Religious Expressions of Environmental Resistance in an Increasingly Globalized and Complex World: To What End are we Defining a New Religion? – Simon Appolloni
A recent court ruling in the UK underlines an unusual phenomenon that involves both religious expression and environmental resistance, a coupling which, according to some, is on the rise. The judge, who ruled Tim Nicholson, a sustainability manager for a large company, was wrongly dismissed because of his ‘green’ views, granted him the same legal protection against discrimination for his environmental beliefs as that for a religious belief. In pronouncing his decision, the judge wrote, “A belief in man-made climate change, and the alleged resulting moral imperatives, is capable if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations.” These regulations are, of course, binding legislation in the UK. When describing both his sentiments and his ‘belief’ to reporters, Nicholson stated:
A rabbi, priest, a Buddhist monk and an environmentalist travel to Copenhagen… I know it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s also the basis of an ongoing and critical reflection on the role of religion and the environment.