Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earthy beliefs

Emory economist Paul Rubin marks Earth Day with an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal called “Environmentalism as Religion.” An excerpt from Rubin’s article:

Many observers have made the point that environmentalism is eerily close to a religious belief system, since it includes creation stories and ideas of original sin. But there is another sense in which environmentalism is becoming more and more like a religion: It provides its adherents with an identity. …

As the world becomes less religious, people can define themselves as being Green rather than being Christian or Jewish. …

There are no temples, but there are sacred structures. As I walk around the Emory campus, I am continually confronted with recycling bins, and instead of one trash can I am faced with several for different sorts of trash. Universities are centers of the environmental religion, and such structures are increasingly common. While people have worshipped many things, we may be the first to build shrines to garbage.

Faith, fervor and environmentalism

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