Environmentalism is truly a religion

19 Jan

It occurred to me some time ago, long before I was blogging myself, that as some have remarked, environmentalism truly is a religion.  I worked through this initial thought, and found that it indeed has its own set of religious observances, practices, and theology, just like any other religion does (like ours).  Consider:

It has its weekly rituals (putting out the ‘blue box’, i.e. recycling bin); it has its dogmas that must not be questioned (catastrophic, man-made global warming) and its corresponding heretics (Bjørn Lomborg, and everyone else who has a hint of scepticism regarding the dogma of catastrophic, man-made global warming); it has its prophets (Al Gore, David Suzuki, etc.); it has its eschatologies (anthropogenic catastrophic global warming will melt the ice caps and flood and drown us all, OR there’ll be a new ice age (back in the ‘70s, that was the prediction), OR the mushrooming global population will destroy us, etc., etc. – “unless we take drastic action”, though it turns out never to be enough)); it has its special days and observances (Earth Hour, Earth Day); it has its sacred documents (the Kyoto Accord; Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”); it has its faith-inspired politically active organizations (Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, etc.); it has a system of sacrifice and atonement (offsetting one’s “carbon footprint” through various acts – tree-planting, donating to conservationist and environmentalist causes, blah blah blah); it implicitly has a creation account (evolution by natural selection, or Darwinism, which it of course shares with philosophical materialism – this makes man not special in any way, and not to be specially favoured, so it does constitute an important aspect of the philosophical basis of environmentalism); it has its daily observances (sorting and putting things in recycling bins, and composters); it has its deity to be respected and honoured (Gaia / Mother Earth / Mother Nature), it even has outright worship for those so inclined (various Wiccan and New Age practices); and it has, in the minds of some of its proponents, special dietary restrictions (the vegetarians and vegans who invoke concern for the environment, as well as animal suffering / death, as their reasons for eschewing meat consumption; ‘organic’ only diets; ‘locavore’ diets, ‘fair trade’ coffee, etc.), and various other self-denial actions (riding a bicycle or walking rather than driving a car / truck / SUV); like many religions and sects, it has a certain colour associated with it symbolically (green); and certain symbols (globe motifs; the three recycling arrows Mobius loop triangle).

*Update: Oh, and it has its pilgrimages – World Naked Bike Rides, which also function as a ritual observance…


12 responses to “Environmentalism is truly a religion

  1. Carnivore

    January 19, 2012 at 6:37 am

    I got a chuckle when the commodity prices for recycled glass, paper, etc. dropped. Some trash companies stopped collecting recyclables. It turned out they were motivated only by profit after all. Sort of exploded the weekly ritual.

  2. Will S.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I once worked, for a couple weeks, in a recycling plant. Profit was indeed all they cared about; certainly, not even the health and safety of their employees, I can vouch for that. I was a temp; they more or less forced us to work overtime suddenly if and when they felt like it – or we were out of a job. We did have to wear safety masks, to avoid breathing in dust, and safety gloves, etc. But when sharp objects, probably needles, poked me through the gloves and I bled, there was nobody around for me to complain to, or to get a BandAid. It was hot, dirty, dusty; awful. As mentioned, I was a temp there, and virtually everyone but me was Caribbean or African, and they made us work fast and furious. My arms were killing me; every night after work, I was popping OTC painkillers, which wasn’t good for my body.

    Anyway… Thus, my inner experience, of the world of recycling…

  3. Dave

    April 22, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Al Gore fancies himself the Pope of global warming, but judging from his immense carbon footprint, he’s more like the Jimmy Swaggart of global warming. (Oh but he buys carbon credits! In other words, a religion that sells indulgences.)

    Leftists do not believe in evolution except when they ridicule Christians for not believing in evolution. Evolution is racist — its M.O. for the last three billion years has been to let superior races out-compete and replace inferior races, whereas Leftism is dedicated to the survival of the unfittest.

    If man is just another species, and every other species strives to maximize its ecological footprint, why shouldn’t we?

    • Will S.

      April 22, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      Exactly; how can anything we do be ‘unnatural’, if we’re a part of nature?

      BUT, if on the other hand we AREN’T part of nature, then leftists have just ceded the notion of human exceptionality back to us.

      They can’t win. 🙂


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