Ur Video: Is Environmentalism a Religion?
Author Michael Crichton on the danger of green dogma.

This week leaders from throughout the world are meeting in Copenhagen to discuss the impact of global warming. The issue is still hotly debated in the US (pun intended), while polls in many other secular Western nations reveal wider agreement with the theory.

Best-selling author Michael Crichton became an outspoken skeptic of man-made global warming before his death in 2008. In this video Crichton uses his background in anthropology to explain why environmentalism is based more on religion than science. Do you agree? And how do you think the church ought to respond to the popular green movement?

December 16, 2009

Displaying 1–10 of 12 comments


January 07, 2010  8:58am

@LindaLanouette The idea that climate change was an invention of Al Gore's imagination shows a degree of ignorance I'm afraid. I'm not especially a fan of Gore, but recognition of climate change has come from the scientific community, prior to Gore making any song and dance about it.

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December 27, 2009  3:28am

I agree with you Jim. That verse you mentioned in Rev 11:18 - (God will) destroy those who destroy the earth.... The greek word is diaphtheiro - and one of the meanings is "to consume". Us Americans are huge "consumers". "Consumerism" destroys the earth - without question. It's a life we're trapped in. I also agree with other comments here - that much of the "green movement" is fueled by people who stand to gain huge amounts of money from exploiting it. I remember well how Y2K was - people who didn't have a clue - exploiting God's people with fear. Fear is not a good thing. So the conclusion is a tough one - how do we stop destroying God's precious pocession - and yet not line the pockets of these greedy fear producers whose solutions will help nothing or no one? How do we get out of the vicous cylce of consumerism and actually learn to create and restore? Give millions to the UN (pun intended)? Like always, I think the answer is to be led by the Spirit and not the flesh. Easy right?

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Jim Vining

December 23, 2009  12:22am

Melody, Hi. I just saw your response. If by, "read the Genesis account in it's entirety" you meant to say "spend years of study and research on the text" then yes I have done that. However, if you were just trying to belittle my comments, then I hope you will find a more charitable way to communicate with others. As far as the two texts that you mentioned: I do not believe that we are to treat them the same way. I understand Gen 1 & 2 to be God's intent for the world. I understand Gen 3 to be the results of sin - the broken world. I believe that I am to live as a part of God's redemption of what was broken. Gen 3 does not tell me how I should live - it explains the mess that we find ourselves in. If you are looking for verses (the way that we currently divide the scripture) then I would say that the intended meaning of Gen 1:26-28 & 2:15 is that humans are to care for the earth. Side note - I think that Rev 11:18 shows that God was serious about it. I agree with you about world view. The study of the scriptures has formed my view of the world. I have changed my way of thinking based on what I have found in study of the scriptures. So, our disagreement on this issue is not rooted in my lack of reading the scriptures, nor is it rooted in my twisting of the scriptures to fit an idea that I already had in my head. What I stated in my first comment my understanding of what Genesis says about people and the earth. Grace and Peace, Jim

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December 21, 2009  12:31am

A Simple Environmental Christmas Story "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire Jack Frost nipping at your nose Yuletide carols being sung by the choir And folks dressed up like Eskimos" The heart-stirring feeling usually kindled by the song wasn't there anymore on that Christmas morn. As Marie sipped her hot coffee, two big things engrossed her thoughts - the latest verbal brawl she had with her husband Joe re: his chain-smoking and the latest verbal brawl she had with her conscience re: her secretly-aborted first baby. Both were somehow connected - the enmity spurred by the former hounded her to commit the latter. She mulled over such act as justified - her poor baby didn't deserve to breathe the smoke he didn't create - she mused. And hopeless was the feeling she harbored about Joe's chain-smoking - the hope for the "Greater Power" to cure his "spiritual malady" seemed to her a wacky stuff. That morn, the twinge of the dual action of enmity and secrecy was still racking her brain. Suddenly, she made up her mind to give him a sort of a clue. "Last night I had a dream...I dreamed...I had a baby," she broke the deafening silence as she cut a slice of ham. "Really," Joe muttered as he browsed a stack of holiday mails. "But I lost him," she instantly cut in. "You see, there's no more room at our smoke-filled inn." "Oh-oh. You know what? He could have stopped me outright from my smoking," Joe said soberly as he lit his first stick of the day. Lo! Staggered, Marie was. Joe's seemingly sheepish words struck her with awe. An eerie lull pitched its tent...while playing out in the background was the Christmasy song - giving the final touch to the epiphanic morn. "And so I'm offering this simple phrase To kids from one to ninety-two Although it's been said Many times, many ways Merry Christmas to you."

