An April 2008 USA Today[/i] headline read: "Ed Begley acts on his eco-beliefs." The irrepressible Begley is not practicing a green religion but rather, something more like a personal code of evidence-based ethics. You might even call it keeping the "green faith."
The Environmentalist adds its own take on the concept: "The overall environmental movement is as diverse as humanity itself. It includes the deeply religious, those for whom the environment has become a religion, professionals who keep their religion to themselves as they seek to validate the science and a growing number of ordinary citizens who are beginning to sense that something has gone terribly wrong. It is a global epiphany."
As Marky Mark once said: You gotta believe...
When asked what he'd want people to believe, British biologist Richard Dawkins replied, "I would want them to believe whatever evidence leads them to; I would want them to look at the evidence, judge it on its merits, not accept things because of internal revelation or faith, but purely on the basis of evidence." Of course, relying solely on evidence can get sketchy when you consider the concept of "confirmation bias." In psychology and cognitive science, according to Science Daily, confirmation bias is a "tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions, leading to statistical errors."
The trick, it seems, is to factor in as a broad an evidence range as possible and meld it with compassion and common sense. This is not about pie-in-the-sky hope but instead deepening our eco-commitment, both spiritually and rationally.