Environmentalism - An Apocalyptic End of the World Cult? - Printable Version
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Environmentalism - An Apocalyptic End of the World Cult? - plasticfan - 06-19-2008 08:15 AM
Environmentalism: the new death cult?
The New Atheists attack the crumbling churches yet ignore the rehabilitation of backwards religious sensibilities under the guise of green values.
The New Atheists are a gaggle of writers wielding a literary cudgel against religion. From Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion to Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great, it has become positively fashionable to be a member of the anti-God squad and to ridicule the religious.
Fair enough. I'm as atheistic as they come, so I won't be shedding a tear for Christianity, Islam, Judaism or the other superstitious sects that now find themselves under attack by intellectuals. And yet, I can't help feeling that the new atheists are rather spectacularly missing the point.
They are going after religions which, in the west at least, are in terminal decline, and whose influence is miniscule bordering on non-existent. At the same time, these atheists tend to buy into the cult of environmentalism, which is rehabilitating old religious pieties with a dangerously dramatic success rate.
Forget fundamentalist Christianity or Islam: environmentalism is by far the most influential death cult in existence today. It is inculcating in the masses the idea that the end of the world is nigh; that we shall we punished for our sins; that penance is our earthly duty; and that anyone who says or thinks otherwise is a "heretic" or a "denier" who should be held up to public ridicule.
The extent to which environmentalism echoes old religious values is striking. A key aspect of the monotheistic religions was their belief in an "end of days" scenario in which the world would go kaput and a new messiah would come to judge us harshly.
Many decades ago, this belief system had a deadening impact on people's lives. It encouraged fatalism, a conviction that mankind was not in control of his destiny. Our role was simply to be always on our best behaviour and await our fate at the end of time.
Today, it is environmentalists who make shrill warnings about the end of the world. In God Is Not Great, Hitchens attacks those religious fanatics who "beguile themselves and terrify others with horrific visions of apocalypse", yet he endorses the environmentalist outlook of planetary doom when he muses on "the death of the species and the heat death of the universe". If anything, his secular hellfire warnings are more terrifying than those propagated by the small religious rabble that still believes God is making his way to earth on a chariot of fire.
Green writer Mark Lynas has warned that Poseidon, the God of the sea, "Is angered by arrogant affronts from mere mortals like us. We have woken him from a thousand-year slumber and this time his wrath will know no bounds." Other environmentalists write of "Gaia's revenge" and of large sections of mankind being wiped out by floods and hurricanes (and swarms of locusts, no doubt).
These days it isn't traditional religions that frighten the populace senseless with hysterical stories about the end of life as we know it; it is environmentalists. It is the greens who instil in people that debilitating sense of "The End" and of man's smallness in the face of Gaia's/God's judgement. The greens have taken the place of the priests in spreading fear, fatalism and resignation over man's fate.
Environmentalists have co-opted the poisonous religious notion that a higher power shall punish us for our uncaring behaviour. The recent floods in England were described as a "warning" from nature, just as floods in biblical times were considered to be warnings - or stern tellings-off - from the almighty.
Last week, one writer said the floods were part of a "drumbeat of disaster" and argued "behind the gathering clouds, the hand of God is busy...." This was no religious crank writing in a millenarian rag. It was Jeremy Leggett, green businessman and former adviser to the government, writing in the Guardian.
No one listens to the priests or imams when they say mankind is corrupt and shall face the righteous fury of an angry God. But great numbers of people pay attention to the new priests of the environmentalist movement who have updated this nasty morality tale in secular/scientific lingo.
Not surprisingly, then, the greens have rehabilitated penance too. Today's trend for measuring everything we do by how much carbon it produces, and then offsetting the carbon by planting trees or making a donation to some carbon-neutralising charity, comes straight out of the Catholic tradition of confession.
When I was growing up a Catholic, we confessed our sins to a man of the cloth, who would then tell us how many Hail Mary's or Our Fathers to say if we wanted to cleanse our souls. Now we confess our carbon sins to carbon experts, who advise us how much we must put back into mother earth in order to neutralise our wayward behaviour.
The final component of the old religions was their demolition of dissent; now environmentalists write off certain individuals or groups as "heretics" or "deniers". The debate about the environment is peppered with religious language. Those who question the consensus are "deniers", a word once used to demonise those who denied the truth about God. Those who see the error of their ways and embrace environmentalism are congratulated for having "recanted" and "converted" to the true path.
Environmentalists have bastardised science as a gospel truth, which can be used to correct man's sinful behaviour. Science has traditionally remained always open to question, to ongoing falsification. Yet the science on climate change, we are told, is final and you deny its truth at your peril. Some green campaigners even wave placards saying "The scientists have spoken", a new secular version of "This is the word of the Lord".
