Two environmentalists talking the talk and one walking the walk

Sometime around 1980, at a Varsity Christian Fellowship event at the University of Alberta, I bought a copy of Ronald J. Sider’s book “Living More Simply”.  That book is one of several that Sider wrote on the subject of social justice and the Christian’s stewardship responsibilities in a world of limited resources – perhaps his best known was “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger”.  I don’t agree entirely with Sider on all of his economic views, but I do respect his integrity.  For example, according to an article in Christianity Today, Ron Sider and his family live in a modest house heated by wood that he scavenges from the neighbourhood, and they buy most of their clothes from thrift shops.

It sounds to me as though Ron Sider has a fairly small carbon footprint.


I have seen Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, and although I think it contains some exaggerations, such as the amount of sea level rise due to global warming, I believe most of its claims are scientifically sound, and if we don’t change our lifestyles of over-consumption our children are likely to pay a heavy price.

According to the Los Angeles Times,  Al Gore recently added to his existing real estate portfolio when he, “…spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains … The Italian-style house has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.”

It sounds to me as though Al Gore has a fairly large carbon footprint.  He also has a Nobel Prize for his message about how the rest of us should reduce our carbon footprints.


I’ll leave it to you to judge which of the above two environmentalists I respect the most.

5 Responses to “Two environmentalists talking the talk and one walking the walk”

  1. Sarah Loseth says:

    In Sunday School we are dong a series on stewardship; Sunday’s was on environmental stewardship. It was good and also showed some of the weak points in what we are hearing most of the time.

  2. Roger Loseth says:

    Al Gore lives on other peoples money , a fairly hefty pension I expect.Pretty easy to just repackage what RFK jr has been saying for years.He turned that into a Nobel prize and even more fame/money…
    Don’t know nothing about Ron Snider but maby he’s just cheap??? I thought burning wood was considered a big no no by the enviromentalist crowd???

  3. Phil L says:

    I believe that Ron Sider has a lot of integrity. He believes that we should be stewards of what we’ve been given, and he tries to live accordingly. I’ve only read one of his books, but it influenced my thinking.
    Some folks do think that burning wood is a no-no, but it’s because they don’t understand that the carbon released is merely what the tree sequestered during its life. If the tree is replaced by other trees, the net result is carbon-neutral. Fossil fuels (as burned in Al Gore’s jet), on the other hand, result in a net contribution to atmospheric CO2.

  4. Phil L says:

    By the way, I don’t know what type of wood heater Ron Sider has, but some of the modern wood stoves are extremely efficient – a lot of what would exit the chimney in an old inefficient stove gets burned so very little smoke is produced.

  5. Roger Loseth says:

    I certainly won’t defend a turd Al Gore jetting around the world..Mr.Sider may indeed have a newer type stove/heater. A friend installed one a couple years ago and he cut his wood consumption way down and there is very little smoke comes out his chimney actually supposed to be less co2 than comes from my gas furnace