Green Sin Week – your personal guide to penance

Mocking Lent, Good Friday, and Easter observed by millions, the eco website “Grist” this week showed the link between all things green and religion, by making a “virtual confession booth” for those who have sinned against Gaia.

Apparently, there’s been lots of green sinning going on during the last week of Lent, leading up to Easter. Why, I’m sinning just using electricity for my PC to write this.

First NBC-Universal Networks and NBC News aligned themselves with Gaia by turning “bug” logos green this week on all of their channels, in deference to the green goddess Gaia. Even the famous color peacock logo got the treatment. Of course they’ve been doing that for a few years so that isn’t much news.

What is news however, is that one anchor was moved (perhaps by Grist) to actually confess “green sins” live on the air. Watch the video below and see what happened when I entered my own sins against Gaia.

Click to watch video

I’d like confess my sins. I drive a Chevy Tahoe…I often turn the water on in the shower, then I walk downstairs…I throw those bottles away without recycling…Those are my eco-sins. I’m confessing them to you because tomorrow is Earth Day

Given that I’ve been feeling less than holy myself this week, I decided to confess what many consider to be my biggest sin, writing about climate change and its associated failures. This is what I got after entering my “sin”:

Hmm, I’ve been called a lot of things, but never a “voracious parasite”. Funny thing is, we already have reusable grocery bags, animal friendly shampoo, and some weird twisty bulbs in our household. I even went the extra mile and put in LED fixtures.

I decided maybe my sin of running WUWT was just too complex for the sinning model they programmed into their database. After all, most of the images, charts, and graphs we post transcend religion and venture into the nether world of fact.

So I decided to ask myself: what is my most basic sin? If I were to equate to myself and Gaia of what was described as “original sin” of Adam and Eve, captured by Michelangelo below, what would it be?

File:Michelangelo Buonarroti 022.jpg

Michelangelo's painting of the sin of Adam and Eve (the Fall of Man) from the Sistene Chapel

In terms of Gaia and its inquisitors enforcers protectors, what would constitute “original sin”? It was a tough question. I pondered it awhile. I made some tea using some fossil fuel powered electricity and contemplated my sins of consumption perpetrated globally by the Lipton company and Pacific Gas and Electric. Then it hit me, like a bolt out of the green!

I had it, the basic most pure truth when it comes to sin against Gaia. I entered it into the GSS (the “Grist Sin System”) and here is what it told me:

Quite a screed for the original sin of “I exist”, at least self flagellation wasn’t needed.

If you wish to have a look at the GSS, you can try it yourself here. Many of the sins entered seem to be mocking Gaia though. Here’s a few that I noted:

04.24.2011 – I love horsepower more than I love the environment.

04.24.2011 – I wasted 30 seconds of my time looking at this website. Useless, but indicative of your entire stand on this issue.

04.24.2011 – I justify eating watermelon all year long by telling myself it’s always in season somewhere in the world.

04.24.2011 – I secretly like to hear reports that global warming isn’t real because it increases my sense of reality.

04.24.2011 – I know global warming is fake, but refuse to tell anyone because it upsets them so. Try it yourself. See what happens.

04.24.2011 – At the beach, I pee in the ocean like its my job.

04.24.2011 – I don’t buy organic because that shit’s expensive.

I urge readers to confess, and to also post confessions here at WUWT.

In related news, my local newspaper, the Chico Enterprise Record, seems to be “fed up” with all things green that are encapsulated as commandments mandates from the summit. They published this editorial during Earth week, a few excerpts of which I’ve posted below:

Our view: People will do what’s good for the Earth without the heavy hand of government regulation.

We’re doing what’s good for the Earth, because it’s also good for us. When good Earth-friendly products are available, Americans will embrace them.

But that’s not enough, apparently. In less than three years, you won’t have any alternative to the CFL, except for LED lights and whatever new-fangled thing comes down the pike by then. Because by January 2014, a federal ban on the incandescents will be complete. The ban started phasing in on Jan. 1 in California, which always likes to be first, followed by other states next January.

That’s the other thing that has changed since the first Earth Day. No one can deny we as a nation are more aware and more responsible. The simple fact that everyone recycles, which was a downright bizarre practice in 1970, may be the best indication of how far we’ve come.

But we’ve also seen the growth of a faction intoxicated by environmentalism. And when they reach the halls of power, they push their causes with arrogance, justifying it as the defense of Mother Earth. They know more than us, and don’t give us any credit.

So we end up with laws that tell us what to do —even as in the case of the CFLs, gas-efficient vehicles and recycling mandates —when it really isn’t necessary. We’re smart enough to do what’s good for us.

