In what can only be described as a rush for the rationalist high ground, there’s a sentiment afoot that environmental concerns and concerns regarding climate disruption constitute “a new religion”, one that is, in part, co-opting Christianity. See the references:
- Religion and Climate Change
- Overview of World Religions and Ecology
- Climate Change Statements from World Religions
- Environmentalism as Religion
While I agree that the plight of the deep future is a matter of concern for all moral beings, and that institutions which claim to care about such have a responsibility to act, and to encourage policy, these groups and people are comrades only in the sense of going for the same goals and not at all for the same reasons.
I am an atheist. I belong to communities because it is good to belong to communities, and I sometimes enjoy it, the company, and sometimes the commitment and work. However, my belonging is very much a tentative thing, since I often find these communities are pulled by a desire to preserve themselves more than they follow their own moral proclamations.
I have two heros I aspire to be like, both climate scientists of former and present renown.
- The first is the late, great Dr Stephen Schneider, who was a master communicator and scientist, and who had equal criticism for climate deniers and some environmental advocates who seem to believe that the ends justify the means. Dr Schneider was so dedicated to his cause and science that, being a survivor of aggressive mantle cell lymphoma (which he wrote a thoroughly inspiring book about), died of a pulmonary embolism airborne, returning from a science conference.
- The second is Dr Lonnie Thompson who has spent four years of his life above 18,000 foot altitude obtaining ice core critical for reconstructing paleoclimate. Dr Thompson received a successful heart transplant in May, 2012, and has returned to the field.
There are many others I admire. These include the oceanographers and geophysicists who travel to the Arctic and Antarctic to help unravel what the climate is doing.
And you will pardon me if I hold in great contempt those who besmirch the integrity of these great people, including those cited and Professor Richard Alley, Professor Michael Mann, Professor Kevin Trenberth, Professor Leonard Smith, Professor Richard Smith, Professor Myles Allen, Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Professor David Archer, Professor Scott Doney, and many, many others.
A pox on their Houses if they do.