Secular Right | Reality & Reason



The Church of Climate Change (More or Less Literally)

Writing over at the Sunday Telegraph, Christopher Booker examines the way that the British government has been spending taxpayer money on ‘climate change-related projects’. Make of his piece what you will. I will admit that this made me laugh:

Why in 2002 should UK taxpayers have given … £10,000 for a “workshop on women as ‘sacred custodians’ of the Earth”, to “explore the spiritual, religious and philosophical views concerning women and ecology and the policy implications of these belief systems”?


1 comment

  • Le Mur · February 7, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Apparently the “workshop on women as ’sacred custodians’” goes back to 1996:

    Workshop on Women as “Sacred Custodians” of the Earth
    Start Date: 01/05/1996
    End Date: 30/07/1996
    DFID Programme: Environment Studies
    Funding Department: Central Research Department
    Total Cost to DFID: £10,000
    MIS Number: 781629014

    Progress and Impact[sic]:

    Gender relations with respect to the environment and the values associated with these vary tremendously by cultural context and global generalisation cannot be maintained. In particular women’s supposed ,special relationship, with the earth should not be used as an excuse for heaping on them additional burdens of unpaid labour in environmental management. Male gender responsibilities need (at least) equal targetting.

    Cultural elaborations of the environment and the actions to which they lead vary crucially with economic and political circumstances. The politics of the belly may make conserving the environment seem a luxury that cannot be afforded.

    Constructions of the landscape as sacred to not over-ride other, more practical concerns. In particular the land rights of dispossessed people need to be assured if they are to be able to practice sound environmental management.

    Culture is dynamic, and people have an active role in reconstituting the traditions they inherit. Globalisation and its market economy can provide resources for reasserting subordinated identities, but it also presents them with a tremendous challenge. The responses that people make to this challenge cannot be assumed to be positive in either gender or environmental terms.

    There is an integral relation betweene the cosmological, personal, political and practical. Development observers and practitioners are as deeply implicated in the manipulation of key symbols as are those whose lives they seek to change.


    I’m going to start making the world a better place by becoming more deeply implicated in the manipulation of key symbols!

    It reminds me of: “”It’s a safe bet that people who use the words ’empowered,’ ‘community’ and ‘meaningful’ in close proximity do not produce anything you can hold in your hands” — Lileks



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