To buy into the Green Movement is like buying into a religion. It has the structure, the values, the tithing and even the god, Mother Earth. Heck, for now let’s call it Greenism.
In truth, most religions have very much in common in terms of structure. Firstly, there is always a prophet or a guru. Someone to follow, someone with divine knowledge, someone to lead us, someone that can predict what will happen in the future. It sounds a lot like the environmental experts nowadays. Think of Al Gore or David Suzuki. They’re practically worshipped. People follow them from city-to-city, begging for solutions and salvation. Which brings me to the next, most essential aspect of any successful religion: followers. Now the religious followers of Greenism prove to be very widespread and devoted. They are active members in their religious community. They take on the lifestyle that a good Greenie should. They have a hybrid, they save water and they recycle. There are even fanatics in this new religion. There are people who spike trees, to prevent logging; sabotage and sink illegal whaling ships; and set big SUVs ablaze. Structurally, the Green Movement is a religion.
Now many of you are probably thinking that structure is not what makes a religion: it is creed. Greenism has many creeds. Firstly, there is the idea of eternal life or salvation, in other words sustainability. Greenies have set rules for their lifestyle as well. From composting to reusing a bag and sometimes, for the fanatics, buying those hideous eco-friendly socks, include many of the acts practices by the Greenies. They even exude this exclusivity, this idea of holier than thou that is often associated with a religion. Amazingly, even tithing is practiced in Greenism. Greenies forego luxuries and demand that the big bad companies pay up. It even has the idea that our future is decided by our behavior. It has the same self-importance. Our generation is the centre of time. Our actions will decide the future of the human race. Weren’t they saying that like 30 years ago? Greenism most definitely has a creed.
So the big question is: is it so bad? As I said before, religion gives an abstract understanding of life. It guides us in times of indecision. And look at what good it has done for the world. It has truly united us in a way that seemingly only religion can. It has brought us together to save ourselves, to save each other and to save the world. I suppose that I am proud to say that, without a doubt, I am a true believer of Greenism and will include it in the other creeds in which I engage.
—Ingrid Hagen-Keith ’09 (Pre-U ’10)