Is Environmentalism A Religion?

Are the global warming alarmists serious? Well, some Conservatives label modern Environmentalism as a religious belief. Here an extract from an example, Green Religion.

Truly, Environmentalism is not organized as an official religion with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status; it’s not a religion in the sense that Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, or Hinduism are religions. But from an anthropological or sociological perspective, it absolutely functions as a “religion-style” belief system. Contrary to what most Greens would say, Environmentalism is not really based on science, but on something much deeper than that. It’s more of an emotional commitment to some deeply held, unshakeable beliefs. (from here)

The author of the above then goes on to list the parallels between Environmentalism and religious belief.

Is Environmentalism a religious belief? Well, we can make an idol out of anything, and people have been idolizing the earth for a long time.

How Serious Are Global Warming Alarmists About Protecting Their Idol?

How serious are global warming alarmists about protecting their idol? Google “global warming”. Add the term denier and we get posts like the following.

However, a religion involves more than just preaching to the unconverted. A religion has a doctrine that requires something of us. The chart below does not even begin to explain the complications that arise from a belief in global warming, but it is a start.

Politics of Global Warming pictogram (from here)

Why Don’t The Solutions For Global Warming Work?

What is the big problem for the global warming alarmists? Well, we can find that in another lists of articles. What is comes down to is that their religion requires “us” to give up the benefits of fossil fuels, but the alarmists do not know how to make that happen. The alarmists are stuck on proving global warming exists. They have given very little thought as to the most practical way to limit their so-called carbon footprint.

What all these articles lack is a simple, coherent, morally justifiable plan for getting people to stop using fossil fuels. Thus, the global warming crisis, saving the environment, just becomes another excuse for abusing power.

What do fearful politicians do? They do what fearful people tend to do, whatever they feel they can get away with. What western politicians want to get away with is spending more of other people’s money on their priorities, and global warming provides a great excuse.

The Problem With A Religion

Let’s think about the real problem with a religion. The majority of religious beliefs (all but one) require us to do something for salvation. Environmentalism is no exception, and like most religions it can become very legalistic. Hence, we see bunches and bunches of politicians, lobbyists, and activists stepping forward to become rule-making and enforcing Pharisees.  Many of them, of course, happily make rules for others; they are just too important to give up their high-flying, private jets.

What the Pharisees proved is that it is more important to love God and our neighbors than it to obey stupid, arcane rules.  What the environmentalists are proving is that until we learn to love our neighbors we cannot save the planet.

Will increasing the amount of carbon dioxide increase the temperature of our planet? There is no justification for panic, but it is probably not a risk we ought to take. Unfortunately, what environmental activists have done to fix the problem amounts to crony capitalism (which eventually leads to socialism). Because their busybody solutions are so inept, they are just abusing people’s rights and wasting trillions of dollars. They are making things worst.

If the solution were just to slowly replace the income tax with a tax on the consumption of fossil fuels, most people would probably support it. Since we have a limited supply of fossil fuels, it makes sense to discourage the use of what is ultimately a finite resource. But a government power grab won’t do any good, and it isn’t doing any good. Look at any authoritarian nation. Where tyrants rule, the environment is a mess.

The power to tax is the power to destroy. — Daniel Webster (1782–1852) (from here)

If we don’t want people to burn fossil fuels, then all we have to do is tax the consumption of fossil fuels, and people will start looking for alternatives. It is not any more complicated than that. All the government has to do is the only thing it is good at, taxing us.



  1. Here is an interesting take on how an air of certainty in any complex area can turn people off:

    I’m not sure if environmentalism is much of a religion, but I do think that a very many people in this country, including many religious people, conflate the scientific method with religion. Thus we have aethist cosmologists who believe, very unscientifically IMHO, that science can and will explain everything. And we have religious people running supposed “natural history museums” out of a need to give pseudo-scientific literalism to the more profound truth of religious metaphor.


    1. @Tony

      What science involves is modeling the world as best we can. Actually, that is what our brain does. We take the information we gather from our five senses and form a model of whatever we are examining in our mind. If that model fails us somehow (we stumble in the dark, for example), we reassess the situation (turn on the light, perhaps).

      The scientific method is just a more sophisticated version of modeling. Scientists often use instruments to gather data unavailable to our five senses. Nevertheless, because some important information may still in the dark, even scientists stumble.

      As I observed, I am not so cocksure I am unwilling to do something about global warming, but the proposals on the table require us to give up many of our rights without solving a problem that may not exist. Why should we agree to that?


  2. Is the desire for clean drinking water a religion? Why can’t you achieve that goal by simply imposing a tax on water pollution?

