Friday, July 27, 2012

The Totalitarian Message of Environmentalism

Saving Ourselves

When persons who hold fundamentalist views are not part of a religious tradition, they have to find another secular ideology in which to have faith and persuade followers of the urgency of their message. Nowhere is this more observed than in the Green Movementand environmentalism, which easily prey on Western white guilt

In an article in the Australian Financial Review, "Scorning the propaganda of fear," Emma-Kate Symons writes about French philosopher, Pascal Bruckner's scathing attack on the politics of fear. 
It is a feistier-than-usual polemic for Bruckner, a leading member of France’s “new philosophers” who emerged from the 1970s left with searing critiques of Marxism. Later this year, it will be published in English as Fanaticism of the Apocalypse by Polity, Cambridge, translated by Steven Rendall.
As the Jesuit-educated philosopher sees it, extreme climate change alarmism, with its warning bells chiming “The end of the world is nigh, repent ye”, represents a worrying new doctrine of ideological purity that even has totalitarian overtones.
Worst of all, Bruckner argues, these “political commissars of carbon” have “betrayed the best of causes” and turned the discourse of ecological terror into the “dominant ideology of Western society”.
Dividing his argument into three sections, provocatively titled “The Seduction of Disaster”; “The Anti-progress Progressives”; and “The Great Ascetic Regression”, Bruckner scorns the peddlers of the “propaganda of fear”.
Its followers, like religious adherents of four or five hundred years ago, use fear of retribution (source: Ancient Greek philosophy:  “Mother Earth Will Strike Back” or “Mother Gaia Will Judge” ) and a simple reductive message to persuade the greatest number of persons to follow the party line. So, it comes as no surprise that environmentalists use the simple language of medieval Christian peasants, fearful of living on this planet, where unexplained environmental phenomena take place, where Nature is capricious and malevolent, and where every simple and normal pleasurable act is dangerous, if not sinful.

For the political ecologists, the solution is to not progress—they are in effect anti-progress progressives against everything— but to turn back the clock and live as primitives.

That idea is as absurd as it sounds, and Bruckner's writing ensure that rational and practical arguments about conservation are being aired. Environmentalism is a religion, yet a poor one, superficial in its beliefs and tenets of faith. Here's a final thought: “I do not attack ecology per se,” Bruckner says of his book. “I attack that degraded religion which emerges from it and turns into a culture of fear, hatred of progress and well-being. “Why must we renounce all the joys of life under the pretext of global warming?” Yes, indeed.

You can read the rest of the article at [Financial Review].


  1. It is possible to be a fundamentalist environmentalist. And it is also possible to be a fundamentalist denier of the possibility of climate change or of the harmful effects of pollution.

  2. This is discussed in the article; both are equally absurd in their arguments; both use simple, reductive, religious language, not using science or understanding it to advance an argument.


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