Voters realise Green movement is nothing but an apocalyptic cult

Apocalypse guaranteed forecast by Green Movement, slightly delayed (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)


In 2005, an American evangelist called Harold Camping made a startling prediction: the world was going to end on May 21st, 2011. He spread the word through the media, primarily his popular radio and television programmes, gaining followers and adherents who sold their possessions and readied themselves for the apocalypse.

Of course, when May 21st, 2011 arrived, the world failed to end. “Never fear,” he said. His math was off: the end would actually come later, in October. While he lost some supporters, a core stayed with him – until the world failed to end in October, whereupon he faded away.

Why is this relevant? Because change the names, dates, and some nouns, and you have the story of what has happened to the European Green movement.

Just five years ago, in 2019, they had a huge promise. In that year’s European Parliamentary election they gained 22 seats, making them a serious player in the parliament.

That same year the Austrian Greens entered that country’s parliament for the first time. Two years later they would join Germany’s government, wiping out nuclear power there. Youth, led by Greta Thunberg, were marching across the continent. Mainstream parties were rushing to vacuum up some of that intensity, voting through bans on gas-powered engines and supporting portions of the Green New Deal.

But five years later, that energy is sapped. Though they did well in some countries, the Greens lost around 20 seats in the recent European Parliamentary elections, erasing practically all of their gains from 2019.

On the national level, things look grim as well. The youth energy has dried up and their champions, like Thunberg, have outed themselves as simply unserious.

Why? Have people become immune to the “climate crisis”? The world is about to end!

Well, no. It is because the Green Party is the political version of Harold Camping’s apocalyptic cult. The same things which caused the party to become so popular – their predictions about the end of the world, their angry nihilism, and their demands at systemic change – all ultimately contributed to their reduction back to near-irrelevance.

Let us start with their most headline-grabbing aspect: their predictions of doom.

Now, predictions of doom do not inherently hurt organizations. Plenty of people have predicted the end. Christians around the world pray every Sunday for the return of Christ – the end of the world – and Christians are growing more numerous, not less. Predictions of wars are made by successful politicians all the time.

But Green predictions are a different sort. Ecologist Paul Ehrlich, in the 1960s, predicted mass famine-induced death was coming in the 1970s.

Scientists were hyperventilating about a 21st century ice age (back then, the fear was global cooling). New York City was supposed to be underwater by now.

Greta Thunberg warned in 2018 (in a now-deleted tweet) that humanity would end in five years(!) unless we stopped using fossil fuels. US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was more lenient in her prediction of doom, saying in 2019 that the world would end in 12 years, giving humanity until 2031.

There are dozens more false predictions. The problem for the environmentalist radicals is that, before the internet, it was easy to be wrong. If you made a prediction in a small article somewhere, or in a presentation, no one would remember it in a year or two. People would have to actively track down decade-old copies of Time Magazine to find out what you said. Harold Camping was able to use this to his advantage. He first predicted the world would end in 1994, in a now out-of-print book.

But now, a quick Google search reveals the long history of absurd predictions. Now everyone can easily see that the entire history of the environmental movement is one failed prediction after another. Thunberg deleting a tweet cannot help them.

The angrily nihilism embedded in the nature of those predictions is the second reason why the Greens are in trouble. When Christians pray for the end of the world, they are doing so believing they can be forgiven of their sins if they honestly repent.

But the Green movement is a religion without forgiveness. You can never make up for the sins of your ancestors (who were evil and selfish). If you agree to cut emissions, live in the pod, and eat the bugs, you win no medals and gain no plaudits. You always need to do more.

Pointing out the West has reduced emissions far more than China will only get you attacked. Even if emissions are reduced, the future is still, in their telling, bleak. The best we can do is make the future slightly less awful. It can never be a wonderful thing. It will always be hard and sad, and it will be so because you were selfish enough to fly Ryanair instead of taking the train.

There is something nihilistic in this. It is hard to convince people things matter if the world is going to end and you cannot hope to really improve things. All life – from your trips to your food to your clothes to your air conditioner – must revolve around the end of the world, an end you cannot really avoid.

There is a reason that apocalyptic cults get big quickly but flame out faster. It is simply depressing to be around people who are angry all the time, and want you to be angry too. 

But this is what loses them their base. What makes it hard for them to grow beyond that base, after they explode onto the scene, is what they actually do once in power.

Their demands for systemic change inconvenience everyone. Demands for taxes on meat make things harder for working people. In the Netherlands, their demands to reduce farmland – which would raise prices and destroy the livelihoods of farmers – garnered such intense pushback that it resulted in the creation of the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB), a party which is now likely to join the Netherlands’ new right-wing government coalition and may end up leading the Agricultural ministry. Talk about a self-own.

Now there is a push in the European Parliament to undo some of the biggest Green successes from the previous five years, primarily a reversal of the gas-powered engine ban, which is currently scheduled to go into effect in 2035. The ban would have allowed for expensive eFuels, a more environmentally-friendly fuel, to continue to be used, essentially meaning that the super-wealthy could continue to drive cars of their choice.

This is the other thing about Green Party proposals. The super wealthy are practically always able to avoid them. Meat taxes do not affect the rich, who can afford an expensive dish. Nor do more expensive flights. They can simply fly in their private jets.

They can avoid being attacked for their sins by paying for “carbon offsets,” donations which supposedly go toward helping the environment – the modern-day form of an indulgence.

An apocalyptic movement which depresses its adherents, pushes away potential new ones, and has carve-outs for the wealthy. Just like their religious equivalents, they will always be around in some shape or form, sometimes even briefly gaining power. But they will never be able to hold it for long. For a party so concerned about the environment, it is just not in their nature.