When the foundation of your world view is crumbling under the weight of inconvenient truths, you can do one of two things: revise your world view or descend into paranoia.
The extraordinary outburst by the recently sacked environment secretary Owen Paterson is the latter choice. His unburdening is peppered with the language of conspiracy, decrying a "powerful self-serving caucus" of environmentalists and warning of "a mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups... who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape."
Anti Capitalist Agitprop Groups
The denial of the dangers of climate change from the right-wing fringe provides a powerful conduit for the tobacco-style delaying tactics of the fossil fuel companies and those old generals like Lord Lawson still in their minds fighting communism. The smoke screens deployed obscure the incredible success story of the green economy, which is growing faster than almost any other sector and already employing more people in the UK than teaching.
This ideologically-motivated denial also chokes the tradition of right-wing environmentalism that stretches right back to Edmund Burke, the father of conservatism, who saw society as "a partnership between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are yet unborn".
I believe that Paterson, a true blue countryman, shares that love of the land and instinctive desire for conservation. But the environmental crises on today's crowded planet are global as well as local and demand a global response. That global action needs to be seen right across the political spectrum as the opportunity it is – a safe, secure, clean and profitable world – and not as a secret red plot got up in Paterson's mind by "anti-capitalist agitprop groups".
[Read Full Article: Paterson's 'green blob' tirade reveals the right's problem with climate change]