Welcome to Doomsday
Welcome to Doomsday
New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590172094, 39pp.
Publication Date: October 3, 2006
The influence of the evangelical Christian right on the Bush administration has had a mostly unnoticed impact on America's environmental policy. While some take God’s granting of dominion over the earth to man as a call to good stewardship of our planet, many evangelicals distrust science and disdain environmental protections. They live in anticipation of one event: the Rapture, when Christ will return to cleanse the earth while the true believers are transported to heaven. For those who believe that the Rapture and the destruction of the world are imminent, there is no need to be concerned about saving the planet from environmental catastrophe.
Welcome to Doomsday is an investigation into the coupling of ideology and theology, in particular the intrusion of religion into political life, in America today. Global climate change is a rapid, possibly irreversible occurrence, yet the stance taken by the White House in both international and domestic arenas is one of both ignorance and disbelief. Appeasing the influential agendas of corporations, as well as the uncompromising dominant beliefs of evangelical groups, the Bush administration has firmly established a disastrous record of ignoring the urgency of potentially devastating changing climate.
Welcome to Doomsday is a passionate call to save the planet from the forces not only of greed and exploitation but from those who associate its destruction with a spiritual apocalypse. Written by the compelling and articulate Bill Moyers, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the current dismal state of environmental policy as well as in the growing power of the evangelical movement in the United States.
Bill McKibben is American author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. Time Magazine called him "the planet's best green journalist," and the Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was "probably the country's most important environmentalist." McKibben is a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine. McKibben has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships, and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College.
"Doomsday refers to "a time of catastrophic destruction and death," and clearly, ours qualifies. War rages, terrorists kill, natural disasters escalate, and people suffer on all fronts. Overarching these horrors are the dire threats of global warming, a slow-motion catastrophe our leaders refuse to acknowledge or attempt to combat. This brings us to the second definition of doomsday, as a day of final reckoning, for Christians the End Times leading up to the Second Coming. This is where journalist Moyers enters the picture. Himself a graduate of a Texas Baptist seminary, Moyers succinctly and decisively links the Bush administration's obdurate disregard for science and environmental realities to the corrosive influence of the Christian Right. Since Christian Fundamentalists see the Iraq War and attacks on Israel as necessary precursors to the Rapture, why should true believers worry about the biosphere? God will take care of his own until Christ returns and the saved are lifted up from this polluted, extinction-plagued, and warming world. Moyers' concise yet meticulous critique of this dangerous viewpoint is clear and necessary. -Donna Seaman
YA: Moyers notes that religious materials given to teens tend to dismiss biological realities; this provides invaluable checks and balances. DS." –Booklist
“The truth is, the [Alaska National Wildlife Refuge] vote is merely a small part of a larger…neoconservative attitude that has a…fundamentalist belief in the End Times, in the Apocalypse. Don't believe it? Have yourself a nice read of famed journalist Bill Moyer's delicate, excellent essay "Welcome to Doomsday" via the New York Review of Books, which brings in all the numbers and data into a beautifully articulate essay on the state of the American religious landscape..–The San Francisco Chronicle
Praise for Moyers:
“Bill Moyers speaks for, and to, the conscience of our nation.”—Walter Cronkite
“Bill Moyers believes with his very heart-bone in the interchange of ideas, in individuals speaking out. . . . And he is, in a very real sense, a man of faith: of faith in America.”—James Dickey, The New York Times
"Not only a good reporter... a first-rate storyteller."–The Boston Globe
"Bill Moyers is doing what Madison and Jefferson desperately hoped the press would do –provide information ... so that the people would be informed enough to enable constitutional democracy to survive."–Nat Hentoff