    From my point of view believe in the existence of the anthropogenic climate change is as much and as little a religion as believe in the theory of quantum mechanics is. Would we even be comparing seeing anthropogenic climate change as a serious problem that needs tackling to a religion, if it were not for the deliberate blurring of the several meanings of “to believe”:
    a) to have a firm or wholehearted religious conviction or persuasion
    b) to hold an opinion
    Is “I believe, the square root of 2 is about 1.414” the expression of a religious conviction?

    On a bit more serious note: The reason fighting anthropogenic climate change is contested to this extent is the coupling between fossil fuel usage and industrial production / heating / mobility / … in todays society. When we found out that CFCs pose a huge environmental problem we were “lucky” to have a technological solution at hand; all that had to be overcome was the inertia to commit investements into replacing one working system with another working system. With CO2 this is more difficult. Any nation introducing fossil fuel taxes on its own is bound to disadvantage its industry with regard to another country that does not regulate fossil fuel usage. Coordinating such taxes internationally ought to work. The question is what to do with the tax revenues raised. If all is working to plan, fossil fuel usage would be reduced and tax revenue would go down over time. The revenue is inherently unfit to rely on for longterm planning, IMO, . One solution would be to simply return the revenue on a per-capita basis to the tax-payers of the country, i.e. turn the tax into a revenue neutral one. Nonetheless, programs to kick-start alternative energy technologies is IMO essential, as industry will shy away from high-risk research. I do not see much difference to other basic research funding, where society funds the long shots that industry will not take.


    1. @marmoewp

      So it is not a religion? The Conservatives in this country still cannot figure out why the Democrat Liberals voted for Obama twice, but he did promise to control the level of the seas.

      The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.

      Speech in St. Paul, Minnesota to supporters on the last night of voting in the primary campaign (3 June 2008)

      Now let’s look at your second question. Why can’t we get clean water just by imposing a tax on water pollution? The global warming alarmists want us to treat carbon dioxide as a toxin, but it is not. What is at issue is that rate we are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Are we adding — can we add — carbon dioxide to the atmosphere fast enough to set off a greenhouse effect? I don’t think we know, but the suggestion of a problem sure has stirred up a bunch of people.

      If some countries just unilaterally imposed a consumption tax on fossil fuels would that put those countries at a disadvantage? So far I have not seen much evidence that the politicians negotiating international agreements give a damn. The agreements have favored the Chinese, India, and developing nations. So I see nothing to gain by negotiation.

      Consumption taxes have certain advantages. In addition to encouraging conservation, they encourage investment. If we need to protect certain energy intensive industries, we can impose import quotas.

      Note also that I suggested that the switch from income taxes to a consumption tax on fossil fuels be imposed over a period of time. Ten years would probably be enough. That would give energy intensive industries time to adapt.

      Anyway, I see you are trying to complicate my proposal. Don’t overthink. Politicians will find enough revenue. They know how to tax us. If the developers of viable alternative energy need money, THAT IS THEIR PROBLEM. Our problem is keeping busybodies who don’t know what they are doing from sticking their noses where they don’t belong. They just waste too much money.


  3. Does it really matter if global warming is a scam or not? I mean, anyone who has managed to pass General Science in elementary school knows if you expel into the air greenhouse gases that something is likely to happen.. mostly to our health. You would think that we’d want to breath clean air… not suck all that crap into our lungs so some worker who is unable to adapt to changing market conditions and likes the “good old days” stays employed.
    But besides all that, alternative power sources are employing more people than the fossil fuel industries because of market demand for cheaper energy, regardless if you remove fossil fuel restrictions to try and make it more affordable.
    We’re rapidly getting to the point that it will make no difference what the fossil fuel industries want to convince us is or is not happening regarding global warming. Market forces will determine that future.


    1. @Doug (

      Thanks for the comment.

      Does it really matter if global warming is a scam or not? I mean, anyone who has managed to pass General Science in elementary school knows if you expel into the air greenhouse gases that something is likely to happen.. mostly to our health.

      Good question!

      I worked in the computer industry. We have a saying: “garbage in, garbage out.” If you don’t start with good data, all you are going to get is garbage. So yes, it matters.

      The global warming alarmists want us to treat carbon dioxide as a toxin, but it is not. What is at issue is that rate we are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Are we adding — can we add — carbon dioxide to the atmosphere fast enough to set off a greenhouse effect? I don’t think we know.

      We are already adding quite a bit of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. So if there is a huge problem we ought to be seeing some evidence of it. Instead, all we get is anecdotal evidence. Weather problems we have always had we now attribute to global warming. Other issues, like the heat island effect, confuse the data. So while there may be an issue, panicking does not seem to be an appropriate response.

