From Earth -Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key (which would make a great textbook for a class in EcoTheology 101)
The chief obstacles will be the political-economic and sociocultural dimensions of ways of life that remain addicted to fossil fuels, that have not yet come to terms with the limits of planetary systems, that assume happiness and fulfillment are based on unending material consumption of goods and services, and that think and invest for short-term rather than long-term ends in a political economy that operates with a different metabolism from that of the rest of nature. All of these, too, belong to a moral vision, that of the industrial-technological era.
–Rasmussen, Larry L. (2012-10-02). Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key (p. 149). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
The addiction characteristics can be seen in our present system in the way that the key substance , fossil-fuels, is not seen as the toxin to be sharply curbed. The constant refrain is “energy independence” which means finding our own oil, drilling everywhere, Keystone, etc. An old high school friend who works in geology told me that the Tar Sands oil “is for export and trade”, in reply to my question about how dirty and pollutant this oil is. The answer reveals another problem: that we can simply “ship it elsewhere”, ignoring a) the role the extraction itself plays in the “dirty” category, Tar Sands being a pollutant of much higher toxicity , and b) the “shipping it off” for sale elsewhere merely relocates it, but it is still going to be burned somewhere else. No problem solved (only in the minds of the ones who want to justify this regardless of its effects).
This “different metabolism” from the rest of nature is the age-old problem, present from the very beginnings of techno-extraction and emissions. Not only has the technology become increasingly overloading to the ecology of the planet, the assumptions of the resulting economies have become increasingly ingrained and ideologies surrounding them, “ordained” and “natural” to that way of thinking. It’s a truly intimidating challenge we face, especially given the level of “entrenchment” we are seeing with this Republican Party being conduits for money/oil interests’ “education” efforts via think tanks who devise “arguments” against the scientific findings.
Given this, Rasmussen communicates the sense of urgency we need:
Ours is an industrial and postindustrial planet that is human-dominated, resource-stressed, environmentally degraded, and on the move. That said, the oikos conception of Earth , with creation’s integrity at its core, is perhaps more timely than ever. Certainly a spirituality and ethic for the long haul is needed, one that receives life as a gift and knows our place in creation.
Rasmussen, Larry L. (2012-10-02). Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key (p. 150). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.