Perhaps we need a website for Greens to confess sins against humanity.

Oh, and when you click on the Grist “Still feeling Guilty?” link, you discover there’s a “Deep Throat follow the money moment” and you are urged to buy indulgences:

Was it ever about anything else?

h/t to for posting in Tips and Notes


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Good stuff

Millions believe in CAGW and we mock that all the time. Why should any other religion be sacrosanct?


My sin to Gaia:
Today I took my girlfriend out to eat. Afterwards when we walked back to the car we made out for about 5 minutes WITH THE ENGINE IDLING.
OMG I’m so NOT sorry!

Bob Newhart

I’d like to see Al Gore confess his sins. Then, followed by a list of others let’s cleanse the globe. If they don’t confess, let’s burn them at the stake. /sarc


Our greatest sin is that most of us used to be Warmists. If only we resisted sooner. 🙁
Today, my lunch was cooked using coal. No joke. My local environment just loves all that extra co2 and is still lush and tropical green.


Man, I love air miles!
BTW, Branson would have to spend months in the confessional, even then he’d be given no penance just eternal damnation for mega hypocrisy.


Ralph says:
April 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm
My sin to Gaia:
Today I took my girlfriend out to eat. Afterwards when we walked back to the car we made out for about 5 minutes WITH THE ENGINE IDLING.
Being able to admit that it took only five minutes is probably another reason to add to Willis’ list of reasons for anonymity !!!!
Now these are some serious sinners Ralph (I was just joking around BTW). This link was posted on another thread (two even, maybe), but might be even more appropriate for this thread, if you haven’t already seen it:


I make components for heavy excavators.
(Oh my gosh! I’m goin’ straight? to eco-hell. I just know it!)


So does that make today Gristmas?

A dear friend of mine, being a Texan and all (like me), took pity on me – I live in xxx-Forsaken California, where decent barbecue is non-existent. My friend paid for some honest-to-goodness Texas Barbecue, cooked over wood charcoal (smoky as it can be) in a VERY slow manner (8 to 12 hours is the norm), from an authentic Texas BBQ house of stellar reputation. Then, she paid for the perfectly-cooked meats (and various sauces, too!) to be quick-frozen (I’m pretty sure that used a LOT of electricity, some of it generated by coal and natural gas). After freezing, it was packed into an ice chest made of styrofoam, and insulated with styrofoam “peanuts,” all of which were made from petroleum via a petrochemical plant. Then, the entire assemblage was shipped by air freight to my front door, arriving within 24 hours of being taken sizzling off the grill near Austin, Texas. I’m pretty sure the package was delivered by truck at some point, very likely powered by diesel fuel, also a product of a petroleum refinery.
I then partook of this heavenly, delicious repast in the company of good friends, having first thawed the various meats and brought them up to proper temperature on my own charcoal-fired BBQ pit.
So, after having written all this, am I the least bit contrite, sorry, or otherwise bothered by having a wonderful friend in Texas who looks after me here in xxx-Forsaken California?
Not at all. In fact, our university alumni association does exactly the same thing every August, as a fundraiser event. We import (by air freight from Texas) a couple of hundred pounds of the BBQ with sides and sauces and condiments, including a few large tubs of frozen Blue Bell ice cream – only the Homemade Vanilla flavor, of course!
So, sorry, AGW warmistas and Gaia lovers, ain’t no contrition here. No need for confession, either. Y’all can eat all the tofu-burgers you like, and chase it with arugula salad flavored with raspberry vineagrette with some sort of herbal infusion. All grown organically and locally, of course.
I’m having another plate of BBQ. Dang, that stuff is good….

And to Barb, if you’re reading WUWT, thanks again, hon. The BBQ was Excellent, as always. But, you knew that!

Brad R

My first sin was too long for the text input box, so this is what I finally submitted:
“I exhale the noxious pollutant CO2, and I have not yet slit my own throat to remove this vile burden from dear, sweet, Mother Gaia.”
I got the prayer to St. Nino.

If their website is typical, each click requires enough server activity to burn a 100-watt bulb for one hour. Whole lotta sinning right there in the confessional!

Bennett Dawson

Thanks for he great Sunday evening read. I worked for the News and Review back in the mid-eighties. It was, and I don’t doubt it remains, a high class paper. Living in the foothills above Chico was an excellent phase of my life. Memories of Sierra Nevada on tap (in a reggae-ish taco joint) on a day when it’s 110 degrees outside are as clear as day, and cherished.
You grew up in a wonderful place where minds like yours can flourish.


“Was it ever about anything else?”
Well said.

Rob Dawg

Before the crock grows you will deny CAGW three times. CO2 has risen!

