We can whitewash a mine with snow and make it look clean and artful, but the top of the mountain has been destroyed. When the sun shines, the snow will melt away and the destruction of earth will again be revealed. Though we may have a need to harvest the bounteous resources that lie beneath the surface, we systematically destroy the environment with which we have been blessed. This earth will never again be as its Creator intended. No religious dogma, of which I am aware, includes man’s right to destroy God’s creation in order to line his pockets with wealth. Finding less destructive and more harmonious ways to extract resources might prove a more holy compromise…An understanding of science and a constant questioning of “why” and “how” are essential to preserving the earth and fulfilling our responsibility (whether a religious or secular notion) to be good stewards of this garden. To deny science that would enable us to better live in this world, or to make this world a better place to live, is tantamount to sin. Worse still, to deny others’ access to information or the ability to share what they have learned is to condemn us all to the ignorance of a few. In the broad scheme of environmental science there are many elements that are out of our control, but there is one that is not…we are that variable and it is up to us to apply discipline and respect to the demands we place on our planet in order to ensure our survival. If the pursuit of wealth trumps the pursuit of survival, the voices of the enlightened will continue to be stifled. Ultimately, our once heavenly garden will become a living hell and we will be forced to accept the “alternative truth” that the boiling earth around us is simply the sign that summer has arrived.