Monday, January 7th 2013, 3:12 AM EST
A fascinating piece by Gordon Gibson appeared in the globeandmail.com on New Year’s Eve that identifies why environmentalists are never open to debate.* They are adherents of a new green religion that is replacing liberalism with anti-mind defeatism and anti-life nihilism.
With ‘Absolutism in the Church of Green’ Gibson identifies the distinctly more common phenomenon with high priests who can speak ex cathedra and gain immediate belief. Gibson pinpoints that “David Suzuki, Al Gore and Amory Lovins, among others, have this otherworldly gravitas.”
Gibson puts the spotlight on former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard who made some astonishing comments as if he were a devout supplicant of this new green divinity. The article addresses the common and unquestioning acceptance that 'fracking' to produce natural gas is bad. Gibson writes “Among true believers in both cases, absolutism reigns. The badness is self-evident; the projects must not proceed. You can’t trade a little evil for a little wealth – there must be zero chance of harm.”
The fallacies within green thinking are also exquisitely exposed in a triumvirate of posts by space scientists, Joseph E Postma at climateofsophistry.com. While Postma uses his literary microscope to dissect the archetypes and cognitive dissonance that typify the green mentality Gibson gives us a generalist’s overview in a bite size chunk.
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Gibson concludes that Bouchard and too many politicians have taken up this absolute belief preached by the global warming advocates that resource development should be restricted in the interests of the environment. But such dogmatism comes at a severe cost. Absolute belief in anything is always dangerous.
In mainstream religion we may know of the Jesuits and Benedictines, where in the Church of Green there are Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. The power of the NGO’s to influence government is all too obvious to anyone who studies how these well-funded self-interest lobby groups work. They seem to be able to secure tithes (donations) from wealthy beneficiaries to fuel what they see are “good works” but which are “good” in the jaundiced eyes of those who have extreme views about limiting human expansion or technological development. Gibson recognizes that “Where the focus of a couple of generations ago was unambiguously on the prosperity of the human race, it has shifted with remarkable speed, at least in rich-world public posturing, to the health of the planet.”
It is certainly given a veneer of justification by way of a Malthusian-style rationale that speaks to our fears about global population growth and finite planetary resources. And given the demise of mainstream religion this new Church of Green does appear to fill a void in our souls where western middle classes may want to blame themselves for consumerism, feel guilty for enjoying relative material wealth and thereupon feel the duty to pay a ‘price’ for absolution from Mother Gaia.
But as Gibson warns, “Religion has an enormous usefulness to many individuals. But there’s more. Religion is, by its nature, absolutist. Because it embodies the Truth, one should not deviate. Of course we all sin, but deliberate tradeoffs are not permissible. It’s not allowed to do a little bit of evil to become a little bit rich, and especially not great evil for great wealth.”
The article tells us that there is increasing recognition that the eco cultists are more about restricting our freedoms rather than allowing individuals to find their own destiny in this life. In that sense they are part of an authoritarian trend opposed to personal liberty. I enjoyed reading both Postma’s and Gibson’s pieces and readers will certainly glean further insight by perusing the vast number of comments the Gibson article has already stirred up.
*Hat tip: PSI member John Moffat
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