Thanx for posting that great Iowahawk link. Made my day!
Happy Earth Week!


You could start using Macs. That would turn you into a liberal, city-dwelling vegetarian who thinks that all people are like him. Obviously all necessary steps to bring down CO2 emissions, especially the last one (useful when introducing the rationing).
Think different:

Dear Gaia, my mother.
I confess unto thee my sins most grievous. Verily I declare that I leave my vehicle’s engine running in the summer so that I may use the air conditioner. Yea I realize that my sin is the moral equivalent of the perpetual motion machine. My sin is so heinous because my engine is causing global warming which causes me to use that invention as evil as Belial himself to make the air more comfortable which causes even more global warming and the cycle repeats. Verily I also declare that I enjoy watching events on Satan’s box while leaving my lights on to protect my precious eyes. For that I am sorry. Please forgive me.
I confess my evil sin in the name of the Mother Earth, the name of many Sons who show us our evil ways, and the Holy Ghost who accept my many required tithes. I thank thee for giving me a clean conscience.
So there you have it. What more proof do you need? You have sin, which to them is having the audacity to live a better life. You have prophets, who are the people who tell us about our evil ways and how we must repent now. You have Messiahs, who are the people and institutions who take our simony (the most appropriate word) and cleanse us from sin. You have God, except the title is Mother Earth and the name is Gaia. You have heretics, which are us because we dare question the prophets and refuse to pay our simony to the Messiahs. You have a Devil, which are evil corporations who are demonize by the prophets and Messiah; this includes Big Oil. You have faith, which requires you to believe the prophets. Now you have redemption, thanks to this confessional. The only element really missing from this religion is the afterlife or eternal salvation.


Anthony, I too have peed into the ocean! Theoretically my pee warms the ocean, a little. But the ocean is so vast that my contribution has no effect on its overall temperature or the global sea-level. I often use this analogy to help my AGW friends understand the effect of humanly released CO2 on the global climate.
I do not, however, regard peeing in the ocean as a sin! Same for release of CO2 into the atmosphere, which I do regularly. On the other hand, peeing into a swimming pool is a form of local pollution, and definitely a sin!

Well, I’d like to say that I paid my respects to Earth Day by going to the drag races. Nothing like 3,000+ horsepower to inspire reverence.

There’s quote a few funny satirical confessions at that site. I posted a few here:
My favorite:

I lit a polar bear on fire


I ate Mexican food for lunch, and I really am sorry. Hmm my dog just left the room …. I wonder why?


Jimbo says:
April 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm
Our greatest sin is that most of us used to be Warmists. If only we resisted sooner. 🙁
Today, my lunch was cooked using coal. No joke. My local environment just loves all that extra co2 and is still lush and tropical green.

By the way Anthony, a few quote that you noted as satirical are actually generated by the site itself. If you click on the “generate sin” button, you get a few different options. Four of those you quoted are actually suggestions from the site itself. I went through and copied all of them, here they are:

I use plastic grocery bags because paper sucks and bringing my own cloth bags sucks even worse.

I secretly like to hear reports that global warming isn’t real because it decreases my guilt level.

I don’t buy recycled paper because it seems dirty.

I justify eating watermelon all year long by telling myself it’s always in season somewhere in the world.

I don’t have a compost pile because it grosses me out.

I fill my recycle garbage can full of trash and then put a layer of cardboard on the top to hide it.

I think littering is ok as long as it’s something small.

I love horsepower more than I love the environment.

I drink bottled water because it makes me feel fancy.

I don’t buy organic because that shit’s expensive.

I pretend to not know what a carbon footprint is.

I refuse to read that new book or watch that new documentary about how jacked up our food supply is because I don’t want to know.

I dress my passenger seat in a jacket and hat and then use the carpool lane.

I want to clip bike commuters who slow down traffic with my side mirrors.

If they tried to make themselves look more foolish, I don’t think they could.

I confessed my sin wherein I beat baby seals to death with the bumper of a 1966 GTO.
You can also have fun by signing up with fake email addresses, like


I love telling people it’s impossible to waste water, and then listening to their irrational response. I then explain the hydrological cycle, ask them ‘does a river waste water’, and finally explain that we don’t run low on water because we take long showers but because it doesn’t rain for a while. They either get it or they don’t.

I noticed that the semi-illiterate writers of prayers wrote I “knowest that thou are pissed” instead of “I know that thou art pissed”.

My sin: I went shopping for a polar bear rug. Mea culpa, mea culpa,
mea maxima culpa.

Howling Winds

I guess that makes you the Devil in the greenies holy scripture? You are my favorite devil!

