The Greens and Nature Worship

The Biblical view of the relationship between man and nature is set out clearly in Genesis 1:28:

God blessed them [mankind] and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

The view of the Sierra Club is well described by this:

Humans have evolved as an interdependent part of nature. Humankind has a powerful place in the environment, which may range from steward to destroyer. We must share the Earth's finite resources with other living things and respect all life-enabling processes. Thus, we must control human population numbers and seek a balance that serves all life forms.

In the Biblical view, mankind rules nature and exploits it. In the Sierra Club view “humankind” must blend in with all the other animals and not burden the natural order. The Sierra Club view represents a step backward from monotheism to nature worship. They cannot admit that they are practicing a religion, because if they did many of the laws passed in response to lobbying by the Sierra Club and similar organizations would be unconstitutional, according to the first amendment, as a “law respecting an establishment of religion…”

John Muir, the founder and first president of the Sierra Club, made clear the religious nature of the club in his protest against the damming of the Hetch Hetchy valley in Yosemite National Park: "Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.”

In the preface to the book Dark Green Religion, the green religion is described as:

Dark green religion -- religion that considers nature to be sacred, imbued with intrinsic value, and worthy of reverent care -- has been spreading rapidly around the world.

The book’s author considers the green religion to be dark because its religious nature is hidden, disguised as an ecological or conservation movement that follows scientific principles.

The green religion utilizes scientific narratives to promote its ideals and to create “emergencies” that increase green influence and cause green policies to be implemented. Green religion does not like modern industrial civilization and instead favors an economy that has minimal impact on sacred nature. The global warming “emergency” is an example of a fake scientific narrative that is being used to promote the green program. Global warming’s scientific justification is a house of cards built on selectively cited evidence and computer models that are not worthy of respect. But the advocates of the green religion eagerly embrace global warming because it provides motivation for closing down the fossil fuel industry and thus much of industrial civilization.

Although green religion speaks scientific jargon and pretends to be modern, green religion is actually backward and has more in common with primitive societies that sacrifice virgins than it does with the modern world. The green religionists are mostly against everything that is modern because it represents a departure from the imagined state of nature. For example, green religion opposes genetic engineering, nuclear energy, and insecticides. Genetic engineering has increased agricultural yields -- for example 10 times as much corn per acre. Nuclear energy holds out the promise of electricity that is pollution-free and ironically that does not emit CO2. Insecticides have saved millions of lives from malaria and prevented insect-caused famines.

“Organic” groceries are embraced by green religionists. They think that organic food is more natural and free of nefarious influences from modern industry and science. But agriculture is only 12,000 years old and involves extensive selective breeding, a type of genetic engineering, to create suitable plants and domestic animals. Even humans changed their genetic nature to become more lactose tolerant as the consumption of milk increased. Organic agriculture mainly amounts to prohibiting agricultural practices developed after about 1930. The green religion has limited historical perspective.

South sea islanders developed cargo cults. People arriving by ships or airplanes bought items from the developed world, for example metal implements, that were greatly desired by the islanders. However, the islanders had no real understanding as to why these cargos arrived. They would, for example, construct runways in the jungle and conduct religious ceremonies to encourage planes to land with cargos. Like believers in cargo cults, understanding of science and economics among green believers is very primitive. Many green religionists believe that if they eat organic food they will be protected from cancer and other ills, a superstitious explanation of the cause of cancer. Green religion is characterized by a rejection of scientific explanations of the relation between cause and effect. Many green religionists drink bottled water because they are convinced that something is wrong with city water even though city water is scientifically tested and controlled. (The Flint, Michigan water scare is greatly exaggerated.)

The widespread consumption of natural medicines that are unproven and unregulated is an example of the green idea that natural substances are better for health than pharmaceutical products subjected to extensive testing and regulation. The Whole Foods grocery chain that promotes organic food, has whole aisles of shelf space devoted to these “supplements” that supposedly provide a cure for any ailment. The Congress removed natural medicines from regulatory supervision in response to lobbying by green religionists and the natural medicine industry. They were upset because the Food and Drug Administration was banning many such products on the grounds that they didn’t work or were harmful.

Organized science is complicit in the promotion of anti-scientific green superstitions. The science establishment has been infiltrated by green ideas and the attraction of the money and fame that can come from promoting green ideas is irresistible to scientists that should know better. Establishment climate science, greatly enriched by global warming theory, has become an intolerant lobby for global warming hysteria. Science that has been corrupted by superstition and self-serving faulty ideas is known as junk science. Junk science is widespread and the more sensational it is, the more publicity it receives. Government agencies are among the biggest promoters of junk science. In order to justify their mission, regulatory bureaucracies need to keep finding dangerous things that need to be regulated. That leads to imaginary dangers, the danger of which is supported by junk science.

The green religion is against a long list of modern things, but the green religion has no coherent program. It is not practical for the current population of the Earth to return to practicing substance agriculture and sharing their living rooms with cows and pigs. That seems to be the logical endpoint of the green religion theology. Neither is the green religion logically consistent. For example green religionists advocate consuming food growing locally, but also advocate consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

If people want to worship nature, that is their right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. But it is illegitimate to disguise nature worship as science. The informational media are scientifically illiterate and easily victimized by junk science. The media should adopt a more skeptical attitude toward crackpot science and hire a few scientifically literate analysts. The media should aim to provide vetted information and filter out or expose crackpot ideas.

Norman Rogers writes often about global warming and similar subjects. He has a website.

If you experience technical problems, please write to