Are religion and global warming tied together?



  1. 0 Votes

    Many people call global warming a type of religion, because they see it as a way to make people behave correctly by warning them that if they don’t they will be punished, even though there is no evidence for it. Michael Chrichton, author of such sci-fi classics as Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain is one proponent of this viewpoint. And it does make some good points; for example, when we try to turn environmentalism into a narrative about the struggle for good versus evil, we are oversimplifying important points. Also, that we should not disregard new evidence just because it doesn’t fit into what we think of as environmentalism: he cites the largely-ignored studies that suggested that DDT is not toxic to birds.

    The problem with the “global warming as religion” accusation is that first of all, it sees religion as a bunch of unsubstantiated facts, where in reality most religious people will tell you that belief is a matter of faith, not a search for evidence. So the two are like apples and oranges. As one of my professors once said, trying to compare or debate science vs. religion is insulting to science and religion.

    Secondly, there is overwhelming evidence for global warming. Certainly we should consider all evidence, and not just that that agrees with our views, but many scientists take this standpoint and they are still convinced. It is impossible for a person to be completely neutral about an issue so open-ended, and if you want to look at the current evidence with the pre-concieved notion that all global warming facts are lies and all “green” initiatives are bad ones, you can probably find some evidence to support your view. That doesn’t mean it’s right. Virtually every credible scientist agrees with the idea that humans are negatively impacting the environment as we know it; if a scientist looks over the evidence we have and still says there is nothing that even suggests global warming is true, that is a good reason to suspect that they are in the pocket of some industry.

    Anyway, end of my rant. There are other ways that the global warming and religions can be seen as linked. A version of the Bible has been published called The Green Bible, which highlights everywhere that Christianity (and Judaism, since the holy books are similar) commands man to take care of the planet. In fact, many religions–Western, Eastern, and those considered pagan–include some element of human guardianship over and kinship with nature. It is a good thing to keep in mind when citing reasons that we need to monitor the effect we are having on Earth.

  2. 0 Votes

    I read your question another way.  If you are discussing the relationship between organized religions and their contributions to global warming, then I would say there is very little connection. That is, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, among others, have not exascerbated climate change any more than other organizations. However, many Churches, Mosques, and Temples have more strides to become more eco-friendly, installing solar panels and energy-efficient lights for example. Thus, religions have tried to come on board and help the movement.

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