The Cult of Radical Environmentalism

Jack Nowak '23

“Human beings have been called the most successful weed species on Earth.” (CK-12 Earth Science Textbook, emphasis mine). My sixth-grade sister came home from school several weeks ago, talking about her science textbook and how it talked about the human population and its relationship to the environment. I read further into it, concerned about why a sixth-grader was being taught that humans were like weeds: destructive and undesired. Sure enough, the textbook preached, “Many experts think that the human population has reached its carrying capacity. It has already harmed the environment. An even larger human population may cause severe environmental problems” It went on to propose solutions, the first one being to, “Slow down human population growth so there are fewer people.” This cult-like and frankly demonic propaganda is constantly preached to us by US politicians, global elites, textbooks such as this, and all over social media. I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of this doomsday message and of this culture that treats human beings like weeds. Like pagan cults such as the Aztecs who sacrificed humans to their false gods, the cult of radical environmentalism seeks to sacrifice humans to their idol of Mother Earth.

“Jack,” you might be saying, “You sound like a conspiracy theorist, no one wants to actually sacrifice humans.” Wrong, it just looks different. In places like China, it’s already happening and mainstream population control is gaining popularity, pushed by global elites and politicians from the World Economic Forum. In China, the main examples that stand out are the use of abortion and forced sterilizations to reduce the population and enforce its one-child and two-child policies. Abortion itself is already child sacrifice to the altar of convenience, however, it’s currently being pushed, in China and by the World Economic Forum, to become a sacrifice to appease Mother Earth in the fight against “overpopulation”. I don’t say that to be dramatic. While these people and organizations claim to be pushing for saving the planet, it has become eerily clear that they have become more of a cult, going to extremely anti-human lengths to appease the environment. (I also have to add that I find it very ironic that the global elites who claim to care so much about the environment, to the point of taking measures that are anti-human, fly into Davos, Switzerland to preach about protecting the environment in their private jets, polluting far more than the majority of us in our cars on any given day.)

The World Economic Forum has hosted numerous speakers and global elites that openly speak of overpopulation as a problem and support vile measures against population growth. While doing research on their website, it was not hard to find the overpopulation doomsday prophets warning about the need to slow and curb population growth. One in particular that stood out to me was environmentalist Jane Goodall, who claimed, “We cannot hide away from human population growth, because it underlies so many of the other problems. All these things we talk about wouldn’t be a problem if the world was the size of the population that there was 500 years ago.” 500 years ago the population was between 425 and 540 million people. That’s over 7 billion fewer people than we have today. While Goodall disgustingly disagrees, I think that the world is far better with 7 billion more people in it. The World Economic Forum and all members of the cult of environmentalism forget and deny that each person is at the pinnacle of the hierarchy of Creation: a human being. The more members of the pinnacle of Creation the better. 

Another vile message that stood out was from Bill Gates, preaching on “overpopulation” and poverty in Africa. He proposed that the solution is to control their population growth. Using euphemisms to sugarcoat his claims, Gates advocated for birth control and contraception as the primary ways to stop poverty. This made me reflect on someone who actually did incredible things for the poor while living among them, serving them, and loving them: St. Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa served the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. She saw the worst of poverty yet she remained adamantly against abortion and birth control, going so far as to say, “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you can live as you wish.” St. Mother Teresa lived what true care of the poor is and never wavered on the primacy of human life in the process. The same should be the case for us when dealing with all environmental issues. 

Overall, today’s culture is, as Pope St. John Paul II put it, a culture of death. It is entirely against the dignity of human beings. Through the lens of the cult of environmentalism, it views children in the womb, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and humanity itself as problems that need to be eliminated, as weeds that need to be pruned. The fact of the matter is that falling birthrates are bad for society as a whole: for economic reasons, political reasons, and because more human life is good. God commands us to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). Our culture needs to become a culture of life. One that sees every new person not as a problem but as a great gift. 

As Priory celebrates Earth Day this year, we need to stay true to our Catholic roots. To start the important conversation about how to protect Earth, everyone needs to acknowledge that human beings are the crown jewel of physical Creation, created in the Image and Likeness of God. We are above all other plants and animals. The Earth was made for us to have dominion over, and also to use, steward, and protect. Any measure in the name of environmentalism that is aimed at slowing population growth or sacrificing humans to appease Mother Earth is evil and demonic. We need a renewal of the culture of life that seeks to protect the Earth while acknowledging the beauty and dignity of every person, never seeking to slow or stop new human life. We aren’t weeds, we’re the crown jewel of Creation.