In an interesting artcice in the BBC expert pollster John Zogby describes the new trends in American culture. Read the full article here. He highlights how the new generation is redefining the American Dream which includes the following key elements: the most important feature is the growth of Secular Spiritualists and the rejection of materialism. This is due to 4 factors: weaker economy disheartens the poor from economic goals, the rich are unahppy with their excess, longer life spans lead to more philantropic attitudes and finally the spirit of sacrifice to give to others. Among the characteristics of spiritual secularists are thier global expectations and international longings and sense of responsability.
These may explain the interest and power of environmental concerns in modern culture. (These are my remarks). For a secular spiritualist, nature can serve as a pseudo-spiritual outlet, explaining the neo-pagan revival and relationship with nature. The Pope spoke about this. Also, environmental concerns are a tangible expression of global awareness and solidarity, as well as a channel for the spirit of sacrifice to express itself. Finally, the simplicity and discomfort of nature can be an outlet for the rejection of materialism. Sounds like there is plenty of work for Creatio ahead.