A Biblical Origin for Climate Cultism?

Monday, March 27, 2023

Over at Spiked! is an article that draws numerous parallels between the "apocalyptic thinking" of such groups as Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil and stories about the "end times" in the Bible. This it does in addition to stating outright that "the green End Times amount to a very anti-human apocalypse."

From image by Ben Schumin, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
The apocalyptic nature of so much of contemporary environmentalism is no mere rhetorical flourish. It seems to structure the thought and outlook of activists. To grasp why apocalyptic thinking seems to resonate so strongly with hardline environmentalists, it is worth looking at the ancient, indeed Biblical, origins of this thinking -- in which fantasies of vengeance and the promise of a world redeemed were first forged.
Michael Crowly is right to look for such a parallel: Along with Greco-Roman culture, Judaeo-Christianity has shaped the West for millennia.

I think his analysis helps explain, in historical and literary terms, why the imagination of greens manifests as a revenge fantasy, but I think it could have gone further by critically examining the parallels in philosophic terms, such as by examining the ethics preached by Christians and climate catastrophists alike.

The novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand did exactly this when considering the left of her time:
The meaning of the term "duty" is: the moral necessity to perform certain actions for no reason other than obedience to some higher authority, without regard to any personal goal, motive, desire or interest.

It is obvious that that anti-concept is a product of mysticism, not an abstraction derived from reality. In a mystic theory of ethics, "duty" stands for the notion that man must obey the dictates of a supernatural authority. Even though the anti-concept has been secularized, and the authority of God's will has been ascribed to earthly entities, such as parents, country, State, mankind, etc., their alleged supremacy still rests on nothing but a mystic edict. Who in hell can have the right to claim that sort of submission or obedience? This is the only proper form -- and locality -- for the question, because nothing and no one can have such a right or claim here on earth.
It is quite easy to slip nature in among the "earthly entities" replacing God in the above passage.

I applaud Crowly for his humanistic analysis of this anti-human movement, for very helpfully noting that "green apocalypticism is a deeply anti-human narrative," and decrying its "casting the achievements of humanity as sinful."

I am ignorant of Crowly's positive convictions, but since it is not enough to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of an opponent, I would commend him to Ayn Rand's many other pro-reason, pro-egoism, and pro-achievement writings as examples of the positive agenda the public needs to overcome this opposition, and to continue flourishing for a long time to come.

-- CAV

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