A few weeks back I noted that global warmism was, in many cases, a secular repurposing of the religious impulse, and that its narrative is a near-perfect parallel of the Christian Fall-and-Redemption mythos:

In the beginning, there was only God.

From God arose Man.

Before his Fall, Man lived simply, and in perfect harmony with God. It was a Paradise on Earth.

Then a disaster happened. Man acquired a new kind of Knowledge: knowledge that he did not need, but that conferred upon him enormous temptation. In his unwisdom, and against God’s wishes, Man succumbed. His new Knowledge gave him great power, but at a terrible cost: he had turned his back on God, and his Paradise was lost. In his exile, he would wield his ill-gained power in prideful suffering and woe.

But then came a Messenger, offering the possibility of Redemption: if Man were to renounce his awful Knowledge, and learn once again to surrender himself to the love of God, he would be forgiven, and could find his way back to Paradise. It would not be easy — it would require that he make terrible sacrifices, atone for his many sins, and give up his worldly comforts and much that he had come to love — but if his faith was strong, his Salvation could become a reality, and he could once again live in Paradise, in sweet communion with God.

In order to move from the old religion to the new one, we need only substitute “Nature” for “God” in the passages above.

Today, I learned that Rajendra Pachauri, the director of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has got himself into a spot of trouble, and is stepping down. If that weren’t gratifying enough, he also went out of his way, in his resignation letter, to confirm my memetic diagnosis. He wrote the following:

[T]he protection of planet earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.

Thanks, Raj. Don’t let the door hit ya where the dog shoulda bit ya.

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  1. Kevin Kim says

    I once wrote a post that linked to Michael Crichton’s speech on environmentalism-as-religion. Very similar notions.

    [Full disclosure: the above link is to the same speech I had originally linked to, but my original link has suffered “link rot” and no longer takes you to the speech in question.]

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 3:04 am | Permalink
  2. Whitewall says

    The New Religion will be Global Marxism 3.0 Nature as god, the all knowing State as the instrument of this religion.

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink
  3. Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog (February 25, 2015):

    The Secular Religion of the Left

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    From Henry’s link:

    And that is what the left is. It strips away everything except that egotistical sense that things should be run more fairly with predictably unfair results.

    Liberalism, and the milder flavors of the left, provide a permission slip for materialism by elevating it through political activism. This is the philosophical purpose of environmentalism’s green label. It tells you that you are a good person for buying something and soothes the moral anxieties of an urban class with no coherent moral system except the need to impose an ethical order on the consumerism that defined their childhood, their adolescence and their adult life.

    That’s pretty good. See also this essay by William Voegeli.

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink
  5. Whitewall says

    Hmm, without reading Daniel’s piece I got pretty close on my own. There may be hope for me yet.

    Good find Henry.

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink
  6. Kevin Kim says

    Henry, that’s an interesting link, but one thing that baffles me is why people think the left, taken as a whole, is anti-religion. Because I hail from a mainstream-Protestant tradition (Presbyterian Church USA), I can say with confidence that there are millions of left-leaning Christians out there, mostly in the northern reaches of the US, and that leftism and religion enjoy a rather large demographic overlap, at least in America. Now it could be that leftism is, as a result, at war with itself to some degree, but I think that would be news to most leftist Christians, who would be startled to hear that leftism is essentially anti-religious. You yourself hail from the Jewish tradition, yes? It’s a mystery, isn’t it, as to why so many US Jews vote liberal/left/Democrat, but there, too, we can see a religion/leftism overlap.

    So all in all, I’m not convinced that leftism is somehow antithetical to religion. Maybe certain sectors of the left are indeed so biased, but it’s not true of leftism as a whole. Perhaps it’s a bit like how some people say you can be religious and scientific in outlook at the same time: it could be that religion and leftism aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Your thoughts?

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says

    Very good point, Kevin. We can see this, for example, in this Protestant manifesto from 1942.

    Moldbug has been all over this historical connection. I haven’t time to comment at length today, but this might make a good entry point for interested readers.

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    One important point is that for the ‘secular’ Left, that which is traditionally higher and sacred is sawed off — no God, no souls, no Heaven. So the whole soteriological package has to be shifted and displaced back down to the material and temporal.

    What’s more, when our commonality can no longer be what is traditionally highest in us — our souls, as splinters of God — the attention goes to the other commonality we share, namely our animal, material nature. That which is at an intermediate level — in particular our cultures and traditions — are NOT common to all, and so they don’t form an adequate basis for universality. Consequently, they have to be discarded, dissolved away. Hence multiculturalism.

