Green ain’t what it used to be. Once upon a time, all you had to do as a politician was strap yourself into a sandwichboard and proclaim that the End is Nigh, and your minions would deliver you a standing ovation and the press would celebrate you as a planet-saving super hero.
But times are hard for today’s establishment environmentalists. And it’s must be even harder for the zealous green hacks who were swept up in the moment.
The Guardian’s Damian Carrington is an interesting phenomenon. I’ve yet to see him pen anything which isn’t — to use the technical term — bullshit. He, like many other environmental hacks, claim to be on the side of science and reason. But when science and reason contradict him, he’ll ignore it. He’ll take an outlier statistic on Arctic Ice, for instance, and claim that it is a harbinger of doom, no matter what other statistics tell him. And when whining that fossil fuel companies get more subsidies than renewable energy companies, he’ll conveniently recast lower VAT rates as ‘subsidy’, and forget to work out what the subsidies are, in equivalent terms. Waaah! Waaah! Waah! It’s not FAAAAAAAAIRRRRR! seems to be the thrust of Carrington’s inner narrative, which leaks out onto the pages of the Guardian.
And so it is today with his whinge that the Prime Minister isn’t bowing and scraping to the environmental diktats issued in the Guardian.
It is an extraordinary betrayal and abject failure of leadership. Cameron pledged to lead the “greenest government ever” and was elected with photogenic huskies and a “vote blue, go green slogan”. But after two years in No 10, he has given no speech dedicated to the issue at the heart of his Tory decontamination strategy.
In fact, David Cameron was not elected. And neither were his party. He had to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. That’s not the same as being ‘elected’.
Carrington seems to believe that the PM is failing to deliver his promise to embrace the climate issue. But what Carrington doesn’t seem to realise is that the promise wasn’t sufficient to win the election for Cameron. Nor did it do much for the campaign of the junior party in the coalition.
And it’s not as if the government has abandoned its climate and energy policies. The coalition created an extraordinary system of benefits to renewable forms of energy, including the absurdly high tariffs for solar PV. And its renewable energy programme continues, untroubled by criticism.