We must stop Eco-Socialists from ruining Britain
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BY CONNOR TOMLINSON
Environmentalism has a conservative lineage. From Biblical stewardship, through Edmund Burke, to Russel Kirk, and Sir Roger Scruton. However, the impractical idiocy of the radical left has been granted a monopoly over environmental issues thanks to the neglectful non-engagement of advocates of liberty, prosperity and free-market enterprise.
In the UK, Labour’s new cabinet includes Ed Miliband, who has been tasked with building a ‘zero-carbon army of young people’ to push party policy. If Corbyn’s policies are any indicator of Starmer’s, Labour are disconnected from the realities of technological limitation. Their approach would increase plastic waste and pollution, and make Britain an unprofitable petrostate as it transitions solely to renewables. Doomsday cultists belonging to Extinction Rebellion have obstructed ambulances, defaced property and heralded Coronavirus as a retributory plague for mankind’s sins against nature.
It is deeply concerning that Britain’s most vocal activists are led by those who believe counterfactual ‘alarmist language works’; who admit freely that their activism ‘isn’t about the climate’, but about dismantling ‘patriarchy’, ‘white supremacy’, ‘heteronormativity’, and the ‘600 years of colonialism’ by ‘European civilisation’; and who argue that social transformation necessitates that ‘some may die in the process’. Meanwhile, across the pond, Joe Biden’s gaff-addled presidential campaign appointed Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortex as co-chair of the Democrats’ climate change initiative. Cortez’s infamous Green New Deal proposal included stopping beef production, banning air travel and providing universal healthcare coverage and guaranteed income for those ‘unable or unwilling to work’.
Allowing humanity’s ecological future to succumb to transformative socialism is not an acceptable casualty of the culture war. Radicals will utilise environmental reform as a trojan horse to curb civil liberties and expand the welfare state. Conservatives have an obligation to retake ground seeded to revolutionaries and refute their revolutionary ambitions by implementing sensible, effective solutions to environmental issues. The United Kingdom must be a bastion of free-market environmental conservation, both for the benefit of British citizens, and in order to serve as a comparable standard by which the failings of other nations will be judged.
Britain is in a prime position to have environmental reform accompany renegotiated trade agreements with other countries around the world. Unshackled from EU common agriculture and fishing policies, produce can be farmed more sustainably and distributed with less waste. As nations worldwide re-evaluate relations with China following COVID-19, Britain can stipulate environmental reform for leading offending nations, who are poised to become Asia’s newest superpowers as they repatriate manufacturing. After investment and innovation in renewable technologies, nuclear power and CHP plants, Britain is primed to profit from exporting its energy manufacturing technology around the world. Climate policy consciousness is increasing among today’s conservative movement. Tories for Climate Action are raising awareness for environmental issues among young conservatives on university campuses.
The British Conservation Alliance has been at the forefront of providing pragmatic policy proposals for Britain’s contemporary environmental issues. Green Market Revolution, a new, free book co-published by the British Conservation Alliance and the Austrian Economics Center, compiles essays from over fifteen pro-market organisations around the world, to provide an alternative vision of innovation and localism, rarely articulated in the environmental debate. Among the book’s endorsements are former MEPs Daniel Hannan and Syed Kamal, Forbes CEO Steve Forbes, former deputy prime minister of Poland, Leszek Balcerowicz, and Viscount Matt Ridley.
Gone are the days where conservatives merely build institutions and hope to slow their gradual degradation. More impassioned advocates for freedom and family are arguing for non-coercive, non-violent innovation to preserve the planet we all live on and love.
Connor Tomlinson is a policy research at the British Conservation Alliance. Follow him on twitter: @Mass_Effected