Environmentalism as Religion

This is known by most who have paid attention to the movement for any length of time, (we wrote about it in our research report on the Auburn Dam Policy Environment, posted at http://www.arpps.org/Report2-AuburnDam.pdf ) and the seminaries forming the new priests are right in plain sight, as this story from the Ethics and Public Policy Center reports.

An excerpt.

The idea that left-liberalism now functions as a secular religion is not new. (I’ve taken it up, here, here, and here.) But where do this new religion’s adherents receive their dogma? Movies, music, and television are important, but the real answer is college. The conclusion I draw from the National Association of Scholars’ (NAS) latest report, “Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism,” is that many American colleges and universities have reverted to their 18th century mission. They have become divinity schools, training grounds for the new secular religion of left-liberalism, particularly its ecological variant.

Divinity schools are generally affiliated with a denomination. In the case of higher education’s “new fundamentalism,” that denominational affiliation is obviously the Democratic Party. This is what the NAS’s Sustainability Report won’t quite say (understandably, since NAS is a nonpartisan group). Yet it’s important to fill in this final step in the argument, because conservatives and Republicans still don’t get it. America’s colleges and universities are inculcating the eco-religion of “sustainability” as a roundabout way of turning their students into political partisans.

Between Obama’s ill-advised Iran deal, his unconstitutional immigration order, the chaotic Middle East, and any number of other policy kerfuffles, who has time to devote to “cultural” issues like the state of American higher education? When we do fix attention on campus follies like “trigger warnings,” it’s largely for amusement.

This is a mistake. Silly-seeming campus movements like fossil fuel divestment should be understood as more than mere policy proposals. Fossil-fuel divestment won’t likely happen and wouldn’t achieve its goal of shutting down America’s oil companies even if colleges did divest. Yet fossil-fuel divestment, like other aspects of the campus sustainability movement, is less about changing policy than about training minds, Democratic minds.

Sustainability activists are nominally critics of the Democratic Party. They march on Obama’s White House to force rejection of the Keystone pipeline, and occasionally work against Democratic officeholders unwilling to oppose projects like Keystone. Yet like Tom Steyer, who bankrolls their movement, campus sustainability activists are leading supporters of the Democratic Party and helped elect and re-elect President Obama. Harry Reid’s incessant railing against the Koch brothers during the run-up to the 2014 midterms, comic as it seemed, was a largely unsuccessful effort to push these young people to the polls. It didn’t work in 2014, but has a better chance of doing so in 2016, when some variant of an eco-scare campaign will surely be tried again.

Retrieved April 13, 2015 from http://eppc.org/publications/democrat-divinity-schools-stanley-kurtz/

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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