Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.
In the recent municipal elections, several "green" candidates were elected (note that green might also denote a lack of experience in politics), and they are continuing their efforts in the elections to the Knesset. Experts in Western European poltiics will tell you that there are heads of government who used the green path to obtain their objectives. I have a problem with this issue, since for some reason a passion for ecology is identified with the polticial left, as if to say: "green on the outside, red on the inside." Perhaps the basis for this is the feeling of global cosmopolitics at the root of the ecological movement, which would seem to be the opposite of nationalism, and also the fact that it is based on the concept of the global village. These themes are well represented in the leftist press both in the world and in Israel. And there is another problem, which I feel is even more serious: the ecological approach is turning into a new religion. It has prophets and priests, preachers and followers, and even is own rituals. I cannot shake the feeling that there will be a temple built in Germany, which will become the basis for their manifesto...
-Rabbi Yisrael Rozen of Israel in Parashat Beshalach, No. 737 (January 30, 1999)