Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Politicians are now engaged in an eco-auction, a green arms race. At the same time, the Channel 4 documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle, will have convinced many that the whole thing is, indeed, a swindle and, for politicians, an excuse to exert power and raise taxes. Great Guido, meanwhile, is evidently bewitched by Sian Berry, the Green Party spokesman, but recovers his composure sufficiently to insist that the whole extreme green agenda is 'anti-capitalist, anti-human'. Guido is right to detect malign forces at work within greenery. In my own article on 4X4s, I made the point that class hatred and sexism were, at least in part, driving the campaigners. And, I would add, sheer priggishness, from which, I am afraid, the lovely Sian suffers. The substantial issue, however, is whether we are making the planet uninhabitable for humans. In spite of my own scepticism of many of the claims of contemporary science, I think we are for one reason. James Lovelock is a friend of mine. Jim is a scientist and, temperamentally, a poet. He is dazzlingly brilliant and, if any eco-sceptic were to spend half an hour with him, they would be, like me, persuaded. But two further points need to be made. It is neither anti-human nor anti-capitalist to point out, irrespective of the science of global warming, that we are wrecking the planet. There are too many people with too much power to destroy. Secondly, real conservatives should and often do embrace environmentalism but I cannot understand why right-wing libertarians and neocons do not do the same. Drastically cutting our dependence on Middle Eastern oil would be a colossal strategic gain, achieving more than the US military can ever hope to do. Defending the burning of oil as some kind of freedom - as libertarians and neocons often do - is simply stupid since it does no more than lock us in a Saudi cell, a comfortable one but a cell nonetheless.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:21 am