      If carbon dioxide is a toxin, then we don’t want even small quantities added to the atmosphere. Even small quantities would make us sick. If it just seems like a bad idea to burn large quantities of fossil fuels, then we just need to discourage the consumption of fossil fuels. Therefore, I think we should drop the income tax and tax the consumption of fossil fuels.

      There is no perfect solution. Alternative power sources (whatever they may be), also have their problems. Instead of picking winners and losers, government officials should strive for objectivity and let the market decide what works, where it works, and when it works.


      1. To put it bluntly, your claim, that CO2 is being treated as a toxin, is nonsense. A toxin by definition is produced within living cells. CO2 produced by the burning of fossilf fuels therefore can not be a toxin, as no living cells are involved. It is not even labeled toxic in the usual classification systems, even if it can kill you at 10% concentration and several hours of exposure.

        The term used by the EPA is pollution. As with any pollutant, the dose makes the pollution. A bit of NaCl in your diet is fine, even essential to your survival. I would strongly recommend against eating a few spoonful of table salt, though. Too much of it in your potable water therefore would rightfully be considered pollution.


        1. When Congress gave the EPA the power to regulate against air pollution, they had pollutants in mind. It is a stretch to say that carbon dioxide qualifies as the sort of pollutant Congress had in mind. Appoint enough Democrat Liberal judges, however, and the law means whatever the judges think it ought to mean.


  4. Energy is a basic requirement for our country’s economy. In my opinion, the USA needs a long-term plan and policy for energy consumption. While coal is the most plentiful energy source, it is not the lowest cost fuel. The lowest cost is nuclear, however, the initial startup costs for nuclear are astronomical.

    In my opinion, the USA government should have a long-range plan to assure the USA will have sufficient energy sources for the next century. Instead of adding taxes to promote or dissuade the uses of various energy sources based on proven or unproven theories, beliefs, propaganda, whims, etc.,

    The USA needs to make use of all energy sources based on practicality of locations.
    Sun in the sunny climate, hydropower by rivers, wind power in windy fields and oceans. Coal, having the highest carbon content, should be subsidized rather than taxed. Subsidized to allow the cleanest coal plants made possible. Same with nuclear plant construction should be subsidized. Not subsidized by taxes but by amortization of all energy sources prices to consumers.

    In other words, all energy sources costs should be amortized to supply all forms of available energy sources at one price in every State. A long-range plan, for example to use 25 percent of coal, 25 percent of nuclear, 25 percent of natural gas, 25 percent of solar, wind, and hydro.


    Because amortizing the use of all energy sources will conserve all energy for future generations.
    I rather doubt any political party or religion would disagree that our generation should make the best use of all energy sources to conserve energy for the next generation.

    Just my opinion.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.


    1. @scatterwisdom
      In a free market economy, the money is in the private sector, not the government sector. What the government does for the private sector is protect our property rights and resolve legal disputes. That is enough to keep politicians busy.

      One of the problems the private sector has is raising capital for large projects. What people do is form corporations. These corporations are already chartered by the government and given special protections. THAT’S ENOUGH ALREADY!

      If nuclear power plants make sense (risk analysis I don’t trust the government to conduct), then private entrepreneurs can and will risk their own money. Since they won’t share the profit, that only seems fair.

      Frankly, I am no expert on nuclear power plants, but most uranium is in an an isotopic form that makes it useless for power production. So it has to be put in a breeder reactor to form an isotope of plutonium. Since that isotope of plutonium is nasty, dangerous stuff, I would rather our government officials stand on the sidelines, try to retain some objectivity, and regulate the industry, not run it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Think of an island that has become inhabitable because the inhabitants have foolishly cut down all the trees for firewood.

        That will be what our future generations will have to contend with because of lack of wisdom ,foresight, and management of our “island.”

        Price competition should not be the only consideration when it comes to natural resources. Teddy Roosevelt saw the future when he saved our national forests. He was a visionary of the future, luckily for the USA. In his time, the trees were being cut down because they were the least cost too.

        It won’t happen in my lifetime, but when all the “trees” are gone, they are gone.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.


        1. @scatterwisdom

          Think of an island that has become inhabitable because the inhabitants have foolishly cut down all the trees for firewood.

          Actually, that sort of thing has happened. Easter Island is believed to have once had trees.

          When “everyone” owns the trees on an island, “everyone” is responsible for the trees. When “everyone” is responsible, no one is responsible.

          Consider the example in your post. The sheep are owned by a family. It is their business generation after generation. So they will take care to make certain they have sheep for the next generation.

          There is a place for public parks, even national parks. However, public ownership should be the exception, not the rule. When people own and manage resources for other people, they are rarely as conscientious as they would be if they were managing their own property. At best what government managers do is to avoid the worst extremes we see in privately own businesses. Sometimes, however, governments become corrupt. Such government then run an entire society into the ground.

