Mark Hartless: Environmental religion |

Mark Hartless: Environmental religion

One of the most ingrained human practices is religion. It is inseparable from all cultures. Whenever suppressed, it re-emerges elsewhere.

Environmentalism has become the religion of choice for modern atheists, although recently “upgraded” to “climate change,” conveniently allowing any remarkable weather event to serve as “evidence.” Also, they must be right because climate always “changes.”

Eco-theologians tout the term “science” but favor dogma like “the science is settled.” Real scientists know science is never “settled.” It wasn’t “settled” in the 1970s when the ice age was predicted. Nor in 1900, when Lord Kelvin said, “There’s nothing new to be discovered in physics …,” just before Einstein shattered the “settled” rules of physics. Nor for most of human history, while almost every person alive “knew” the universe orbited a flat earth. Honest science is never “settled.”

Alas, I write not of science, but religion. Perhaps surprising to less enlightened members of The Church of the Holy Environment, their green theology is a cheap “knock-off” of centuries-old religions such as Judeo-Christianity. Except for godlessness, they’re identical.

There’s “Eden” — a perfect, naturally pure world. The “fall?” Industrialization. “Sin?” Pollution. We are doomed to hell without “salvation,” now called “sustainability.”

“Absolution?” Oh, yeah. They got it. Chaucer sold “papal indulgences,” Al Gore touts “carbon credits” and, like prophets of old, warns of apocalypse with the “fire and brimstone” fervor of TV evangelists. Proof of their own “apostasy”?

“Doomsday prophet” hypocrites often have “carbon footprints” rivaling Sasquatch. Gore’s is 20 times the average American’s. Never fear! He purchases absolution (“carbon offsets”). Others, like Paul Ehrlich, preached “60 million Americans would starve in the 80s, we’d run out of oil, extinction for half earth’s species by 2000,” and on and on, never dampened by failed predictions.

Yes, “Greenology” has “infidels.” In a shameful reference to Nazis, the godless religion calls us “deniers.”

The Church of the Holy Environment has “steeples” too. They’re called “windmills.” Like the Dome of the Rock, statues of Sodom, Pyramids of the Pharaohs or McDonald’s golden “M,” windmills symbolize power. Not electric power — they don’t really produce much electricity. Windmills symbolize political and religious power, reminding us of our commitment to and “sacrifice” for “the cause.”

Religions foster “rituals.” Walking around turning off lights and backing down thermostats; using more energy to recycle than to manufacture new products and generally making themselves and others miserable are common rituals among the faithful. Puritanism was described as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere might be happy.” “If the shoe fits …?”

Radical environmentalists defend spreading misery to “save the planet.” But their feigned urge to save mankind disguises their true urge to rule it. Shamans and tyrants often share power. Today, many who would protest other denominations of theocracy unwittingly support one as members of The Church of the Holy Environment.

Can I get an “amen?”

Mark Hartless

Steamboat Springs

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Tales from the Tread: Local springs focus of study

The Tread of Pioneers Museum and the city of Steamboat Springs are partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Colorado Water Science Center on a study of the local mineral springs in Steamboat to guide…

See more