The part of Conflict Shoreline that captivated my attention is the part that focuses on the 2008 efforts of reforestation in the desert. This deals with many issues surrounding environmentalism, morality, and religious indoctrination. In reading through the piece on the reforestation effort, especially the effort of the radical Christian group the piece encouraged an abundance of questions.
The first issue raised by this is if we should make an effort to correct issues of global climate change on this scale at all. A well-known expert on climate change, John Broome, does not believe we should. Broome, who I had the chance to meet in class over this semester, and many of his peers, believe that efforts to make the world better should be economically sound decisions as well. With only the issues of spending resources in an attempt to correct issues of global climate change in mind, Broome, and many other experts would object to the idea that reforestation is the right thing to do. Ethically speaking, it would do a much greater good to donate to malaria research in South America, or perhaps even merely supply mosquito nets to children at risk of dieses spread by mosquitos. This line of reasoning suggests that acts like this that overuse resources are simply not good choices to make, especially given the fact that one could do much more good with the resources in another, more economic, context. In addition to this, of course, it appears given the information that the actual act of reforestation is hardly creating the good that it is claiming to make, and issues of human rights are perhaps being violated as well, which makes it even more clear that this is not a good use of resources.
I was surprised to find out of the negative effects of reforestation, and it is shocking to read about the negative effects of environmentally conscious activism in the Middle East as a whole. But what interested me even more was the religious affiliation present in this movement. Weizman tells us that in 2008 the God TV Corporation was the company propelling the reforestation effort. He tells us that this company is known for its prediction that all Jewish peoples must convert to Christianity or face “Burning in a lake of fire” (30). What interests me is the stark contrast to many other radical Christian groups in America. This particular group of radical Christians facilitated a reforestation effort with bad consequences. But many (if not most) Radical (Evangelical) Christian groups in America are still pushing against the existence of global climate change. In fact, evangelical extremists largely utilize their position of power to give political aid to candidates who do not put an emphasis on the environmental issues facing America, especially in 2008. Because of this, I was shocked by the affiliation, and the juxtaposition between the two radical Christian views, and it raised even more questions on this group in particular, as well as their motives in the middle east.