Chesterton said that, unfortunately, when people quit believing in God believes in anything. He was right, and many facts along the last century demonstrate it to us. Slips of the reach and the extension of this commentary the reasons why human beings are, in addition to rationals, religious animals. The fact is that the religious beliefs are part of human nature and, therefore, a humanist task is to understand it.
It is not no a secret that socialism, -in its two varieties, communist and facist-, was the XX century great lay faith. Socialists changed the belief in an afterlife paradise for a real world of justice and abundance. Even in the way they loved the icons -the sickle and the hammer, the svastica, the red or black flags, the inflamed masses following the leader- was the same that the religious people has by their own symbols such as the crosses, images and rites. The problem is that socialism, who dealt with merchandise that it had to yield in this life, did not answer to the created expectations. Its Earth paradise turned out to be quite criminal, miserable and disastrous, reason why, after a bunch of decades, Marx devotees and their followers were losing the faith and thickening the rows of the skeptical leftists, who are, in the present day, the most numerous kind of socialist.
Marxist dialectics, however, has served to rebuild parallel speeches, not less effective than the original one. The more succesful one has been the environmentalism. It has everything what a good religion precise to have to captivate the innocent souls, needy of answers. Part of an original paradise in which the man lived in harmony with the nature, a true garden of Eden from we were expelled when we began to dominate it, that is, when we invented agriculture. It was our apple. Since then we were backsliding for centuries over the original sin, spreading the human dominion by all the globe, industrializing our production, polluting the air and the water.
Following the environmentalist gospel outline, in this moment we are at the doors of the Apocalypse. It could be global warming, freezing or anything in the middle. Like in all religion, the is a chance of salvation. But before we have to embrace the unique creed and trust it without questioning the dogma. Anyone who doubt is declared heretic and put into the «enemies of the nature» bonfire, divinity, on the other hand, of this religion of our days. Their priests waits that, without distracting from the unique dogma too much, we continue sinning so their presence is well grounded. Venial little sins like avoid recycling the paper, or taking the car instead of the bicycle, is sufficient to make us feel the everyday guilt.
Reality, true facts, does not matter. In any religion do. It does not matter the dogma is discussed by scientist and specialist, it is faith article in which you have to believe blindly or not believe. Debate does not exist; debate, cannot exist. There is no inconvenient if some of the apocalyptic forecasts are not fulfilled. They update it and settled subject. It is necessary to believe in them, that is all that matters.
Taking evironmentalism from this point of view, is quite logical that most of the people in western countries believe blindly that Earth is really sick because of our fault, or the end of the times is around the corner. Ask, ask the people around you and you will see.