I notice that the Daily Mail’s science editor, Michael Hanlon, has now turned and accepts man-made climate change
, leading to dismay from his readers and a certain smugness from Left Foot Forward.
But why must a conservative oppose the idea of man-made climate change? I’m Right-wing and I believe in it, and so do many others of my tribe.
I should add the caveat here that I know almost nothing about climatology, and on this subject I’m not going to argue with someone like James Delingpole, who knows a lot. But James is clearly in a minority of people knowledgeable of this subject, and the majority of scientists take the view that mankind has made a significant impact on climate. So why should I side against them? Because the likes of Al Gore are wrong about everything else? That doesn’t sound very, er, scientific.
There’s no reason why conservatives should be opposed to a particular scientific belief, and there’s absolutely every reason why conservatives should be in favour of protecting the environment. As Roger Scruton wrote, caring for environment appeals to our “love of country, of territory and love of that territory as home”. Conservatives are opposed to radical, upsetting change, and there can’t be one more radical or upsetting than a change in the earth’s climate.
So why do so few conservatives go along with a theory overwhelmingly backed by scientists? Largely because of the way that believers give off a religious air, treating sceptics like heretics who are morally corrupt or in the pay of big oil, the secular equivalent of Satan.
This pseudo-religious mania manifests itself in other forms, and not just in the way that the worst case scenario put out by the Independent looks like the bits cut out of the Book of Revelation for being too crazy. The green movement mimics Christianity right down to Caroline Lucas’s call to have “meat-free Monday” in Parliament – a straight rip-off from the old religion.
Most sinister is the way that many climate change campaigners openly see the “emergency” as an excuse to promote authoritarian socialism. As well as the proposed carbon rations, there is the ludicrous idea that the West should compensate third world countries for climate change to feed their starving populations. This rather ignores the fact that such countries have only grown in population because of western medicine and farming technology.
Despite the Right-wing blogosphere being dominated by sceptics like James Delingpole, there are many conservatives who are prepared to follow the scientific near-consensus. But like I said, I don’t claim to hold a strong opinion, and he knows a lot more than me on this subject. I just hope James is right, and this is part of the natural cycle. If he is, I’ll buy him a pint in 2040; if he’s wrong he can buy me a bucket of water, which presumably in the hellish Lovelockian inferno of tomorrow will be worth more than gold.