In taking on the crumbling Christian churches or the last gasps of Islamic radicalism, the new atheists are attacking only the old, hollowed-out institutions of religion. They seem blind to the fact that backward religious sensibilities are being rehabilitated through the cause of environmentalism.
Today, the barrier to progress and rationality, to the advancement and betterment of mankind, is erected not by the discredited spokespeople of clapped-out religions, but by the numerous green John the Baptists warning of new era of doom.
Environmentalism - An Apocalyptic End of the World Cult? - markko - 06-19-2008 01:18 PM
There is nothing wrong with environmentalism.
Unlimited growth on limited resources is idiocy and will for sure end some day, no matter what people say. I'm not for tree hugging hippie groups giving more rights to animals than people, but I am for sane care of our home planet, for it's first time in history we are destroying it on a global scale. It's a fact that there are whole continents of plasitc garbage in oceans, it is a fact people are dying from cancer living near industrial areas, it is a fact every day thousands of species die, it is a fact, that amazon forest is being wiped out and so on and on.
We can't live without nature no matter how we praise our technology and "advancement". If we are going to destroy it, dark clouds will be on the horizon and there is nothing religious about it. What is religious is to believe that man has power over nature and he can exploit it as much as he wants, and this line here is guilty of it all:
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
What is basicaly being said here is don't fucking care about your environment but exploit and rape it so much you won't be able to live on earth anymore.
Environmentalism - An Apocalyptic End of the World Cult? - plasticfan - 06-22-2008 07:48 PM
From Papal Indulgences to Carbon Credits
Is Global Warming a Sin?
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
In a couple of hundred years, historians will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth century as the Christian millennium approached. Then, as now, the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor in the planet's rapid downward slide.
Then as now, a buoyant market throve on fear. The Roman Catholic Church was a bank whose capital was secured by the infinite mercy of Christ, Mary and the Saints, and so the Pope could sell indulgences, like checks. The sinners established a line of credit against bad behavior and could go on sinning. Today a world market in "carbon credits" is in formation. Those whose "carbon footprint" is small can sell their surplus carbon credits to others, less virtuous than themselves.
The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. There is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of CO2 is making any measurable contribution to the world's present warming trend. The greenhouse fearmongers rely entirely on unverified, crudely oversimplified computer models to finger mankind's sinful contribution. Devoid of any sustaining scientific basis, carbon trafficking is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed, just like the old indulgences, though at least the latter produced beautiful monuments. By the sixteenth century, long after the world had sailed safely through the end of the first millennium, Pope Leo X financed the reconstruction of St. Peter's Basilica by offering a "plenary" indulgence, guaranteed to release a soul from purgatory.
It's a notorious inconvenience for the Greenhousers that data also show carbon dioxide concentrations from the Eocene period, 20 million years before Henry Ford trundled his first model T out of the shop, 300-400 per cent higher than current concentrations. The Greenhousers deal with other difficulties like the medieval warming period's higher-than-today's temperatures by straightforward chicanery, misrepresenting tree-ring data (themselves an unreliable guide) and claiming the warming was a local, insignificant European affair.
We're warmer now, because today's world is in the thaw following the last Ice Age. Ice ages correlate with changes in the solar heat we receive, all due to predictable changes in the earth's elliptic orbit round the sun, and in the earth's tilt. As Hertzberg explains, the cyclical heat effect of all of these variables was worked out in great detail between 1915 and 1940 by the Serbian physicist, Milutin Milankovitch, one of the giants of 20th-century astrophysics. In past postglacial cycles, as now, the earth's orbit and tilt gives us more and longer summer days between the equinoxes.
Water covers 71 per cent of the surface of the planet. As compared to the atmosphere, there's at least a hundred times more CO2 in the oceans, dissolved as carbonate. As the postglacial thaw progresses the oceans warm up, and some of the dissolved carbon emits into the atmosphere, just like fizz in soda water taken out of the fridge. "So the greenhouse global warming theory has it ass backwards," Hertzberg concludes. "It is the warming of the earth that is causing the increase of carbon dioxide and not the reverse." He has recently had vivid confirmation of that conclusion. Several new papers show that for the last three quarter million years CO2 changes always lag global temperatures by 800 to 2,600 years.
It looks like Poseidon should go hunting for carbon credits. Trouble is, the human carbon footprint is of zero consequence amid these huge forces and volumes, and that's not even to mention the role of the giant reactor beneath our feet: the earth's increasingly hot molten core.