Every so often popular debate breaks out about whether belief in anthropogenic global warming is analogous to religious belief. These debates almost always turn into debates about whether environmentalism is a religion. Typically, one side maintains that the distinctive feature of religious belief is that it appeals to the supernatural, and so environmentalism isn’t a religion. The other side maintains that the distinctive feature of religious belief is the passion with which the belief is held, and so environmentalism, when it’s held passionately, is a religion.
I don't have a take on this, really. What I find interesting, though, is that whenever you come across this identification -- i.e. environmentalism-is-a-religion -- it is made by the anti-environmentalist without exception. What I am thinking now is
1. What does this tell about the role of religion in contemporary environmental discourse? Is it that anyone passionate about the fate of our planet is a fundamentalist driven by irrationalism?
2. Is there a coherent Christian view about (or within) the politics of environmentalism? I'd love to get an idea of the playing field here, so let me know of anything in the comments.
(Via The Philosopher's Eye.)