Howling Winds

When I was a kid in South Carolina, say 12 years old, I discovered that if I put fire ants from one mound into a different mound, they would fight to the death. I would even bring in battalions from other mounds. Sometimes I would set the ants upon termites. I’m glad I got that off of my chest.

R. Shearer

I used toilet paper, then I flushed it.


To celebrate Earth Day, I drove my turbocharged Cadillac more than 750 miles enjoying the beauty of Northern Michigan and the budding greenery of Ohio in early spring. (Unfortunately, its still winter in Michigan.) The only sin was the $150 worth of gas it took because Obama won’t allow drilling for oil and EPA won’t allow the construction of new refineries.


My biggest sin: I confess that I believe that Gaia is nothing but a creepy pagan god. I personally believe in the real thing.
A lesser sin, I guess is that I don’t recycle anything but aluminum and paper/cardboard. It is simply STUPID from an environmental/ecological/gaia/economic/whatever/standpoint to recycle anything else; because YOU AND I are just subsidizing the subsidized (with my taxes) greenf–ks who are processing the other wastes. Landfills make much more sense, since we at least get methane from them, with which we can generate electricity!

Michael in Sydney

My sin is most grevious and probably the most troubling to your converts because it means I am demonstrably insane and beyond redemption; I worship your creator rather than you, the creation.
However do I receive an indulgence as I did not have children which apparently is the MOST grevious sin?


Those spirochete light bulbs have got to go.


Well, instead of confessing stuff, I would rather take the opportunity to PRAY that
God grants the majority of voting folks the wisdom to wake up and understand simply that the necessities of life includes ENERGY, in addition to food, clothing, and shelter. There are forces among us (maybe even the pagan Gaia??) who would try to diminish this important resource for some esoteric demon-driven reason. CAGW is a demonic construct, IMHO.


I find that site pretty disgusting actually. It seems to be presented in a humorous way but there are plenty of delusional people who are very serious about its message. Easy to laugh at it but it really isn’t much of a joke.

chris y

I fed clubbed baby seals to fatten up several polar bears before slaughtering them to make several tea cozies and a throw rug.


I ate a range-fed steak I cooked on the propane grill. Darn 5 gallons lasts for years at the rate I barbecue. Alas, the CO2 got away, and I am to blame.
I tried to bust down the tires on my Honda, but ran out of oomph, so I am going to commit another GAIA sin by visiting the garage this week.
And, grievous of all, we drove up to the lake to see it 93% full of GAIAs AGW water and gobs of snow smeared all over the Trinity Alps. There, we snapped pictures of the splendor using batteries charged off the power generated by evil ungreen hydro.
I’ll never catch up.

Andy G

Isn’t it so often the way with religions, that those most in sin ask the rest to repent.
If they truly believe in Gaia, they should not be trying to sufficate the world’s plant.
Plants need CO2 to breath and live, but have been on starvation rations for a millenium.

Jim Clarke

I once wore a t-shirt that said “Nuke the baby seals for Jesus!” I was protesting protesters. Gaia herself told me the shirt was pretty funny, but that was after a few beers. I wonder what the Grist people are drinking?
Thanks for the great column, Anthony. Gaia and I are glad you exist!

Don Horne

I don’t need NO stinkin’ penitence !~! ..eleventy.. !~!~!


I carry planet-saver grocery bags in my car, but only remember to take them in the store 4 times out of 10.
I stop to think how unusual it is that this new trend of large, transparent plastic containers for spinach, lettuce and other salads has appeared in N. California fairly recently …
….. and then buy them anyway.


Deadman says:
April 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm
I noticed that the semi-illiterate writers of prayers wrote I “knowest that thou are pissed” instead of “I know that thou art pissed”.
In general defense of writers everywhere, watch where you are pissing!
Is a semi-literate prayer worth less than a literate prayer??

Lew Skannen

When I took my flame thrower to the local park for a test run I drove out there in my SUV.
I could have used my Prius.
It was thoughtless of me…

My confession:
I made a reservation to attend
Let’s see you guys equal that! 🙂


Tomorrow, I will drive 10 miles, by myself, to my favorite Mexican restaurant. After returning home, I produce much gas and release to the atmosphere.

CRS, Dr.P.H.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…..I farted in church, releasing a dreaded greenhouse gas with a greenhouse-gas equivalent of 21 CO2e!!
[100-Year Time Horizon]

Cecil Coupe

I wonder if this an attempt by Grist is get a shout out from Sean Hannity in an attempt to improve Grist’s relevance. Some Catholics don’t like it when less faithful make up new saints for humor. That’s Hannity bait for sure. Grist should have a Saint Mohammed’s Radio cartoon card if they want to explore unintended consequences.