Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Environmentalism is the new Religion of Peace

The Greens have their first martyr, but he won’t be burned at the stake because of concerns over the carbon footprint. Tim Nicholson was granted permission last March to invoke employment law for protection from discrimination for his conviction that climate change was the world's most important environmental problem. Today, he won the right to take his former employer to a tribunal on the grounds that he was unfairly dismissed because of his devotion to that faith.

The bizarre thing is that his former employer, Grainger plc (Britain's biggest residential property investment company) held a perfectly legitimate view on carbon footprints which was simply at variance with that held by Mr Nicholson. But their right to hold that view is now subsumed to his view not to hold it: environmentalism now trumps economic sense and commercial interest. Mr Nicholson contends that, while Grainger preached the Green gospel, the firm's executives would turn up at meetings in ‘some of the most highly polluting cars on the road’. He was therefore at odds with his employer, and believes he was persecuted for his beliefs.

His solicitor, Shah Qureshi, said: "Essentially what the judgment says is that a belief in man-made climate change and the alleged resulting moral imperative is capable of being a philosophical belief and is therefore protected by the 2003 religion or belief regulations."

So discrimination on the grounds of political belief is now subject to the same employment equality laws which protect workers against religious discrimination.

While Pope Benedict XVI saw this coming a few years ago (displaying far more wisdom than most of our politicians and public officials on the matter), and Cranmer has long prophesied precisely this sort of postmodern muddle in the definition of religion, the implications of this ruling are very considerable indeed. It is not simply that ‘green views’ are now on a par with religious or philosophical beliefs, but that any ‘strong beliefs’ which influence one’s opinions and which affect a whole lifestyle may be considered a religion. The new Protestants will be those who contend against this pseudo-scientific orthodoxy.

If the Greens now find themselves with a distinct religio-philosophy which is granted protection under the law, how long will it be before one is arrested for ‘inciting hatred’ against those who subscribe to their man-made global warming creed?

Does a commitment to the Conservative worldview amount to a religion?


Blogger Bob said...

So climate-change has now become a 'belief'. I think the firm is right on this: whether man-made climate-change is true or false (it's false), and whether any 'moral imperative' results from it is immaterial - the point is that its effects (or lack of them) can be scientifically verified. The basis of the climate-change argument is in the realm of fact not the mystery of faith so therefore it's science, and no more a 'philosophical belief' than saying 'the moon is made of green cheese.' Therefore Nicholson's 'belief' and his moral decision is a 'lifestyle choice.' I hope that if Nicholson's appeal is successful, it doesn't set a precedent so that employers have to take seriously the really loony beliefs, the sort espoused by the ragbag of nutters that tend to make it onto the news: flat-earthers, UFO-hunters, Scientologists and so on. That would be a disaster...


3 November 2009 at 14:29  
Blogger Robert said...

Wonderful insight Your Grace. You have hit the nail on the head here, and it seems this new "religion of peace" will soon become the predominant religious paradigm in Europe and America.

Pope Benedict did indeed anticipate this movement several years ago, and is using this new religion (which, in addition to environmentalism, also includes vague endorsements for "life" and "peace") to reassert a Vatican-led ecumenical resurgence of power over the Western world. So far, it is working like a charm.

3 November 2009 at 14:30  
Anonymous summer said...

Presumably Nick Griffin and Co must be jumping for joy...they can now deny the Holocaust with judicial and moral blessings regardless of scientific or historical fact...an honest belief in your story is enough to make it legal it seems.

3 November 2009 at 15:02  
Blogger Witterings From Witney said...

By the same logic, does this not also mean that "Essentially what the judgment says is that disbelief in man-made climate change and the alleged resulting moral imperative is capable of being a philosophical belief and is therefore protected by the 2003 religion or belief regulations."?

Just wondering..............

3 November 2009 at 15:08  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Does a commitment to the Conservative worldview amount to a religion?

Well, in my case, no: because I hold a Christian world-view out of which flows a set of beliefs about the Kingdom of This World.

But, will my world-view be considered legally equivalent to that of, say, a disciple of Albert Gore?

Or Jeremiah Wright?

Or Nick Griffin?

Or any number of mullahs who call for the murder of the Jews?


3 November 2009 at 15:12  
Blogger Gnostic said...

My belief in common sense has never been so thoroughly f***ing beggared.

3 November 2009 at 15:45  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 (based upon a EU Directive) state:

2 (1) In these Regulations, ‘religion or belief’ means any religion, religious belief, or similar philosophical belief.

It seems to me that ‘similar philosophical belief’ should have at least some reference to a deity or the absence of a deity.

The judgment seems irregular.

3 November 2009 at 15:56  
Anonymous Dick the Prick said...

Turns out i'm a European now so i'm rather inclined to talk bollox, marry my sister, eat a horse and eschew showering. Happy days. Vote blue go green.

3 November 2009 at 16:02  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

Does that mean Ed Miliband is now the Archbishop of climate change.