    In other words: if you can no longer orient yourself to what is above — because you cannot acknowledge its existence — then you must orient yourself to what is below. There is nothing useful in between.

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  9. Kevin,

    I hear you loud and clear. I, for one, am reluctant to make such sweeping generalizations, except (and mostly for emphasis) when discussing the Leftist worldview, which I simply loathe. Even then, however, I wouldn’t opine that the Left “taken as a whole” (PLEASE!), is anti-religion. I can not, in good conscience, speculate about religion (as a whole), having been brought up by Jewish parents, albeit of the Reform flavor (which barely qualifies as religion; it’s more like an ethnic tradition).

    In my opinion, American Jews, the great majority of whom are left-leaning liberals (by derivation from their parents, grandparents and greats), are left-leaning because they have been inculcated to believe (just as African Americans have been) that the Democrats are the party for the underdogs. As I have noted before in this forum, I realized, in the aftermath of 9/11, what utter bullshit that belief is.

    Finally, I believe that the “anti-religion left” meme arose from the Left’s affiliation with Soviet Russia, which latter was known to be “antithetical to religion”.

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink
  10. JK says

    I’d “stay in touch” with what Henry’s saying. Not so long ago Kevin I announced to the atheist Malcolm he, was Presbyterian.

    His reply was as you’d expect.

    Po po tweet.

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink
  11. Whitewall says

    Religion mixed in with politics can be dangerous. It is especially so, when The Trinity is gradually phased out and replaced with the vanities of Man. Gaia, the climate-environment, wealth redistribution, the State. Within 10 minutes of me, there are four Baptist churches, two Quaker Meetings, two Presbyterian churches, a Unitarian Universalist church and a well known Quaker school/Meeting. And I was raised up “yanked up” in the Methodist church. The mix of politics among these institutions is amazing. Most of their ministers are not like what I knew years ago. They are younger and it shows liberalism has made its way into the seminaries. The Left has accomplished its “long march through the institutions”.

    Posted February 25, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
  12. Whitewall says

    This “new religion” of the Left has one hymn:
    “Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today…

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one.”

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  13. Can we have a pony?

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
  14. Who is going to clean up the unicorn shit?

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  15. Whitewall says

    The unicorn is self cleaning…there’s an app for that. Even through all this snow, I can hear the sound of all the participants on this blog humming the lyrics of the above. Everyone remembers.

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink
  16. “Liberty as we understand it in the United States has been the exception not the rule — and its survival over the past three centuries the consequence not of happy foreordination but of the good guys in the world having enjoyed unmatched military and financial supremacy. Having known little else, the historically myopic will find it tempting to presume that our present global order represents the immutable state of nature. It does not.”

    Charles C. W. Cooke

    Yo, dreamers on the Left: It does not, bitch!

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  17. WW,

    John Lennon smoked a lot of dope after he made his millions by the grace of liberty and free-market capitalism. And then he got shot, because he wouldn’t get us a pony, and he refused to pay for cleaning up the unicorn shit.

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink
  18. Whitewall says

    You remember it like I do. I recall hearing him interviewed after a very long hibernation with that “creature” so he could get his head together. He asked “did you all make it through it alright?”. I thought, yeah, by hard work and dealing with it.

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  19. WW,

    A lot of people confuse talent with wisdom. The Beatles were extremely talented. Barbra Streisand was/is extremely talented. Some say Sean Penn is talented (meh). But you catch my drift …

    Extremely talented people, by and large, do not have much time for reading serious books. They spend most of their time exercising their specific talents.

    A lot of talented people are ignorant f*cks.

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink
  20. Whitewall says


    And our culture thrives on people like that! If the singers, actors and guitar players all say the same thing…then it must be right. The groupies fall right in. College professors(?)are now undoing the 1960s free speech movement using kids that have no clue what they are abetting. It’s like our educators and entertainers and too many pols want to play the 1960s “backwards”. Same with the post JFK Cold War. Run it backwards as if the right side didn’t win.

    I have a feeling something is going to crack somewhere whether “our president” is in office or not. Celebrities won’t be able to remedy when the day comes.

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
  21. WW,

    For sure. What I forgot to mention is that not only are they too busy exercising their talents, they also become so full of themselves they take every opportunity to broadcast their ignorance. And the low information groupies eat it up.

    During last week’s Oscars, Patricia Arquette conflated wage parity with equal rights — the moronic audience gave her a standing ovation. And a billion TV viewers undoubtedly cheered this exercise in perpetual perplexity.

    Posted February 26, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink