RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Crichton, the great author, delivered a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 15th (that would be one week ago today for those of you in Rio Linda), and I’m not going to read the whole thing to you, but I do want to read elements:
‘I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance. We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears. As an example of this challenge, I want to talk today about environmentalism. And in order not to be misunderstood, I want it perfectly clear that I believe it is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment.
‘I believe it is important to act in ways that are sympathetic to the environment, and I believe this will always be a need, carrying into the future. I believe the world has genuine problems and I believe it can and should be improved. But I also think that deciding what constitutes responsible action is immensely difficult, and the consequences of our actions are often difficult to know in advance. I think our past record of environmental action is discouraging, to put it mildly, because even our best intended efforts often go awry. But I think we do not recognize our past failures, and face them squarely. And I think I know why. I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can’t be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people — the best people, the most enlightened people — do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious. Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism.
‘Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths. There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe. Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday — these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don’t want to talk anybody out of them, as I don’t want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don’t want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can’t talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.’ Something I have always said, by the way: You can’t argue faith, by definition. Anyway…
‘And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren’t necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It’s about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them. Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die. Let’s examine some of those beliefs. There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden [to the environmentalists]? And what about indigenous peoples, living in a state of harmony with the Eden-like environment? Well, they never did. On this continent, the newly arrived people who crossed the land bridge almost immediately set about wiping out hundreds of species of large animals, and they did this several thousand years before the white man showed up, to accelerate the process.’
He goes on and on and on here, but the point is, again, I like this, because I have described environmentalism as a religion, and said that their god is a tree or their god is some element of nature, and they don’t need facts. And they try to make everybody feel guilty and they try to convince everybody that we, by simply living our lives as ‘sinners,’ are destroying this planet, and so forth. And it all harbors on this belief that it used to be pristine. ‘Those Redwood Forest or those jungles, the rainforests, allll, used to be pristine. It was just fine and dandy ’til we got here, and then we started,’ and it’s all centered around global warming and how we energy sinners and environmental sinners are destroying the planet and so forth, and so he’s right on the money. It is totally a religious belief, and many of the people who adopt all this in fact claim to be secularists, who claim to have nothing to do with religion because they think religion is for kooks, that they are ‘men and women of science,’ that they are men and women a cut above all of us. We are mere plebes incapable of understanding the deep, dark secrets that their brilliance alone is able to discern, and as such, we are but mere foot soldiers. Our minds are porous, but they can be shaped, and they continue to try to shape us each and every day with greater and greater fear and scare tactics, all the while telling us it’s our fault, all the while claiming to be secularists because to be religious is to be one of those ‘right-wing Christians.’
“I’m not going to be a right-winger! I’m going to be bigger than that!”
Yet they are, in their own way, not secularists at all. They in fact are deeply religious. They just have a different religion, but the difference is, as is the case with all the modern left, they haven’t got the guts to be honest about who they are and what they really believe, and I keep bringing this up because I keep hearing more and more allusion to global warming being responsible for all these hurricanes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Max Mayfield at the Hurricane Center has said it over and over again. Any responsible meteorologist — William Gray, at Colorado State, the expert forecaster, pooh-poohs the notion that global warming has anything to do with this. They’ve got records going back to the Forties, the Thirties, and Twenties, to the early century showing that there were cycles, 40-year cycles of violent hurricanes, and we’re just entering a new one. They have been here before. We’ve had destructive hurricanes like this before, and long before anybody started talking about global warming. At the time they were talking about global warming cooling and so forth. Yet this is all very seductive. People will want to believe that we are responsible for causing all this, because we are people who cannot accept that there are things larger than ourselves. We have to be able to find somebody mortal to blame even if it is ourselves now and then, for all these things that we do not understand.
We don’t understand these — and it’s all, by the way, folks, it is crucial to understand that all of this is made easy for these environmental religionists because they know that everybody’s historical perspective begins with the day they were born. Most people think that during their lifespan, things are either better than they’ve ever been in some areas or worse than they’ve ever been. It’s never been worse? People don’t know. They’re not told; they’re not taught about infant mortality rates being 80%. They’re not taught about the incidence of death in childbirth even as recently as a hundred years ago. They’re not taught. They’re not taught about all the ravages that kill human beings, that were just part of nature that we had no ability to control. People back then thought they were in the last days. “Oh, never been worse! Look it all these diseases and pestilence. We can’t stop it!” Well, we stopped it today and we still think we’re in the worst times we’ve ever had. We still think we’re in the last days. Every generation does. So you’ve got some pretty smart people who have come along and tried to capitalize on this, in this whole environmental movement. They can’t offer you facts. They don’t have any facts. All they can offer is emotion and disbelief.
“Well, don’t you think that 250 million people burning their barbecue pits at the same time is going to cause something to happen in the atmosphere?”
Yeah. I think the atmosphere can handle it. I don’t think it comes close to what happens when a volcano erupts. It doesn’t come close. You know, we’re worried about environmental destruction. Here comes this hurricane. This is the second hurricane. Look at what Katrina destroyed in a matter of hours. Look at what this one could destroy in matter of hours. We don’t do that unless it’s with a bomb. But yet the environmentalists are telling us we’re destroying ourselves with these hurricanes, and then it morphs into, “Bush is responsible because he hasn’t got behind the Kyoto protocol,” and so forth, and who are these people, folks, that put all this out there and try to convince you of it? They are — not just the American left — but the worldwide left, and it’s important to understand here that while they think they’re the smartest people in the room, they are probably the most obstinate and stubborn elitist and probably know so little compared to what they think they know, and yet they control institutions of “higher learning.” They have controlled the institutions of mainstream media that used to have a monopoly and don’t any longer. So in the midst of all of this, you have to be encouraged and optimistic that the set of circumstances that built the foundation for these people to thrive is slowly being eaten away. Their religion is crumbling right around them.
<*ICON*> Read Rush’s Original Comments…
<a href=”/home/eibessential2/the_religion_of_environmentalism.member.html”>(eStack: The Religion of Environmentalism -02.05.04)</a>
<a href=”/home/estack/global_warming_is_religious_belief.guest.html”>(eStack: Global Warming Is a Religious Belief 12.06.04)</a>
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