Monday, December 10, 2007

Embarrassed, anyone? anyone?

It has long been clear that Green is the religion of the modern secular world. In the name of religion, many have justified all sorts of behavior and ritual over the years. Some of these are on display today as Al Gore accepts his Nobel in Oslo today. (Here is his speech. Was anyone in the room embarrassed?)

Gregory Rodriguez does a nice job of making the Green-as-religion case in today's LA Times ("Greening of the zeitgeist"). Here is an excerpt.
Is your marriage on the rocks? Are you and the spouse always
fighting? Is the passion gone? A new study published by the National Academy of
Sciences suggests that you should think twice before considering divorce. No,
not because of the negative effects it may have on the children or even on your
pocketbook, but of what it'd do to your poor mother. Mother Earth, that is.

All kidding aside, the study's findings make sense. Because
they share resources, people in married households use energy and water more
efficiently than divorced ones. But the study also indicates how much global
climate change, which -- along with terrorism -- has replaced the Soviet Union
as the Monster Under the Bed in our national consciousness. It has reached the
level of a full-blown zeitgeist social issue, with far-reaching moral and
religious undertones.

Past national threats -- even fear of the atom bomb -- were
largely relegated to the political sphere. Most people may have worried about
nuclear warfare, but it encroached on their private lives only at the margins:
Not very many of us built bomb shelters in the backyard. But the fear of climate
change has invaded our private and everyday lives.

Indeed, because global warming and the efforts to halt it
touch on nearly every realm of policy, the environment has become a moral prism
through which all other issues are being filtered. Whether or not they actually
care about the environment, partisans of all stripes are using the issue to gain
the moral edge. Now, even the anti-divorce "family values" folks have
environmental ammunition.

There are many more examples. In July, an obscure
environmental impact report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was
quickly embraced by anti-immigration activists because it found that
undocumented migrants were an ecological threat to public lands in southern
Arizona -- when they crossed the desert in numbers, a fragile ecosystem got,
literally, trampled. Opposing advocates argued that the increasing
militarization of the border was an even greater ecological threat than the
migrants themselves.

Climate change has even entered the realm of sexual politics.
Last month, a female Swedish scientist found that "women cause considerably
fewer dioxide emissions than men, and thus considerably less climate change." A
green think tank in London has urged British couples to think of the
environmental consequences of having more than two children. It released a paper
showing that if couples had two children instead of three, "they could cut their
family's carbon dioxide output the equivalent of 620 return flights a year
between London and New York."

Similarly, last month a London tabloid featured a 35-year-old
environmentalist who asked to be sterilized so she could contribute to the
effort "to protect the planet." "Having children is selfish," she insisted.
"It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet."