Sunday, February 11, 2007


Even lefty urban atheists need something to believe in:
Today, the popularity of British author James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis — that the Earth itself functions as a living organism — confirms the return of a sort of idolatrous animism, a religion of nature. The recent IPCC report, and a week’s worth of turgid headlines, did not create this faith, but certainly made it more evident.

It can be felt in the frisson of piety that comes with lighting an energy-saving light bulb, a modern votive candle.

It is there in the pious propaganda of media outlets like the, Toronto Star, which on Jan. 28 made the completely implausible claim that, “The debate about greenhouse gas emissions appears to be over.”

It can be seen in the public ritual of cycling to work, in the veneer of saintliness on David Suzuki and Al Gore (the rush for tickets to the former vice-president’s upcoming appearance crashed the server at the University of Toronto this week), in the high-profile conversion (honest or craven) of George W. Bush, and in the sinful guilt of throwing a plastic bottle in the garbage.

Adherents make arduous pilgrimages and call them ecotourism. Newspapers publish the iconography of polar bears. The IPCC reports carry the weight of scripture.
Click that link and read the whole thing.


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