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> The Religion Of Environmentalism, Modern religions
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Herrerano 
Posted: 16-Dec-2003, 09:43 AM
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I want to post this without comment. I found it interesting and think you will too, whether it is agreed with or not. Due to copyright concerns, I am only posting the first few paragraphs, and then the link so if you are interested you can read the entire speech.

QUOTE
Remarks to the Commonwealth Club

by Michael Crichton
San Francisco
September 15, 2003



I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.

As an example of this challenge, I want to talk today about environmentalism. And in order not to be misunderstood, I want it perfectly clear that I believe it is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment. I believe it is important to act in ways that are sympathetic to the environment, and I believe this will always be a need, carrying into the future. I believe the world has genuine problems and I believe it can and should be improved. But I also think that deciding what constitutes responsible action is immensely difficult, and the consequences of our actions are often difficult to know in advance. I think our past record of environmental action is discouraging, to put it mildly, because even our best intended efforts often go awry. But I think we do not recognize our past failures, and face them squarely. And I think I know why.




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Elspeth 
Posted: 16-Dec-2003, 10:36 AM
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As one who majored in Conservation, it is nice to finally hear someone talking sense.

I have been out on sites where a person's house is falling into the ravine and they wanted us to fix it for them. Never did it enter their head to ask themselves why they built a house in an unstable setting. They wanted the view. Erosion and slippages couldn't possibly happen on their building site. Nature must of course respect the wishes of the property owner.

And as to the environmental predictions.... I will never forget two scientific studies crossing my desk in the same day back in the 80's. One stated emphatically fossil fuels were creating a greenhouse effect and we would all be swimming before we knew it from the glacial meltdowns. The other just as emphatically prediceted we would all freeze to death because the suns rays would no longer be able to effectively penetrate the atmospheric buildup.

"How will we manage to get environmentalism out of the clutches of religion, and back to a scientific discipline? There's a simple answer: we must institute far more stringent requirements for what constitutes knowledge in the environmental realm."

AMEN - I felt this back in the 80's. Each new 'discovery' was treated as the saviour of the planet, when in fact, half of them were not much more than fads. I'm afraid it revist no-till farming 20 years later.


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JaneyMae 
Posted: 16-Dec-2003, 12:05 PM
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I cannot be called a "tree hugger" but I do believe that we have an obligation to care for our world and have respect for it. If we do not we will pay the price, as we already are in the midst of. This is after all "Mother Earth" and Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned giljotiini.gif


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maisky 
Posted: 17-Dec-2003, 10:00 AM
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My life philosophy has as one of its core concepts "the oneness of life and its environment". The concept is fairly simple: they go together. You can't have one without the other. It is a short step to consider: what you do to one you do to the other. Screw up the environment, and guess what that does to the life in it? This is one of those basic universal truths that cuts across the lines of different religious traditions.


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JaneyMae 
Posted: 17-Dec-2003, 10:11 AM
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QUOTE (maisky @ Dec 17 2003, 09:00 AM)
My life philosophy has as one of its core concepts "the oneness of life and its environment". The concept is fairly simple: they go together. You can't have one without the other. It is a short step to consider: what you do to one you do to the other. Screw up the environment, and guess what that does to the life in it? This is one of those basic universal truths that cuts across the lines of different religious traditions.

Ahhhh, King of Jesters, I never cease to be impressed by your profound nature. It's cool having a relative who can actually think about something like this. biggrin.gif I agree, it is a universal truth that cuts across the lines of different religious traditions. smartass.gif
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Herrerano 
Posted: 19-Dec-2003, 12:57 PM
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Golly, looks like this thread sorta fizzled out. Oh well, I honestly thought it was pretty interesting. Just for the sake of trying to enliven things a little, here is another exerpt from Micheal Crichton's speech to the Commonwealth Club in Sept.

QUOTE
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, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you 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 that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday---these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don't want to talk anybody out of them, as I don't want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don't want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.

And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.



And again, here is the link for the entire speech.

http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/...es_quote05.html


Leo cool.gif
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Raven 
Posted: 19-Dec-2003, 02:42 PM
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I would agree with Crichton that Enviromentalism has become a religeon to some who say don't bother me with the facts or what is really the best plan let's just do something.

I think it destroys their credibility to the thinking person.

Like Elspeth said one says Ice Age and another says Global Warming and their evidence it suspect at best for making their prediction.

Conservation as a science is important and we need to pay attention to our enviroment and living in harmony with it. But those who practice the religeon of Enviromentalism as described by Crichton have a different agenda than this.

I tend to believe that they have an agenda that has nothing to do with the enviroment because it is harder for me to believe that they can not see the fallacy of what they preach.

MIkel

CR.N more stimulating Internet talk radio tongue.gif


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