Today, people in over 175 nations around the world will come together to celebrate Earth Day. What began as a modest environmental teach-in in 1970 has blossomed into a worldwide opportunity for individuals to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.
While people across the world have taken that message to heart, a powerful coalition of corporate and religious right organizations are seeking to radically redefine our relationship with the environment. In a new report, The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection, People For the American Way examines the religious right’s growing role in peddling corporate-sponsored myths about the environmental movement, and in rallying opposition to environmental protection – what they call “the Green Dragon.” The report can be found online at http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/the-green-dragon-slayers-how-the-religious-right-and-the-corporate-right-are-joining-fo.
“On Earth Day, we shouldn’t forget that the notion of environmental stewardship is far from universally embraced,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “While some evangelical organizations have come to see protecting the environment as a moral imperative, corporate interests have joined forces with the religious right to demonize those who care about the environment. These right-wing leaders are using their familiar tactics of biblical distortion and community division to vilify science, common sense environmentalism, and even their fellow Christians who believe that it’s our shared responsibility to protect our planet.”
Themes explored in the report include:
- The decades-long push by energy companies to buy support from the religious right;
- The religious right’s attempt to demonize those, including their fellow evangelicals, who advocate environmental protection;
- How the religious right’s anti-environmental talking points have seeped into mainstream GOP discourse and policy;
“With generous support from oil companies and other corporate interests, these far-right anti-environment organizations are telling us that God wants us to stick our heads in the sand,” Keegan continued. “We cannot afford to stand back and watch the plundering of what belongs to us all for the benefit of so few.”