Christianity has been disproved by science, thus some new religion is forming to fill in the void. The human brain is very unhappy unless there is something supernatural to worship.An atheist himself, HS apparently presumes those of a similar mind on spirituality are similarly antagonistic towards people who promote "green" living:
I observed an atheist rally in DC once, and the people in attendance didn’t strike me as at the Mother Nature worshiping types.I'd intended to look to the GSS for an empirical take on this, but was disappointed by the dearth of relevant questions in the survey. Well, the 2010 data are now out, and include a new module on the environment.
The following table shows the percentages of people, by theistic confidence (or lack thereof), who show an affinity for the tenets of Gaia worship. For the sake of consistency and ease of viewing, some of the questions have been inverted so that it is always the case that higher percentages indicate greater Gaia worship. To avoid racial confounding, only non-Hispanic whites are included:
|Almost everything we do harms the environment||56.8%||55.0%||49.3%||44.3%|
|Worry about human progress harming the environment is not excessive||66.9%||58.8%||46.0%||36.8%|
|The world cannot support its current rate of population growth||78.9%||60.3%||62.1%||47.7%|
|Is willing to pay more in taxes to help the environment||52.0%||41.6%||31.4%||26.3%|
|Willing to decrease one's own standard of living for the environment||55.9%||39.5%||40.9%||29.8%|
|Protecting the environment is one of the most important things we can do||80.3%||35.3%||59.1%||53.3%|
|Threats to the environment are not exaggerated||64.0%||55.1%||49.5%||36.3%|
|Decrease own driving for environmental reasons||55.9%||56.0%||45.2%||45.2%|
|Global warming is "extremely" dangerous for the environment||42.3%||31.4%||19.7%||15.6%|
The trend is clear and consistent--atheists make the best Gaiaists. As belief in God goes up, adherence to the beliefs of the Gaia Cult go down, with the only real aberration being agnostics' assigning relatively low priority to protecting the environment.
When it comes to Gaia worship anyway, the words "secular" and "right" don't make such strange bedfellows.
GSS variables used: GOD(1)(2)(3-5)(6), RACECEN1(1), HARMSGRN, GRNPROG, POPGRWTH, GRNTAXES, GRNSOL, IMPGRN, GRNEXAGG, DRIVLESS, TEMPGEN1