The green movement is religious extremism

I believe the world is burning to the ground
Oh well I guess we’re gonna find out
Let’s see how far we’ve come
Let’s see how far we’ve come
~Matchbox 20, “How Far We’ve Come”

I mentioned earlier that the green movement, or parts of it, resembles the best of religious extremism. I didn’t realize until Dargon pointed it out that the green movement is, in fact, a form of religious extremism.

The green movement has its own belief system and dogma. One that, much like those of religion, believes itself to be based on fact and/or scientific evidence. The science is more convincing and more widely relied upon in the green movement than in religion, but that does not mean the science is correct. Disproved and mangled statistics, crappy methodology, and inconclusive or statistically insignificant results abound. Skepticism and criticism are often considered sins.

Boil it down, and you have the Bible stories of Christianity. The Garden of Eden…the world before man. The Devil in his many guises, technology, greed, excess, pick whichever you like. The Expulsion, where man succumbs to the Devil’s wiles and is cast out. The Prophet, again with many guises (Al Gore being the current favorite), who suffers at the hands of the heretics. Armageddon, where life as we know it will end. Of course, there is always the promise of Paradise…a world free of the Devil’s influence.

The dogma is the same dogma we criticize in religion. The world will go to hell unless everyone obeys the scripture and behaves themselves. The scripture, of course, being “The Earth is dying and it’s all our fault.”

The believers try to live (or try to appear to live) their lives according to their particular sect. They reduce their “carbon footprint” or try to create less waste or live small or what have you. They’re led by various leaders, some of whom don’t even try to live the life they espouse. In the meantime, they’re encouraged to spread the “good news” to everyone. Fear-mongering and the spreading of propaganda are popular tactics.

And much like the worst religious offenders, the movement doesn’t stop at proselytizing. Legislation is necessary. Legislation that upholds the scripture and dogma regardless of the benefit or detriment to the rest of humanity and regardless of the personal freedoms the American government is supposed to uphold.

There is a lot of money and political power at stake. Even as Al Gore shits on the reputation of climate change believers, he rakes in money hand over fist. He never made it to the office of president, but his influence is felt just as widely. Companies jump on the green bandwagon for the profits. Political machines uphold or denounce the dogma to attract constituents.

I’m not saying this to convert anyone to environmental atheism. Rather, I say it to get people to realize that this is not what the green movement needs. Better yet, it is not what the Earth needs. It is not what we, as supposedly civilized human beings, need. What we need is more understanding. The understanding that science can be, and very often is, misused. The understanding that clinging dogmatically to an idea does more harm than it ever will good. The understanding that we cannot force others to believe as we believe or act as we act. The understanding that “[j]ust because you believe it’s true doesn’t make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn’t mean you are not doing harm.”

But seeing as knee-jerk reactions and us-vs.-them mentalities are the trademarks of humanity, I am not going to hold my breath.

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3 Responses to “The green movement is religious extremism”

  1. Dargon Says:

    You give me too much credit. It was a back and forth that brought this out, and all I did was point out that the green movement is that once things become dogma they are immune to critical thinking and that the green movement is a bit legislation happy. The rest was all you.

    • Right, but if you hadn’t of said that, I wouldn’t have chewed on it as much as I did, and this post probably wouldn’t have been written.

  2. Some people really are dogmatic about this. I think it’s important to be environmentally conscious because, well, it’s common sense. People live on Earth, so it makes sense that we should at least try to take care of it.

    Still, that doesn’t man that I’m going to go start scream Doomsday Prophecies. It’s obvious there’s trouble brewing, but we aren’t all going to die tomorrow, either.

    Use less plastic. Ride your bike more. Grow a garden. Maybe get some solar panels if you want, but don’t go strap yourself to a tree and start yelling about who-knows-what.

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