Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The new secular religion of environmentalism

From time to time I carry on an e-mail debate with one of the senior editors of one of the Toronto daily newspapers. He is one of the few that spends some time crossing swords with his readers. Many columnists don’t acknowledge you, especially if you have disagreed with their points of view. This guy is different and I enjoy our infrequent interchanges.

Recently, I sent him a commentary on how I saw the new secular religion of environmentalism. He liked it, and said it was the best description of it he’d seen, it was “brilliant”. It is not often one receives such high praise from a hard-boiled newspaper editor, so I thought I would reproduce it below:

“It is now trite to say that environmentalism has become the new secular religion. It has its God (the IPCC), its dogma (curb CO2 at all costs), its high priests (Al Gore and David Suzuki), it has a narrative (human destruction of the planet), it has breakaway sects (the people who advocate non-reproduction of humans), it has apocalyptic predictions about the end of the world (mainly Gore's Inconvenient Truth) and it has a Bible (the Kyoto Protocol), and if one only follows the path, the people on the Earth will be saved.”

That was the paragraph he really liked. I don’t believe he bought into the one that followed:

“When you say you believe in the IPCC (i.e. you believe in God) but not in the literal truth of the Bible (Kyoto), then the fundamentalists attack you for your lack of faith -- you are a mere deist. The funny thing about religions is that you think you are disputing only the actual beliefs and not the people who believe them. But people's egos are so tied to their belief systems that any attack on it cannot be seen as anything but an attack on them.”

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