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America's dangerous new religion

Have you noticed that America has a new religion making a claim on our faith and obedience – and threatening eternal damnation if we do not follow its teachings? It’s the religion of radical environmentalism, and if you do not become a convert voluntarily, the Obama regime will not be pleased.

What makes this new religion especially potent and dangerous is its successful merger of religious faith and fervor with crony capitalism: According to the priests of this new religion, it a good thing if you get rich through government grants and subsidies that promote “sustainable development.”

Where else can a businessman be praised and rewarded as a saint? Good-bye Mother Theresa ministering to the poor. Hello Brother Gore and Sister Solyndra ministering to the rich.

Where did this new religion come from? In its worship of all things natural and suspicion of human progress, it is a variety of pantheism: It sees gods everywhere – in our air, water, forests and soil. And if you do not worship and obey these gods, it’s not just church theologians who will be displeased. The EPA or the IRS may come to your door.

Don’t laugh. This new religion combines the moral superiority of religious faith with the legal authority and financial resources of government – and that’s the federal, state and local government, not just Obama’s minions. If you think this violates the separation of church and state, you are living in the past. Welcome to the Church of Mother Earth. All are not only welcomed inside its doors, all are commanded to join.

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It’s all very clever when you think about it. In its pretense, scope and ambitions, it strongly resembles corporate fascism. Capitalism in the classic sense is clearly the enemy: the enterprise, dreams and ambitions of private individuals in the marketplace must be controlled by a central authority which alone can decide what economic activities meet the test of “sustainable development.”

What’s going on here is the marriage of radical environmentalism to corporate favoritism and government rulemaking. If that sounds like a strange alliance, yes, it is, but you better believe it is big business and growing bigger every day. How many politicians have the courage to challenge government grant and subsidy programs aimed at saving the Earth?

The left has been integral to this movement from the beginning. The left creatively reformulated the Marxist critique of capitalism as the “rape of Mother Earth.” It is a short leap from capitalist exploitation of the working class to short-sighted exploitation of Earth’s natural resources. It’s no longer the “proletariat” that gets exploited by free markets and the worship of property rights, it’s the Earth itself and all its helpless creatures.

The zealotry of this new religious faith is nowhere more visible than in promoting the alarms and extreme measures demanded to halt global warming, also known as climate change. Climate change is allegedly a dire threat to humanity that only evil capitalists and their willfully ignorant stooges are defending.

In the catechism of this new religion, the only way to stop climate change is to decrease “carbon pollution,” which means developing and subsidizing “green” substitutes for fossil fuels.

It is a cardinal principle of the new religion that only government has the wisdom, the commitment and the resources to identify and promote green technology. Such technologies do not win private investment because they are not profitable, so the government must step up and do the job private markets will not do. Indeed, the fact the private-market investments are not adequate to finance these “sustainable technologies” only proves that capitalism has failed.

Thus, since real-world capitalism is not only inadequate but intrinsically evil, only crony capitalism can save us. In this brave new world, crony capitalists are good guys. They see themselves as a kind of College of Cardinals of the new religion. Crony capitalists are riding to the rescue on a white horse called “government partnerships.” Government funding – what was once known as taxpayer dollars – is employed to research and develop “sustainable technologies” – wind and solar energy, electric cars, etc. – that require ever-increasing government subsidies.

At the base of this pyramid scheme aimed at bilking millions of taxpayers in the name of saving humanity lies the pseudoscience of climate change, which says the Earth is in danger because human activities related to carbon emissions. But true to its religious character, ordinary citizens are not allowed to question the premises of this pseudoscience.

For example, by asking why the surface of the Earth has not warmed in the last 15 years, or why the polar ice cap is expanding rather than shrinking, or why the polar bear population is increasing and not diminishing, the priests and acolytes of the Church of Mother Earth will put you on the waiting list for the next available slot in their re-education camp. At camp, you will have a “Clockwork Orange Experience” by having to watch Al Gore films and speeches until you are ready to confess your sins.

Without the comparison to religious faith and fervor, it is impossible to understand the extreme passion and certitude with which the radical environmentalists wage their battles. If you disagree with them, you are not just wrong; you are an accomplice in rape and plunder.

Fortunately, citizens are catching on to the schemes and grandiose plans of the crony capitalists. In truth, despite their status in the media and universities, it is all a house of cards. Remove the government subsidies, and it all falls down. How much longer can this Ponzi scheme survive?