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December 18, 2009  6:07am

@chapp: isn't that putting more trust in capitalism than in anything else? do you use the same logic when deciding what food/clothes/anything to buy? right now we are at a time in history where it is not financially beneficial to be ethical with how we spend our money - goods made responsibly cost a whole lot more than those that are not. but shouldn't we look for better uses of our resources? not saying you don't do that. I'm just wondering your take on other sectors of economics. @melody: doesn't God telling us to be stewards of the constitute a bible verse that instructs us to at least be mindful of our impact upon it? I'm reminded of something rob bell said in, I believe it was "Sex God:" how we treat the creation is how we treat the creator. he relates it to receiving a gift that his son made and how he treats it when he receives it. if he threw it away, what would that say to his son about how much he loves him? in the same way, we are called to respect and care for all of the things that God has created. good argument by crichton, and one I've heard before. I agree with the first response though - most "isms" have become religions in themselves.

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Jeff D

December 17, 2009  7:45pm

First, the Church should speak out looking for the truth in science, whatever that may be (in keeping with seeking for truth in general). I say this realizing full well that the scientific community is as divided over this issue as the Church is over many theological ideas, such as communion. Second, the Church should embrace some of the good practices of the green movement not for the sake of being green, but for the sake of being good stewards of the creation which has been entrusted to our care! In practice, we should not focus on the debate, but use this as an opportunity to speak the often neglected truth that we are to care for this creation. The polishing brass on a sinking ship argument needs to die alongside the if we don't take charge then we're all doomed mentality. God is sovereign AND has given us responsibilities. So let us start recycling as churches and encourage energy conservation as a part of being good stewards of this planet!

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Rahab Klingensmith

December 17, 2009  1:43pm

This is a very interesting post.Michael Crichton is just touching on the extreme importance to be more than aware of these huge items that he has mentioned of...But, again to the extreme. Although I do not believe enviromentalism should be classified as religion perse', it should be held to by respect for God~this was His, He created it...and man is destroying all of it. Too the melting shores of the artic; to the careless expulsions destroying everything in its path. It IS greatly up to the scientists for further protection; but, just as well the green awarenesses needing to be held to account throughout church were our consciences are laid out bare. Therefore, understanding from the begining God created the first member of each kind, including the man and the woman,therefore, it is our responsibility to treat enviromentalism 'as if' it was a religion out of soul respect and honor to God~what he would expect from us anyways...Perhaps Michael prefers to focus on enviromentalism as a religion to help stem away others from the thought of evolution..but, rather a cure instead. These failures are our responsibility: Oil spills, sewage dumped, and more....This is Gods Creation therefore it needs to be respected~animals to be governed by humans...etc.. also Url~in regards 2 this being considered a religion...we as humans are capable of creating a system of religious thought by the use of reason, and by this I mean without the need for divine revelation–God expects this. Rahab

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December 17, 2009  12:49pm

Is environmentalism a religion? Yes I believe conservation is in all its manifestations a key to how we handle anything we are stewards of; finances, parenting, marriage and the world around us. We can learn and make the appropriate changes when we discover things like dumping my used oil onto the ground pollutes the groundwater. It makes sense to recycle my cans and plastic to limit them from filling landfills and honestly is easier to arrange my garbage for pick up. However, abstract cause and effect things like weather patterns are scientifically indeterminable. I will have no control over these things. The day man can create a viable non-CO2 emiting engine or energy producing item that competes with fossil fuel is the day I will switch consumption behavior. Until then, I'd like to stick with my forced air furnace in Minnesota at the cheapest price made possible by market conditions. Any other mandate comes from the high priests of environmentalism.

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December 17, 2009  11:35am

Jim, Sometime you might wish read the Genesis account in it's entirety. It really helps to clarify the scripture you allude to. Here are some verses: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." (Genesis 1:31 KJV) "Unto the woman he [God] said, 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrow ... and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee'. And unto Adam he said, 'Because thou has hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, Saying, Thou shalt NOT eat of it; CURSED IS THE GROUND for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all they days of thy life." (Genesis 3:17 KJV) If you use the verse in chapter one, do you also wish to embrace the rule of the husband over the wife? You can't have it both ways. We Christians love to squish and bend Bible verses to fit our own world view and the Bible simply refuses to cooperate. The only solution is to bend our worldview to fit the Bible. If you can find a passage of scripture that in any way advises Christians to 'protect' the earth, I would love to see it.

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Linda Lanouette

December 16, 2009  10:24pm

Mr. Gore has come up with the scam of the century. He is making Billions off the green movement and it could be said that it is a religion of the flesh. Based on lies and deciet, this global warming, and if the cap and trade passes it will be the last nail in our coffin. While it is a good thing to care for the earth and the inhabitants, it goes too far in that man is of lesser inportance than the other creatures. It goes to the rediculous. The Church should speak out against such stupidity.

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