Thursday, June 28, 2012

Green Living Solutions Does the green movement serve as a religion of sorts to some people?

Question by Isa: Does the green movement serve as a religion of sorts to some people?
I consider myself an environmentalist, and someone who cares quite a bit about the future and about sustainability, but I frequently find myself politically at odds with people who seem convinced, with almost a religious dogma, that the ideal way for things to be is the way they are found in nature (usually defined as environment untouched by humans).

For instance, I acknowledge and am concerned about carbon emissions and their eventual impact on global temperatures. But proposals to construct something akin to a global thermostat, or to develop ways to chemically remove carbon from the atmosphere are met as blasphemy – apparently, the canon response is to flee back to the days before the Industrial Revolution, focusing on emitting carbon less instead of taking control of its consequences. Like religion, when you bring up the problem, there seems to be more of a focus on repentance than solutions; talking about actually SOLVING the problem tends to flare tempers.

Another example is the entire ‘organics’ movement, which is a movement that more or less flatly states that technology is evil when it comes to agriculture. We live in an age where the limits of arable land, clean water and crop disease are quickly being surmounted by the development of crops that are able to grow in more varied climates and fend off pests with less reliance on sprayed pesticides. But they’re regarded as evil – opponents are certain that they’ll give you cancer, or something, and the fact that they may spread their seeds into other crops is regarded as self-explanatorily scary – as if we’re all supposed to be outraged that the “natural” crop will be more difficult to isolate as time goes on.

Ultimately, the mentality among some ‘green movement’ types (which I distinguish from ‘environmentalists,’ which would be people who actually care about a sustainable environment as opposed to some kind of preservation of nature) is very similar to many religious dogmas: change and technology bad, “the old days” good; humans bad, nature good. Do you think some people use the green movement as sort of a surrogate religion?

Best answer:

Answer by \/\/3b |
I’d say yes, although nearly any ideal can serve to be a religion if its followers become zealots.

Add your own answer in the comments!

Tags:Green, Living, movement, people, religion, serve, Solutions, some, sorts



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