I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social
structures always reappear. They can’t be eliminated from society. One of those structures is
religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people— the best people, the
most enlightened people— do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate
religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in
another form. Even if you don’t believe in any God, you still have to believe in something that
gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.
Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism.
Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a
religion? Well, if you look carefully at the core beliefs, you will see that environmentalism is in fact
a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths. There’s an
initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a
state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions
there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we
seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the
environment, just as organic food is its communion— that pesticide-free wafer . . .