"Dark green religion is like a phantom. It is unnamed and has no institutions officially devoted to its promotion; no single sacred text that its devotees can plant in hotel rooms in hopes of reaping a future harvest of souls; no identified religious hierarchy or charismatic figure responsible for spreading the faith, ministering to the faithful, or practicing its rituals.

"Yet with alertness and the right lenses, the apparition appears.

"It can be found in the minds and hearts of individuals who invent and are drawn to organizations that express its central convictions and moral commitments. It has charismatic figures and bureaucratic hierarchies devoted to its globalization. It is reinforced and spread through artistic forms that often resemble, and are sometimes explicitly designed, as religious rituals. It seeks to destroy forms of religiosity incompatible with its own moral and spiritual perceptions. It is considered dangerous by some, while others see it as offering salvation.

"Dark green religion — religion that considers nature to be sacred, imbued with intrinsic value, and worthy of reverent care — has been spreading rapidly around the world. I label such religion 'dark' not only to emphasize the depth of its consideration for nature (a deep shade of green concern) but also to suggest that such religion may have a shadow side — it might mislead and deceive; it could even precipitate or exacerbate violence.

"Whether beneficent, dangerous, or both, such religion is becoming increasingly important in global environmental politics. It motivates a wide array of individuals and movements that are engaged in some of the most trenchant environment-related struggles of our time. It increasingly shapes the worldviews and practices of grassroots social activists and the world's intelligentsia. It is already important in global environmental politics. It may even inspire the emergence of a global, civic, earth religion."