Environmentalism: The New Faith

Jonah Goldberg notes the remarkable parallels between the modern environmental movement and traditional religion.

At its core, environmentalism is a kind of nature worship. It’s a holistic ideology, shot through with religious sentiment. “If you look carefully,” author Michael Crichton famously observed, “you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.”

Environmentalism’s most renewable resources are fear, guilt and moral bullying. Its worldview casts man as a sinful creature who, through the pursuit of forbidden knowledge, abandoned our Edenic past. John Muir, who laid the philosophical foundations of modern environmentalism, described humans as “selfish, conceited creatures.” Salvation comes from shedding our sins, rejecting our addictions (to oil, consumerism, etc.) and demonstrating through deeds an all-encompassing love of Mother Earth. Quoth Al Gore: “The climate crisis is not a political issue; it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.”

Goldberg gives many other examples. Read the whole thing.

The irrational faith of environmentalism stands in contrast to the reasoned approach of conservation, which, ironically, has a biblical basis.

Conservation, which shares roots and meaning with conservatism, stands athwart this mass hysteria. Yes, conservationism can have a religious element to it as well, but that element stems from the biblical injunction to be a good steward of the Earth, rather than a worshiper of it. But stewardship involves economics, not mysticism.

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