Eco fraternity's toxic piety
Scientific confidence about the man-made origin of global warming has risen from a 90pc likelihood to 95pc – but told-you-so triumphalism among environmentalists is misplaced. The science underpinning climate change has long been persuasive. What the tree-hugging fraternity refuses to acknowledge, however, is the extent to which public resistance has been hardened by the repellent piety of the tree-hugging fraternity. Self-styled saviours of the world have a remarkable tendency to make others question whether the world is actually worth saving.
Irish environmentalists are guiltier than most. The Green party's blundering involvement in a disastrous government set their cause back by decades. The gusto with which the remaining Green bigwigs now defend the gaseous emissions of the Seanad will do nothing to revive the party's credibility.
Too many environmentalists see themselves as high priests of a quasi-religious movement. The rituals of their faith (recycling etc) are treated as sacraments, no matter how demonstrably pointless they may be. Intelligent scepticism is dismissed as heresy, deviations from orthodoxy are denounced. In fact, the only religious tradition to which the nature-worshippers seem averse is a willingness to examine their consciences.