Has Pagan Environmentalism Failed? Responses to Climate Change


With the recent release of several large-scale studies showing that climate change may now be inevitable, many Pagans are re-evaluating their approach to environmentalism. Particularly in the United States, the Pagan movement of the 1960s and 1970s embraced ecotheology and Gaia theory in the belief that the damage human beings were causing to the environment could be slowed or stopped. Today, the possibility that human beings will change their ways before our fossil fuels run out seems much less likely, and the hopes of earlier Pagans may appear wildly unrealistic.

As Pagans, do we continue or intensify our environmental activism, hoping to minimize climate change? Do we take time to grieve, as in the Dark Mountain project, or begin to prepare for scarcity scenarios? When we listen to our gods, our ancestors, the spirits of the land, and/or Gaia Herself, what guidance do we receive? What does it mean to be Pagan or practice a nature religion in the midst of climate change?

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