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Both Instapundit and National Review point today to a column in the Times of London—a column by Antonia Senior that identifies the religious character of environmentalism.

True enough, but Senior’s analysis is a little odd, and it is proof, in its way, of how little religious thinking is actually present in England. To get to the religious character of environmentalism, you see, Senior has to run it through communism: Greens now are like the Reds used to be. They think the future is too important to allow decisions to be left in the hands of ordinary citizens. They know themselves to be right, while all others are wrong. They treat as a kind of Trotskyite betrayal the claim, for instance, that nuclear power is environmentally superior to solar and wind power (a good image, that, isn’t it?). They want to change human nature.

They are true believers, in other words, just like the spy Anthony Blunt was a true believer in communism, and that makes them religious, because communism was a kind of religion.

There are ways in which all of this is accurate, of course, but communism was a religion by analogy: an ersatz religion, straining but unable to fulfill the human desire for the divine. With environmentalism as communism as religion, what Senior gives us is an analogy to what was already an analogy.

Much cleaner would be the one-step analogy, going straight to the source. We need a good essay on how the narrative of environmentalism is the narrative of Christianity, although without Christ. An original innocence in a Garden of Eden? Check. The ruination of that paradise by human action? Check. A sinful human nature? A demand to change your life? A looming apocalypse? Check. Check. Check. A redemption?

Well, no, not that: There is no Christ in environmentalism. The heavenly paradise at the green end, like edenic paradise at the green beginning, can have no humans in it. But there’s a reason that environmentalism has clicked with so many. They don’t believe in Christ, but they still feel the Christian narrative of human history, and environmentalism is a moral tale that fits both those facts.

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