Environmentalism. A Product Of Christian Guilt

Essay, 2015

6 Pages


Environmentalism: A Product Of Christian Guilt

Modern environmentalism suffers from a number of false preconceptions. These misplaced ideas have led inevitably to the distrust that many people now feel when confronted with alarmist claims the green movement is prone to making, particularly in the area of so-called climate change. The environmental movement stems originally from the Western Christian tradition of doing good and the accompanying conviction that mankind is intrinsically evil.

First among the false preconceptions embodied in the green movement is that a perceived environment must remain as it was when first observed or reported, often described as “pristine”. Their misconception is that, left alone by man, global environments will remain unchanging forever and that any observed change must therefore be anthropogenic. For example, environmentalists will often refer to “primeval forests” such as those found in the Congo or Amazon basins, implicitly assuming such forests have existed since the world began and have never changed. In reality the Congo rainforest is, in geological terms, a relatively recent development. Previously the region must have been savannah because recent studies show that there are still, albeit limited, numbers of rhinoceros, a savannah dwelling creature, extant in the heart of the rainforest. Reasonable consideration of the rhino phenomenon soon leads to the conclusion that this is a clear indicator that the region was formerly unforested. Similarly it is taken for granted that Greenland must forever remain an ice covered island where very little can be grown, yet in recent human history Scandinavian settlers colonised the area and grew crops there; which is why they called it GREEN land! And Hannibal attacked Rome having marched elephants over the Alps. Where did his elephants originate? In the modern age, the nearest wild elephants to Carthage (modern Tunis) are the other side of the Sahara desert, up to two thousand miles away! If the desert is pristine and has always existed, where did Hannibal's famous elephants come from?

There are numerous further examples of phenomena which prove that contemporary environments, including conditions such as sea levels, rainfall, temperatures or weather have always been fluid and constantly changing. To notice the evidence requires merely that an observer view his or her surroundings with open eyes and an inquiring mind.

Secondly, protagonists of the environmental movement have convinced themselves that mankind has the capability to influence these natural variables. While it remains true that we can have (and have had in the past) a material effect on certain species within the animal kingdom (eg. extinction of the dodo, domestication of cattle etc.) and that we can change local weather (eg. the fluctuating amount of snow on Mount Kilimanjaro) by activities such as hunting, deforestation and/or farming, there is absolutely no evidence that we can affect the climate. In fact, it would be an incredibly advantageous facility if we could.

Markedly, when environmentalists and conservationists have attempted to intervene in the ecology of a region, (eg. Yellowstone National Park) they have tended to cause more problems than they have solved, proving that the desire to do good is misguided and often detrimental.

Indeed, the desire to “do good” is at the root of the environmental movement and is ultimately its Achilles heel. Despite concerted efforts to spread their philosophy throughout the globe, “do-gooding” is still a predominately western peculiarity. Native peoples have not, in general, revered elephants or jaguars or whales or pandas or trees in quite the same way that western interlopers do.

Where does the instinct to “do good” arise?

For two thousand years the peoples of the western world have been subject to the tenets and concepts of Christianity, a religion that steadfastly emphasises the faults, and explicitly the original sin, of mankind. Unfortunately this belief system evolved over the centuries into Protestantism and then Puritanism which, at its base, disapproved of any form of human pleasure and led eventually to the idea that human beings are innately evil. It is not a big step from such a concept to the modern and fashionable disposition that mankind is responsible for all the catastrophes on earth. When, after all previous alarms were proved false (we will all starve, we will exhaust natural resources, we will end it all in nuclear Armageddon etc.) and it became apparent that humans were not in fact destroying the planet in any measurable way, it became necessary to invent a new human-induced horror. Along came the theory of global warming.


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Environmentalism. A Product Of Christian Guilt
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environment, environmentalism, global warming, christianity, christian beliefs, controversy, controversial theories, modern misconceptions, bad ideas, bad science, religion
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David Gill (Author), 2015, Environmentalism. A Product Of Christian Guilt, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/293437


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