The accelerating moral panic about alleged global warming and its projected catastrophic effects is a fundamentally religious phenomenon. Despite its pretensions, it is not primarily about science. Rather, it represents the emergence of a new religious movement (an NRM, or what used to be called a ‘cult’). This new form of eco-fundamentalism is characterized by a widely excessive faith in science, a hatred and despair at Humanity, an intolerance of opposition or even skepticism, and a near hysterical form of secular Apocalypticism.
Apocalypticism is the dogmatically held belief that the world and/or all human civilization will shortly come to a catastrophic end. Apocalypticism was initially a religious phenomenon and has had a firm grip on the culture of the West for some 2500 years, reaching fever-pitch on many occasions, including in the 20th century, which was one of the most Apocalyptically-obsessed periods in history. Moreover, it was in that century that Apocalypticism took on a secular guise, “evoking world destruction and transformation through ecological disaster … and technological breakdown”, with both religious and secular versions “converging upon the belief that the accepted texture of reality is about to undergo a staggering transformation, in which long-established institutions and ways of life will be destroyed” (Paul Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More, 1992, p.336).