Is environmentalism a religion?
I was reading the thread on Global Warming (as an Irrational Precept) the other day and was reminded of a speech by Michael Crichton on environmentalism as a religion. I don't want to attempt to change anyone's opinion on climate change, but would like to address what I believe to be a problem with environmentalism as a whole.
I found a YouTube video where Crichton addresses some questions over this speech which gives a good summary and is pretty short as well.
A transcript of the speech can be found here.
Is environmentalism really a religion or just an ideology? From what I've read it seems to depend on how losely you define what a religion is. I tried to find a few more opinions about this and quite a few people basically don't agree because religion relies on faith and environmentalism on science. I tend to agree with that, but at times it seems like the environmentalist movement uses science to back up its set of beliefs instead being driven by it. Regardless if it is considered a religion or not, I think that Crichton discusses several interesting simularities between environmentalism and religion in general and problems that these bring.
I personally believe that the environmental movement could do so much more if it was less dogmatic and became more pragmatic. Environmentalism ignores a basic concern for virtually everyone: affordable energy. Instead of pushing for the clean-up of cheap energy sources we presently use, which is realistically possible, the environmentalist movement is pushing for simple reduction, and renewable energy sources (which often are as dirty as the fossil fuels they should replace). No one should be surprised when people aren't lining up to buy expensive solar panels that don't cover their energy needs.
So, am I totally off on this? Is the environmentalist movement just an honest response to the damage man has done? Or do the environmentalists use the same methods that the religions do get their message across, regardless if facts conflict with their set of beliefs?
As a side note, Micheal Crichton is a technology-fiction writer (his most famous book is probably Jurassic Park). After doing background research for a book called State of Fear, Crichton began speaking publically on environmentalism and issues surrounding it.
Readiness to answer all questions is the infallible sign of stupidity. Saul Bellow, Herzog