The Failure of the Green State Religion
by Bill Lockwood
America does indeed have an official state church. It is the Green Environmental Sect which preaches the Gospel of Sustainability. Effectively, for all practical purposes, it has become the endorsed “religion” of the state and has supplanted Christian precepts in the minds of our indoctrinated youth. The ideals of the Sustainability Movement with a socialist-style utopia has displaced academic freedom and transformed students into firebrands for Global Governance.
It might be well here to remind ourselves that our nation repudiated the concept of a state-sponsored religion. The idea that tax monies would be confiscated to support a particular doctrine whether or not the citizens believed that doctrine was to fall into the same European trap from which the founders of this nation fled. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, if Christianity be true, allow it to compete in the free-marketplace of ideas. “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God,” he advised Peter Carr. Christian welcome this test.
Free-Marketplace of Ideas
It is precisely this test, the “free-marketplace of ideas,” where the Environmental Movement of the Green Gospel fails most miserably. Led by the powers-that-be in Washington, D.C. and the Academy of Professorships from Maine to California to the U.N., sustainability activists work through government force to impose their own version of a carbon-free economy.
What exactly is “Sustainability?” It is not simply care for the “environment,” though it includes that. The word “marks out a new and larger ideological territory in which it is claimed curtailing economic, political, and intellectual liberty is the price that must be paid to ensure the welfare of future generations” (Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism; An Executive Summary of a Report by the National Association of Scholars, 2015).
Jeffrey Sachs, one of the original analysts of “global development,” served for twelve years as director of Earth Institute at Columbia University and has spent thirteen years advising the United Nations secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, recently wrote a textbook calling for “global justice” entitled The Age of Sustainable Development. Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon writes the forward. Sachs explains very clearly what is involved in Sustainability.
It is “governance” (read, “government”) that will “motivate” (p. 486) member-states to “End extreme poverty, including hunger” by “giving support for developing countries.” “Giving,” according to socialists, really means “forcibly extracting monies from citizens” to apply to projects in which they believe. This is how the Democratic Party has used the word “investment.” A cloaked concept meaning forced taxation. When you are forcibly taxed for their projects you are “investing!”
Involved in Sachs’ plan is the goal to “achieve gender equality…and human rights for all.” ObamaCare and Nationalized Health Care are small measures. He calls for “Universal health coverage” (p. 487) and implementation of global policies to “help individuals make healthy and sustainable decisions regarding diet, physical activity, and other individual or social dimensions of health.”
But all of that does not really spell out in one bottom line the question, “What is Sustainability?” Sachs unveils much of it with this: “Curb human-induced climate change and ensure sustainable energy” (p. 488). To accomplish this he finalizes plans to “transform governance for sustainable development” (p. 489). In other words, Sustainability means forcibly rationing resources and controlling human activity. And Sachs tells us what this requires: “GOOD GOVERNANCE” (p. 502). A clarion call for World Government.
Another founding father’s words come to mind here: George Washington. “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master.” World mastery over all human activity is what the global environmental movement is about.
The Brundtland Report
In 1987 a United Nations report was issued entitled Our Common Future. It is better known as the Brundtland Report. “It united environmentalism with hostility to free markets and demands for ‘social justice’” (NAS Report). The Brundtland Report defined Sustainable Development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
This means, of course, that a “global governing body” must “watch over” the amount of energy and resources that we use and forcibly limit those nations (America) that seem to splurge by utilizing too many natural resources. Freedom causes “splurging,” therefore the “splurgers” must be “mastered.” Those societies must be transformed from the top down. “Development involves a progressive transformation of economy and society.”
That transformation has been underway for a long period. There are over 1,400 degree programs at 475 colleges and universities in 65 states and provinces focused on or relating to sustainability studies. The number of institutions which are “signatories” of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, obliging them to eliminate or offset 100% of all greenhouse gases emissions and to integrate sustainability into the curriculum is 697.
Middelbury College offers 422 courses in sustainability—about 25% of all course offerings. Cornell University offers 290 sustainability courses, 13% of all course offerings. More than 400 student-led fossil fuel divestment campaigns are active on campuses across the United States. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg.
At root level, Sustainability is the primary doctrine of a failed Green Environmental Religion. It includes the preaching of virtue: “Thrift and forethought.” “Sin” is the selfish usage of resources. America is the chief sinner. “Places like the United States are causing far more damage and risk than other parts of the world” (Sachs, 394). “The United States, … needs to learn to live sustainably” (p. 485).
Not only is Environmentalism a religion, but it is a weak and failed religion that can only rely on government force to “sustain” itself. Its “sustainability doctrine” cannot depend upon mere persuasion and preaching in an open market-place of ideas but, like the Roman Church of the Middle Ages, depends upon government-enforced edicts. Academic freedom is lost. “[On] matters such as global warming, the campus version of sustainability replaces debate with doctrinaire declaration and enforces the party line” (NAS Report, 3). No open discussion. No debate. No reasoning. No examining upon what evidence the pretensions of the ideas are founded. Only government edicts that “the debate is closed.” Collegiate indoctrination is all about the transfer of governing power: Global Governance.