let's get down to the real issue
“Desertification is a silent, invisible crisis that is destabilizing communities on a global scale.” –Dr. Tim Lane
Do we really need to care about the environment? This is a question that has been asked countless times as of late, and honestly, I'm a little tired of hearing it. I'm tired because it is always followed by a "yes, of course" and then people shoving their "extreme" opinions on how we should vote for a bill that spends millions preventing geckos from dangerously crossing the road and how meat is murder.
There's no doubt that there is a problem with the environment and how we have impacted it. In fact, 99% of scientists believe this to be true. If you disagree or want to know more, I encourage you to read "The Population Bomb" (plus its critiques + revisions) by Paul R. Ehrlich and "The Tragedy of the Commons" by Garret Hardin. They are good places to start.
I believe Christians have a duty to protect the environment. This is obvious to some people, but I've talked to a lot of Christians who say that God put us here to rule over everything and can use the world as we please, no consequences. I've discovered the opposite. Once, my Old Testament professor gave a lecture on this topic, rooting it all back to Genesis 1. Specifically, this passage, he said, is constantly taken out of context:
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (NIV)
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (ESV)
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (KJV)
He said that the words "rule," "subdue," and "dominion" are often associated with abuse. However, God also said that everything created on Earth, including humans, is good. What tainted this goodness was sin. None of it was supposed to be abused, but cherished. It is a kind of stewardship that is understood in Hebrew, but isn't easily understood in English.