Environmentalism as Religion?

Posted on 6th December 2007 by Ryan Somma in Enlightenment Warrior - Tags: ,

Despite all their lambasting of Environmentalism, the last thing Anti-Environment pundits want to do is engage in a scientific debate on global warming, collapsing ecosystems, pollution, or overtaxing natural resources. That’s because they don’t have any science to support their side of the political aisle.

So what do you do when you don’t have facts to back up your arguments? You go on the attack and you go meta on your opponents’ assi*. Using mischaracterizations, metaphorical conceptualization, and free association, you substitute your opponent’s factually-based arguments with a faith-based fantasies, lumping them in with the Flat-Earthers, Scientologists, Heavens Gaters, and Reganomicers.

Conservative pundits attack Environmentalism as a sacrificial cult. Michael Crichton dismisses it as “a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.” Demagogues have even secured the domain name environmentalism.com to attack environmentalism as a religious belief.

The “Environmentalism as Religion” argument goes something like this:

Environmentalists believe people should make sacrifices to save the Earth; therefore, Environmentalists put the Earth above people; therefore, they see the Earth as their god (or goddess), and wish to sacrifice people to it.

How far can you stretch a metaphor before it finally snaps??? Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s a direct quote:

Environmentalism is not about a desire to have cleaner water and air. It is now a full-fledged religion, and its main tenet is “raw nature” as god-like, and Mankind as a plague infecting it. If you support environmentalism, the fact is that you’re supporting an idealogy (sic) that promotes the destruction of Mankind – and concretely, that includes yourself and everyone you care about. (environmentalism.com)

What’s grotesque and dangerous about this sort of Post-Modern Deconstructionist Ideological Relativism is that it’s a form of rhetoric whose intention is to call into question all scientific knowledge. If we’re going to call concern for environmental health based on scientific evidence a religion, then we can call believing in any scientific fact a religion.

Environmental Science tells us that we are apes, and that a web of life so complex we understand only a fraction of it supports our existence. This same Science logically conjectures that we should #$&% with that web of life as little as possible until we know more about it.

The anti-environment movement says that collapsing fish stocks don’t matter, mercury in the environment means nothing, oil supplies will last forever, and science will magically solve all our problems despite research funding cuts and watering down of politically inconvenient scientific facts.

Which of these sounds more like a religion?

* Plural of “ass.”


  1. I’m not sure if environmentalism as a religion is good or bad. One could say good, because it makes their argument that more stupid. Those quotes above sounded really ridiculous. On the other hand, its bad because you get loonies who buy in to that.

    This sorta reminds me of the evolution vs creation scenario. Except instead of a religious idea go scientific, its a “scientific” idea going religious.

    Ultimately I do believe there are some concerns with the environment and how we treat the planet. I believe in some respect global warming is true. What I don’t think is correct is how blown out of proportion the side effects are. If we are changing the environment it won’t happen quickly in human terms. It could take 100,000 years for our effects to be notice. Which in Earth years is very quick.

    The whole “we had more hurricanes this season…must be global warming” thing is really ridiculous.

    Comment by soursw — December 7, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

  2. Excellent point! Actually, Chris Mooney has written a book called Storm World clarifying to people arguing about severe weather and Global Warming what they can and cannot say if they want to be scientifically accurate. One thing they cannot says is, “Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming,” but they can say, “Global Warming will increase the likelihood of stronger hurricanes like Katrina.” An important difference.

    Comment by ideonexus — December 9, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

  3. […] ideonexus Science Cyberspace Speculation « Science Etcetera Saturnday, 20071208 Capitalism is a Religion December 9, 2007 This is a play on my blogpost about Environmentalism as Religion.<TOUNG-IN-CHEEK> […]

    Pingback by Capitalism is a Religion « ideonexus — December 9, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

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