Thursday, April 22, 2010

Utopian Dreams

Robert H. Nelson puts on his thinkin' cap, adjusts the chin-straps, spins the little propeller on top, and delivers himself of the opinion that environmentalism is a Religion Without God.

Where does that leave conventionally religious people who happen to be environmentalists (or some reasonable facsimile thereof)? Under the rug, where they belong! Earth Day is celebrated, Nelson claims, by more than a billion people in 190 countries. Presumably, some of them see their environmental interests as compatible with some conventional religious viewpoint, while others are committed atheists who simply think it's stupid to mow down forests to make disposable chopsticks.

But so what? Let's just go ahead and treat 'em all as irrational cultists who are responding to the ontotheological crisis of [blah blah blah] with a postmodern neo-primitive embrace of [yadda yadda yadda fap fap fap].

Environmentalists see humans engaged in acts of vast hubris, remaking the future ecosystems of the Earth. By playing “God” with the Earth, humans seek to become as God themselves.

The Bible’s book of Deuteronomy reveals dire consequences for those who try to “play God.” We learn that God will strike down sinners who “worship other gods,” causing them to suffer “infections, plague and war. He will blight your crops, covering them with mildew. All these devastations shall pursue you until you perish.”

It is no mere coincidence that contemporary environmentalism prophesies virtually the same set of calamities resulting from the warming of the earth — rising seas, famine, drought, pestilence, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
I suppose it isn't a coincidence, inasmuch as we still have crops and oceans and diseases and weather, just like folks did back in the Bible Days. But the thing is, the fact that the Bible addresses human concerns does not make all latter-day expressions of those concerns Biblical. I could just as easily claim that seismic building codes prophesy "virtually the same calamities" that befell the Three Little Pigs, and interpret them as a veiled belief in the Big Bad Wolf.

If you think that's a stretch, too fucking bad. You can't argue with analogy!
Thus the Endangered Species Act is the new Noah’s Ark; genuinely wild places are the new cathedrals to find spiritual inspiration; Earth Day is the new Easter.
This is due to the pernicious worldwide influence of Calvinism, as anyone can tell from the fact that Nelson says so, duh.
While the language is now different, environmentalists today, no less than the Calvinists of old, see “excessive” consumption — the constant demand for bigger and better, more and more — as a threat to the Earth’s future.
Hail the new puritan! What is Portland, Oregon but a new Geneva, and Randal O'Toole its Servetus? If you doubt this, consider the fact that Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion says God “revealed himself and daily discloses himself in the whole workmanship of the universe." Game, set, and match, ya goddamn treehugging reformist supralapsarians!

Just to make matters worse, these Neo-Calvinist Gaiabots present their religious delusions as fact, and insist that they be allowed to influence public policy, which is not how we do things in America. And besides:
Success in stirring powerful religious feelings about the environment does not automatically lead to wise and effective policies.
Which is a shame, because the environment does matter, to an extent: no one wants to see the Grand Canyon filled with garbage unless it's absolutely necessary. Where environmentalists err, as always, is in trying to force us all to eat acorn mash by candlelight in cruelty-free yurts.
When environmental religion seeks a return to an earlier primitive and natural existence, it is embracing utopian dreams that easily can pose a danger to man and earth alike.
So, to recap: Earth Day = religion without God = Calvinism = a primitivist utopia = no more toilet paper, electricity, or dental anesthesia. And don't say it'll never happen, 'cause what if it did?

Now let us purge our minds of these ancient superstitions, and speak calmly of money.


Tacitus Voltaire said...

When environmental religion seeks a return to an earlier primitive and natural existence

i thought we had left the plastic recycling and power saving lightbulbs of the mesolithic era way behind us!

Rmj said...

So, is he stupider about religion, Deuteronomy (the laws of which applied only to the children of Abraham, not to all humankind), or environmentalism?

It's a toss up....