3 November 2009 at 16:12  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Ah - the Church of Green. It has its own indulgences (plant a tree to offset carbon), its sin crying out to Gaia for vengeance (denying man induced global warming).

The trouble is that their leading high priests exhibit an hysterical behaviour more akin to mad mullahs rather than our cuddly Archbishop of Canterbury. Nothing will ever placate them until we are back in the caves and even then we wont be allowed to light fires.

The EU wants to set aside 100 Billion Euros a year to bribe countries such as China India, Brazil to curb their carbon emissions. This is not enough say the High Priests of the Church of Green.

Every time I hear the words 'friends of the earth' I mutter 'enemies of the people'

The only carbon footprint I am interested in is a kick up the backside of an eco-warrior.

3 November 2009 at 16:20  
Blogger Old Holborn said...


Now I can refuse to pay "eco" taxes! It's against my "beliefs" that Climate Change exists!

3 November 2009 at 16:28  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

I'm speechless .......

3 November 2009 at 17:01  
Anonymous Stuart said...

Is it now possible that I could be prosecuted under incitement to religious hatred & 'equality' laws for being officially 'Environmentalistophobic’ or perhaps ‘Climatechangeophobic’?

3 November 2009 at 17:26  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

The case appears founded on the assertion of a philosophical belief that climate change is the worlds paramount problem. There are many religious and irreligious people who share this view. Regardless of whether they are right or not they should be regarded as 'a body of opinion' not a 'religion' since no deity has been invoked. The 2003 regulations cover religion or belief and this linkage has now lead to a judgment which may in turn precipitate unfortunate consequences. If a belief is pursued with religious fervor by enough people then the danger is that it can mature into a 'Religion' if manipulated along those lines. Anything can become a 'god' if it dominates your reasoning and way of life. Climate Change has become an obsession for many.

3 November 2009 at 17:34  
Anonymous not a machine said...

perhaps the failure of politics is more at the heart of this , it occured to me some time ago that the profit motive was in trouble with green thinking , but conversley you need capitalism to ensure efficency.

This is not entirely a good ruling as it seems it is about hypocracy more than a employees belief .

Do I want a cleaner planet and for us to be stewards of creation , then the answer is yes , should it be new market for weak politics and expensive lawyers then No , although many big corporations would no doubt prefer the latter.

The other point your grace outlines is that of offense of the practices of this business , surely if he was offended he should have left the company and either set about making a new company or taken up politics, there is somthing a little odd about taking a salary from a company yet , inwardly disagreeing with what it does .

Whistle blowers are often necessary for bad business practices to be exposed , but it would seem to me that in that case , he was criticising widely held business practices , most chair persons of the board do not drive around in a second hand ford fiesta.

He may well have a rightous angle and sent a shiver down corporate thinking , but whilst a change is needed , drastic changes can have bad consequences , new zealots are we are told an imporvement on the old ones , alas lawyers fees remain constantly high .

3 November 2009 at 17:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a cnut (not you, him)

3 November 2009 at 18:23  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Regained the speech. So basically some one could sue if you said that the liberal -green ideology/religion is a load of old cobblers ? Well it is .

3 November 2009 at 19:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that it's been declared a religion, when can we expect Dr Richard Dawkins to jump up and down saying what a load of mumbo jumbo it is?

3 November 2009 at 20:08  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

This leads to one and only one conclusion: the 2003 "religion or belief regulations" must be repealed forthwith.

3 November 2009 at 21:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us suppose we do accept this belief as a religion.

Why does his employer, or colleagues, have to comply with his religion? Surely they are at liberty to drive around in any car they wish, and ignore him completely?

Or was he, perchance, making a nuisance of himself by preaching his religious beliefs in the workplace, in the company's time?


3 November 2009 at 22:47  
Anonymous Dodgy Geezer said...

"..The basis of the climate-change argument is in the realm of fact not the mystery of faith so therefore it's science, and no more a 'philosophical belief' than saying 'the moon is made of green cheese.'.."

Not from where I'm looking. If you look for any precise fact in the climate change hypothesis you will not find any - it's all smoke and mirrors - done with computer models and statistics. A religion is a very good word for it....

3 November 2009 at 23:32  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

There’s a clearly important comment by “Unity”, who seems to be a lawyer, on the corresponding thread at Harry’s Place (link below). It’s quite a long comment – these excerpts are only a small part of it. I suggest you read the whole thing.

Unity 4 November 2009, 12:18 am

[. . .]The plaintiff hasn’t won his case here, he’s simply won the right to have his case heard, and an Employment Tribunal will then have to decide whether or not the employer’s actions do amount to discrimination and, even if they do, whether the employer was still justified in taking them.[. . .]

Cases like this might seem frivolous, but they actually play an important role in the development of jurisprudence, so relax and let the courts sort it all out - all things being equal they usually do.