          Ultimately, there is no perfect system. That why our first focus has to be on people. First we have to fix ourselves. Then we can strive to set a good example for others.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I concur.

            However based on what I read in the news, the trend in my lifetime appears to be leaning more to the bad examples rather than the good examples of “people fixing.”

            Just my opinion. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

            Regards and goodwill blogging.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. as Christian, we are called to be stewards of the planet—-sadly we’ve all gotten a bit too comfortable and accustomed to that comfort….a concerted effort across denominational lines would be nice.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. and I thought you were going to say something else entirely besides gardening 😉 HA
        and no, we don’t have gardening down or the fact that that other profession may be old but is still wrong and immoral 🙂
        Two birds with one stone Tom—I love it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Is Environmentalism a religion? Yes, and with Algore as a head, there is enough proof of the insincerity and guesswork of they who worship the earth, contrasted with nature’s God.

    ‘Door to door’ they go, preaching things well above their pay grade, pretending to know models of a ‘billion’ years ago, and can’t get straight a five day weather forecast. Yep, another gospel that’s for sure.

    All religions by the way, apart from God, are doomed to a certain failure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “What all these articles lack is a simple, coherent, morally justifiable plan for getting people to stop using fossil fuels.” How about the fact that they are a finite resource and that 1st world countries consuming more oil is detrimental to developing nations? Were the US to wholly divest itself from fossil fuel use, imagine the revenue and the good that could be accomplished by exporting our oil reserves? Not only would it help developing nations to our south economically thrive, but it would break the stranglehold that Russia and OPEC have had over our European allies. Less dependence on oil, even our own domestic product will lead to better security and better development in the third world. Boom. Moral argument.


    1. That does not make any sense. You quoted what I said. You address the motivation for doing something, but where is your simple, coherent, morally justifiable plan? How do you propose for our country to wholly divest itself from fossil fuel use?


      1. “How do you propose for our country to wholly divest itself from fossil fuel use?” Simple: invest in more renewable sources but tap into domestic resources where it is safe to do so. Basically, I would suggest a quid pro quo; energy companies can drill in more locations previously barred in exchange for demonstrable progress in outmoding fossil fuels. Those companies that are already making strides in electric and other fuels but still have oil in their portfolio can increase their supplies, have a competitive edge, and have the money to invest in new technology. Companies will race to have the better tech to get the better oil wells. Then, when the American auto industry is able to provide automobiles with new, sustainable energy, we ban fossil fuels in cars, export that stuff to the third world, and break OPEC forever.


        1. Well, that kind of nonsense will thrill big government bureaucrats.

          What some companies know how to do is drill for oil. Some know how to refine it. Some big corporations have multiple interests. All your proposal does is put some of the smaller players out of business and for no discernible gain.


          1. Fossil fuels will die out. That is just the way of the world. Either new technology will out mode them or the oil wells will dry up. My proposal is to allow such companies to diversify and retrain employees now, rather than rust belting an industry again. No one prepared for the inevitable fall of coal–who could expect that new technology and competition from natural gas would make coal mining require less people?–and now people suffer for it. We can either get ahead of it by enacting policies that make it more profitable for companies to begin converting their business, or we can let them go the way of coal: a special interest group that is no longer the interest of the nation.


          2. I think I have addressed this already. My complaint is that Democrat Liberals won’t accept a solution that simply addresses that problem. Environmentalism is a stalking horse for Socialism.


          3. “Environmentalism is a stalking horse for Socialism.” Some efforts, sure. But reducing the use of plastic bags is just smart as is reducing the dependency on fossil fuels over all. I had one idea–living in the beltway–that if we connected all the gym equipment to power generators, we might at least make those businesses energy neutral on the power grid.

            I confess the moniker of Environmentalism has a bad association, hence why, going back to my roots as a Boy Scout, I prefer conservationism. Resources are finite no matter how abundant they may seem now. The ocean, the ice caps, etc are all finite things that need to be utilized prudently. Pope Francis calls it stewardship and that is a good way to look at it.

            What it looks like to me is that you opposed the Democrats’ methodology rather than the actual goal.


          4. We don’t want pollution? We prohibit what is intolerable and put a tax on what is bearable. Businessmen and consumers will see the added cost and try to avoid it. No complicated programs are required.

            Is man-made Global Warming a real problem? Who knows? God, I suppose. What is known is that there is a finite supply of fossil fuels. So we should be discouraging the use of these fuels and encouraging the development of alternatives. That can be done by replacing the income tax with a taxes on fossil fuels and taxes that induce companies to recycle plastics and other types of waste.


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