This website supports the book The Nature of Environmental Stewardship: Understanding Creation Care Solutions to Environmental Problems (Pickwick Publications, 2016) and the kind of dialogue the book advocates. One way of supporting this dialogue: I’m going to try and make most of my posts on environmental topics not be advocacy pieces. Advocacy has its place, but not everything on the web has to be advocacy. Instead, I want to focus on posing questions (both supportive and critical) that an issue, article, news event, etc. suggests, and exploring a range of perspectives and implications, in the hope of encouraging us to better understand the other side in a debate. If there is something my posts will advocate, it will be for a richer dialogue between all parties.
The book is written by Johnny Wei-Bing Lin, and unless otherwise noted, all posts and pages on this site are written by Johnny Lin. Items written by Johnny Lin are copyright the same. Copyright of items written by others is held by their respective authors.
The book presents a taxonomy for understanding the content of environmental stewardship. That is, how do we decide what to do to care for the environment, as opposed to questions of motivation (why should we care of about the environment). The taxonomy I propose draws upon worldviews, ethical theories, science epistemology, science-policy studies, politics, and economics. I also present preliminary ideas of how to go about synthesizing the input from all these fields and create a synthesis that guides us in determining the content of environmental stewardship.
I started this book to address issues I had observed in the evangelical church regarding environmental stewardship (a.k.a., “creation care”). In particular, I wanted to understand why people who shared the same worldview (belief in a good and personal creator God who saves us from our sins through faith in the person and work of Jesus) could nonetheless have sharply differing views regarding how to care for the creation God has made. As I worked on this question, I realized the taxonomy I was creating could be useful to anyone who wanted to work through and understand the conflicts we have regarding environmental issues, regardless of their worldview. The resulting book is thus written to both audiences.
A flier (PDF) describing the book is available here.
Johnny Lin was born in Colorado but grew up in the Seattle-area. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1990 and an M.S. in Civil Engineering-Water Resources in 1992. For the next two years, he worked as a civil engineer, specializing in the modeling of rivers and estuaries for flood insurance studies and wetland restoration projects. He received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from UCLA in 2000, working on the dynamics of tropical climate. He held postdoctoral appointments at CIRES/University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Chicago, and afterwards, was on the full-time faculty of North Park University in Chicago for nine years, finishing as Professor of Physics, and remains an Affiliate Professor of Physics and Engineering at North Park. Currently, he is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Computing Education in the Computing and Software Systems Division at the University of Washington Bothell. He is also a past Executive Council President of the American Scientific Affiliation, a network of Christians in science. His research involves machine learning approaches to assessment, simple frameworks for climate models, and studying how small-scale phenomena affect large-scale climate. His favorite ice creams are daquirri ice and french vanilla. More information about him is available on his home page.