3 November 2009 at 23:51  
Anonymous Bob (a different one) said...

I say, why not? We give respect and protections to religious belief - even though it's just someone's opinion, if we take it to it's logical conclusion then any belief a person holds about the world is protected - why should that just be restricted to the large organised religions?

If you were sacked for a conservative viewpoint (eg bringing back death penalty) then yes, you could go to tribunal for unfair dismissal

4 November 2009 at 01:10  
Anonymous Tubb said...

There is a very good essay on 'Global Warming as a Religion' by Prof John Brignell at http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/religion.htm

4 November 2009 at 01:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace, can I have more than one religion at a time, please? I am very euro-sceptic, believe devoutly that the MoD is managing Britain's defence policies appallingly badly, hold dearly to the creed that the current Labour government never have been & never will be "fit-for-purpose", & believe most profoundly of all that my pension should be increased at least hundredfold.

Can I now request full official support for all these noble & religious views that I have stated above? If so, can the government implement them at once, please! Or do we have to wait for Mr Cameron to do that for us? [Some hope, I hear everyone saying!]

4 November 2009 at 06:02  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

The judgment is far more damaging than most people here seem to indicate.

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003

5 (1) For the purposes of these Regulations, a person (‘A’) subjects another person (‘B’) to harassment where, on grounds of religion or belief, A engages in unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of –

(a) violating B’s dignity; or
(b) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B.

Almost any conduct against B is caught. It has a chilling effect on free speech.

4 November 2009 at 08:09  
Anonymous Maturecheese said...

Your Grace, More appalling behaviour by the Godless EU


Where does it end?

4 November 2009 at 08:45  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Presumably if a slaughterman becomes a Jain he is entitled to continued payment of wages to protect his
religious scruples but cannot be dismissed?

4 November 2009 at 10:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

D Singh at 08:09

Under s.5(1) could not Tim Nicholson be A?

On the basis of (his) belief he seems to have been humiliating B, or more than one B, by castigating him (or her or them) for driving (a) gas guzzling urban tank(s) and other infringements of A's belief (think that covers everything).

Would you agree?

4 November 2009 at 13:23  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Anon

Theoretically it is possible. But it would not be allowed in the Left-liberal's control of the zone of free speech.

4 November 2009 at 13:28  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

@ D. Singh, today at 08:09

The rules you quote seem to entail that no employer is allowed to order a subordinates to remove from her/his clothing any emblem of religious affiliation such as a cross or a crucifix.

I mean this seriously, not ironically, by the way.

4 November 2009 at 14:49  
Blogger D. Singh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4 November 2009 at 15:21  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Petram,

Each and every case is to be treated on its own individual merits. An employer can instruct the removal of religious clothing or emblems by trumping religion and belief with ‘Elf ‘n’ safety’ law.

Where the religion and belief regulations clash with those on sexual orientation, the latter tends to trump the former.

4 November 2009 at 15:22  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Mr Singh,

Ah, yes, the all-purpose trump card. I ought to have remembered that! Thank you.

4 November 2009 at 17:45  
Blogger Bishop Brennan said...

Well, as one of very few right-wing civil servants, who has been told by his boss that his beliefs are a block to promotion, perhaps I might take on the lefty, Guardianista establishment?

Oh, I see - this only applies to people who have righteous (in the modern sense) views...

Given that they have a complete grip on this country, is there any point in voting for Cameron (who, in any case, believes the Green nonsense)? I think emigration is the only solution...

4 November 2009 at 18:04  
Blogger Nick Gulliford said...

I was interested in the item last night "Green beliefs given same status as religion" on Channel 4 News.

It seemed to me that Tim Nicholson thought his 'scientific' based beliefs were somehow more valid than the 'faith' based beliefs of George Pitcher.

Sir Jonathan Sacks, the chief Rabbi, was quoted in the House of Lords by the Bishop of Chelmsford some years ago, saying, 'It took us a long time for us to realise that by cutting down rain forests, using cars with highly leaded fuels and building factories with toxic emissions we were gradually destroying the ecosystem within which we live and breathe. We know now. It has been much harder for us to realise that by destabilising marriage and accepting casual sex, serial relationships, divorce and single parenthood as norms, we are rapidly eroding the social structures on which humanity depends, but it is no less true.'

It seems to me that when it comes to climate change the 'evidence' - supposedly scientific - is accepted without much debate, but when it comes to family structure, equally valid evidence is discounted by most journalists, politicians and commentators, probably because the supporters of traditional family structures tend to have a religious background.

I have asked C4 News if they could arrange for a debate about this and include Sir Jonathan Sacks and Dr Rowan Williams. But I'm not holding my breath.

4 November 2009 at 18:22  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

@ Nick Gulliford

Excuse me, did I hear you say Rowan Williams? Hasn't everybody had enough of his repetitive waffle? Vincent Nichols would be not only a good deal more interesting but even, who knows, more attuned to the views of a majority of Anglicans.

4 November 2009 at 21:05  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older