-huh. The “keepers of the culture” — a phrase I’ve learned, and will repeat, from Zev Chafets — laugh scornfully at the Pat Robertsons. They are very respectful of people such as that CNN writer and Ted Turner. I have some advice for Robertson (not that he asked for it): If you’re ever hankering for a little mainstream love, go green and then talk about God, à la Ted.

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