Environmentalism is the secular religion of the left that replaced communism.
It is built on similar principles.
Both movements see the masses as unaware of the reality they cannot perceive, and themselves as revealers of the reality only they can perceive.
The masses historically have accepted the Judeo-Christian concept of human beings (as God's pinnacle creation) as stewards of the natural world created by Him.
Environmentalists believe nature is greater than humans and humans evolved from random acts of Nature.
An excellent look at the foundation of true environmentalism, from Catholic Culture.
“Criticism tends to run high on CatholicCulture.org whenever bishops speak out on environmental issues, though it is generally more muted when it comes to the statements of the Pope. It seems to me that there are two legitimate reasons for this concern. But as we’ll see, these reasons do not get beyond the surface of things.
“The first legitimate reason for concern is that environmentalism in the modern West is associated primarily with those who regard the human person as a blight on the landscape. In the prevailing environmentalist view, man has no particular spiritual destiny. Instead, too many environmentalists seem to be trending toward a sort of pantheism as a means of regaining the harmony with nature they feel has been lost in a technocratic world.
“The second reason for concern is that there seems to be little practical connection between environmentalism and the more pressing clear-cut moral issues which haunt our time, such as abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and unbridled sexual license. To be getting involved in inconclusive debates over the best way to deal with the environment can all too easily be compared with fiddling while Rome burns.
“Pope Benedict’s Approach
“Simple as this may seem, when we blink our eyes and look again, we find a good deal more at stake, including key issues which place environmental debates squarely in the Catholic wheelhouse. For the right view of environmentalism both derives from and nourishes a proper vision of the human person. Pope Benedict made precisely this point in his great social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. In the most general terms, his argument is as follows:
“The environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole. When nature, including the human being, is viewed as the result of mere chance or evolutionary determinism, our sense of responsibility wanes. In nature, the believer recognizes the wonderful result of God's creative activity, which we may use responsibly to satisfy our legitimate needs, material or otherwise, while respecting the intrinsic balance of creation. If this vision is lost, we end up either considering nature an untouchable taboo or, on the contrary, abusing it. Neither attitude is consonant with the Christian vision of nature as the fruit of God's creation. (48)
“Thus the Pope stresses that we must guard against two errors:
1. Nature is greater than man: The neo-pantheistic attitude which finds a kind of salvation in nature is misguided because the human person has a supernatural destiny which nature is destined to help him to achieve.
2. Nature is raw material to be manipulated: Nature “is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a ‘grammar’ which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation.” Without this understanding, we do violence to all of nature, including the nature of man himself.”