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When It Comes To An Environmental Wrong, Which One Are You?

Are you the Blamer, Fixer, Liar or Leaver?

How would you respond to an environmental catastrophe?

It depends, you might say. Is it close? Is there an immediate need, or is this a long-term problem? Are my children suffering? Are my pets having seizures? Does it affect my breathing? How much do I know?

Good questions, all. In Green City Savior the main characters all had to decide how they would respond to an environmental disaster. And they each chose differently. Can you see yourself in any of the portraits below? Which best describes you?

The Complacent One: Lydia Vallone, a real estate agent and widowed mom of two, has lost people she loves to sickness. She withdraws until her world is very small. At first, she’s complacent in the face of defilement, trusting that someone else will fix any problems in her hometown.

The Justifier: Joseph Malvisti, the complicated immigrant and patriarch of a prominent Niagara Falls family, excuses his past wrongdoing by offering justifications relating to national security, patriotism, or communal sacrifice that resonate even today.

The Denier: Dana DuPays, Lydia’s best friend and real estate partner at Cascata Verde, embraces a living earth-centered form of creation worship. She glosses over past problems in an effort to keep focused on the future.

The Extremist: Angie Gibbons, Lydia’s justice-seeking baby-sitter, goes too far in her response to environmental degradation and winds up in jail.

The Perpetual Researcher: Michael Malvisti, the attorney for the eco-city developer and a third-generation Malvisti, seeks to transform his hometown in ways that his grandfather never could. After rumors of defilement surface at the eco-city, he doggedly seeks facts and trusts nothing else until his eyes are opened to the reality that, humans, even ones we revere, sometimes make bad choices.

The Liar: Sal Malvisti, one of Joseph’s adult sons, ramps up the Malvisti family’s deceptive ways for his own continued financial and political gain.

The Attacker: Danny, Sal’s son, who like Michael is a third-generation Malvisti, perpetuates the family’s deadly way of advancing their interests. He effectively silences those who would expose an environmental wrong.

The Hand-Wringer: Joseph Malvisti, Jr., brother of Sal and father to Michael, lacks the fortitude to speak up to the rest of the Malvistis. He lives a reclusive life marked by regret and guilt.

The Fixer: Rebecca Waters, a brilliant “bright green” smart-building architect and eco-developer, becomes so focused on the eco-city project that she loses sight of the real purpose for her gifts.

The Vessel: Pastor Amos, the green city’s pastor and former special forces agent, responds to degradation by focusing on the revelation of the Word of God. He believes that teaching and modeling the Gospel message of creation, corruption, redemption, and restoration is the way to respond to wrongdoing. Christians should not be complacent, but respectfully pursue and practice Christ-like attributes like truth, justice, transparency, and accountability.

The Blamer: Conrad Mahoney, Lydia’s likeable but cynical elderly neighbor, blames others for the city’s problems—mostly politicians—but never votes or takes a single step in his seventy-plus years as a resident to address wrongs in the area.

The Revealer: Chris Magnano, technical writer, activist, and classmate of Lydia’s, quietly works to expose the defilement. He digs deep and investigates every angle.

The Leaver: Mara Stanton, a nervous journalist with first-hand knowledge of the Malvisti family’s bad deeds, sells her house, moves away, and stays largely silent about the defilement. Someone else can deal with the problems in her hometown.

How we respond to things is one of the few things over which we have control. When it comes to environmental defilement, I pray we respond with love, a sense of justice and purpose ... and action.

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