Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The Ideology of Environmentalism

Religious dogma, disguised as science, enforced by bureaucratic tyranny.

Jonah Goldberg recently took a look at Environmentalism as religion:
Environmentalists are keen to insist that their movement is a secular one. But using the word "secular" no more makes you secular than using the word "Christian" automatically means you behave like a Christian. Pioneering green lawyer Joseph Sax, for example, describes environmentalists as "secular prophets, preaching a message of secular salvation." Gore too has often been dubbed a "prophet." It's no surprise that a green-themed California hotel provides Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" right next to the Bible and a Buddhist tome.

Whether it's adopted the trappings of religion or not, my biggest beef with environmentalism is how comfortably irrational it is. It touts ritual over reality, symbolism over substance, while claiming to be so much more rational and scientific than those silly sky-God worshipers and deranged oil addicts.
Goldberg notes that Al Gore's rhetoric is little different from that of Joseph Hagee and that Gore has been called a 'Prophet' by many. Gore sure seems like an evangelical Environmentalist to me.

The ideology of Environmentalism is totalitarian in nature. Czech President Vaclav Klaus sure sees it this way. He has written a book entitled "Blue Planet in Green Shackles" in which he warns that our freedom and prosperity are at risk from "climate alarmism." He compared the environmental movement to the communist one:
"Like their (communist) predecessors, they will be certain that they have the right to sacrifice man and his freedom to make their idea reality," he said.

"In the past, it was in the name of the Marxists or of the proletariat - this time, in the name of the planet," he added.
He believes the market should be allowed to function but worries "that we are now at a stage where mere facts, reason and truths are powerless in the face of the global warming propaganda." Propaganda, he points out, produced and disseminated by those in a position to personally benefit from the policies they advocate:
My deep frustration has been exponentially growing in recent years by witnessing the fact that almost everything has already been said, that all rational arguments have been used and that global warming alarmism is still marching on. It could be even true that "We are now at the stage where mere facts, reason, and truth are powerless in the face of the global warming propaganda" (R. McKittrick, private correspondence).

We are regretfully behind it. The whole process is already in the hands of those who are not interested in rational ideas and arguments. It is in the hands of climatologists and other related scientists who are highly motivated to look in one direction only because a large number of academic careers has evolved around the idea of man-made global warming. It is, further, in the hands of politicians who maximize the number of votes they seek to get from the electorate. It is also - as a consequence of political decisions - in the hands of bureaucrats of national and more often of international institutions who try to maximize their budgets and years of careers as well regardless the costs, truth and rationality. It is in the hands of rent-seeking businesspeople who are - given the existing policies - interested in the amount of subsidies they are receiving and look for all possible ways to escape the for them often merciless, but for the rest of us very positive, general welfare enhancing functioning of free markets. An entire industry has developed around the funds the firms are getting from the government.
Wretchard makes a comparison which explains why, as Klaus correctly observes, we are very far behind:
The Islamic missionary effort is like the Left in that it is in a state of perpetual militancy. Over long years they develop a very efficient system of mutual support and alliances which very often can overmatch any ad-hoc or spontaneous opposition to their agendas. Even when momentarily checked, they simply lie low and wait for the next opportunity.

This is perfectly legitimate behavior in a democratic society. But over time any idea which expresses itself in perpetual organization will gradually gain ground. That's just the way it is.
I'm afraid he's right.


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