I have been on the "Christianity requires environmentalism" bandwagon for quite some time. My undergraduate thesis was an environmental ethic based on Benedictine values. Last year for my Natural Law class I wrote about the interaction of the Eternal Law and human Natural Law. I argued that the higher Eternal Law, which applies to all of creation, requires people to take the environment into account when discussing the content of Natural Law.
In all of my attempts to convince Christians that they should care about the environment, I've used various reasoning, pointed to historical Christian leaders and values, and quoted several Bible verses.
But today at Mass, I realized there might be even more Biblical support for my thoughts.
Genesis 9:9-10 "See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark," (emphasis mine).
If God is making His covenant with every living creature, and not just humans, that seems pretty significant. It really groups humans and animals in the same boat (pun intended).
Interesting, this is one of the sections of the Bible that environmentalists critics of Christianity point to when they argue that Christianity is not environmentally friendly. 9:7 says "... abound on the earth and subdue it." Critics says lines like this pit humans against the environment, as if it's some sort of enemy to be overcome. Apparently though the critics didn't read far enough. Because when you consider that God's covenant was with people and the rest of creation, well, there's just no basis for claiming the two are set in opposition.
No, as the Scriptures tell us, people need to care about out fellow living creatures. That's part of our calling as Christians: to be environmentalists.
I wanna walk up the side of the mountain