Many zealous greens are strongly imbued with pagan values. Paganism is generally defined as polytheism mixed in with nature worship. Primitive pagans frequently cowered before the forces of nature, fatalistically resigned to being at nature’s mercy, believing that progress was not only impossible, but a criminal offense against nature. So complete was their submission to nature, and so foreign to them was the idea that individual lives have value, that pagan societies often practiced human sacrifice to appease the gods of nature, particularly the sun god (e.g., the Aztecs).

Let’s forget about polytheism for now. What’s more important are the attitudes toward nature and human life. In the modern scientific era, many people – whether prompted by theistic or humanistic beliefs and values – reject the pagan beliefs that humankind should submit to nature and that individual human lives deserves protection. However, many other people, particularly hardcore greens, reject those principles and replicate primitive paganism by exalting nature and devaluing human life.

Pagan greens insist that we cling to dependence on natural, “clean, renewable” sources of energy, namely, from the wind and sun. Try as they might, though, they can’t coax consistency and reliability out of those fickle natural sources. Nor are wind and solar energy really clean or renewable, since they depend on massive consumption of many “nonrenewable” resources, some of them highly polluting. (They also kill more wildlife than fossil fuels do, but that’s another story.)

Of particular concern are the sometimes rabidly anti-human beliefs of green pagans. They have variously labelled the human race “a virus,” “a disease” “vermin,” “a cancer.” The hatred for humanity is palpable. Here is more: “The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing”; “Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs”; “Man is no more important than any other species.”

Like some primitive pagan societies, groveling in fear before the forces of nature, pagan greens believe that some individuals need to be sacrificed for life to go on. Thus, the founder of the Environmental Defense Fund, favored banning DDT because the ban would, “get rid of some of them” (in Ebenezer Scrooge’s words, “decrease the surplus population”) via insect-borne malaria and insect-caused crop destruction. Indeed, the human death toll from banning rather than moderating the use of DDT has exceeded the death toll from communism, making environmentalism the most lethal leftist ideology in history. That shouldn’t be surprising, for communists at least paid lip service (however dishonestly) to “the good of the people,” while pagan greens regard human life as no better than a pestilential germ.

The anti-human animus of pagan greens even gave rise to a pejorative term: “speciesism” – i.e., the belief that humans are superior to other species. Well, in pagan green cosmology, humans may not be superior to other species, but in the real world, we are. Forget about us being at the top of the food chain. Think moon-landings, movie magic, Mozart and McCartney. Humans are unique. Every other species pursues its self-interest without a thought for the long-term survival of other species. Only humans have enough foresight to take deliberate steps to try to conserve other species. Only humans could feel regret and grieve if a beloved species goes extinct. Only humans are clever enough to discover or invent 57 different genders. Sorry, animal kingdom, but it’s no contest – humans are superior.

The contrary belief to speciesism is that all species are equal. That belief can be harmful to humans. About 30 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency blocked the cleanup of sewage in the Tijuana River Basin on the grounds that the cleanup would endanger the survival of the life forms that dwelled in that toxic (to humans) brew. Yes, federal bureaucrats placed the survival of various bacteria above the health of human beings. That’s pagan!

Another manifestation of anti-human green paganism is their preference for anti-growth agendas. The deadliest environment for a human being is poverty, yet greens work to thwart economic development in developing countries by trying to deny them access to the very fossil fuels that enabled the people in developed countries to climb out of poverty and live thriving, healthy lives. You can read details of these tragic and genocidal policies in Paul Driessen’s superb book, Eco-Imperialism. We need an environmentalism as if people mattered. (As a counterpoise to Friends of the Earth, we could use an environmental advocacy group called “Friends of people who live on Earth.)

Green icon Paul Ehrlich once asserted, “Economic growth is not the solution it’s the problem.” He is 180 degrees off-target. Growth is the solution. If it were true that the more economic development there is, the more polluted our environment would be, then our goose would be cooked. We could conceivably get so prosperous that we’d pollute ourselves to death. But the world doesn’t work that way.

Instead, there is a well-known pattern known as the Kuznets curve (named after the late economist Simon Kuznets who explained the pattern). What happens is that when societies begin to develop and climb out of poverty, pollution rises. But once development gets to the point where basic needs are met and discretionary income rises, people are willing and able to spend money on both pollution remediation and pollution prevention. Consequently, affluent (developed) societies are less polluted than developing societies.

Contemporary green paganism is an atavistic, anti-life fetish. Cloaked in mystical ignorance and wildly misanthropic, contemporary green pagans are as much of a threat to their fellow humans as their primitive forbears ever were.


  • Mark Hendrickson, Ph.D., is an economist who has analyzed the global warming story for 30 years.