Ed Driscoll

"Suddenly Being Green Is Not Cool Any More"

In England’s Times Online, Alice Thomson writes:

Julie Burchill can’t stand them. According to her new book, Not in my Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy, she thinks all environmentalists are po-faced, unsexy, public school alumni who drivel on about the end of the world because they don’t want the working classes to have any fun, go on foreign holidays or buy cheap clothes.

Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, agrees. In an interview with Rachel Sylvester and me, he told us that the “nutbag ecologists” are the overindulged rich who have nothing better to do with their lives than talk about hot air and beans.

So the salad days are over; it’s the end of the greens. Where only a year ago the smart new eco-warriors were revered, wormeries and unbleached cashmere jeans are now seen as a middle-class indulgence.

But the problem for the green lobby isn’t that it has been overrun by “toffs”: it’s the chilly economic climate that has frozen the shoots of environmentalism. Espousing the green life, with its misshapen vegetables and non-disposable nappies, is increasingly being seen as a luxury by everyone.

In addition to the deliberate misery that green policies cause (seen most obviously every time you fill up your car), the seeds of its destruction are sewn by the same people who espouse its beliefs. Environmentalism is a substitute religion, but a religion nonetheless, and the left, historically, works to undermine religious faith, quickly pointing out any sign of hypocrisy. Al Gore will tell an audience…

“This is not a political issue,” Gore told a crowd of approximately 2,500 paying attendees. “It is a moral issue. It is an ethical issue. It is a spiritual issue.”

…Before floating away on the Goretanic. If that was Jerry Falwell using similar rhetoric but living such a lavish lifestyle, the hoots of derision from the chattering classes would be palpable.

Or, look at this way: everybody admires Mother Teresa’s sacrifices, because nobody wants to actually live that way himself.

Update: Related thoughts from Robert Bidinotto.