Stuart Waiton: Environmental extremists want to impose a permanent ‘green lockdown’

ENVIRONMENTAL extremism is the new normal in British politics. In Scotland, it has been made even worse with the Greening of the government. But will environmental austerity lead to a new type of class politics?

There has been a six-fold increase in the price of wholesale gas in the last year. Seven energy firms have gone bust. Even before this the UK was already on track to become one of the most expensive countries to power anything.

Masses of shale gas supplies have been discovered across Britain. David Cameron noted in 2013 that if we tapped into just 10 per cent of this resource, it would provide enough gas to meet our entire needs for 50 years. But, of course, this wouldn’t fit with the monomaniacal demand that we become a net zero country by 2050.

The hysteria around fracking has prevented an entire new cheap energy supply, destroyed the possibility of many jobs in unemployment blackspots like Teesside and ensured that the price of heating our homes will escalate.

In the space of 20 years, fracking in the United States has transformed its energy production and made it the world’s largest gas producer, with gas a quarter of the price of our own, helping to boost their industrial sector.

Meanwhile, as the UK’s use of nuclear power declines, and the environmentally correct suspicion of this cleanest of energy sources continues, there appears to be few political possibilities beyond the austerity economics of the Greens.

When politicians were seen taking the knee to a 16-year-old girl shouting that the end of the world is nigh, we should have taken note. Instead, we find police forces taking the knee and facilitating the disruption of people’s lives in and around London. I can’t wait to see what form this virtue signalling takes at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow now that the green light has been given to extremists to do pretty well what they like.

Green lights, of course, may soon be a thing of the past in our streets, if the Element Energy report written for the Scottish Government is taken seriously – a report that suggests that within ten years most of us won’t (or at least shouldn’t) be using cars. “Walking must become the preferred mode of transport for short journeys,” the report commands. Perhaps they can provide backpacks to pensioners for carrying their week’s shopping – at least the exercise might keep them warm.

The madness of environmental extremism looks set to continue, not least of all because there appears to be no political alternative on offer to the competitive virtue signalling of carbon neutrality.

From the Conservatives to self-proclaimed Marxists, we find an anti-growth model that demoralises society and creates a sense of panic amongst the young. There appears to be little or no common sense or practical planning involved. No sense of human possibilities to resolve these problems with more science and more industrial innovations rather than less, always less.

Indeed, some of the Insulate Britain protesters argue that flying should be banned and that we create a society, “similar to a Covid lockdown scenario”.

I once asked an environmental extremist if he would support a new mega-machine that was fitted to all the major mountains of the world and could suck the CO2 out of the atmosphere. He went red with anger and walked away.

His anger, I suspect, is because he and many like him are less interested in solving humanity’s problems than puritanically trying to limit the “scourge of mankind”.

Like the limits placed on nuclear power, these moralists are driven not by a love of the planet but by an often-middle class disdain for the masses, of mass flying, driving, consuming, in fact just existing.

Environmental extremism does not and cannot represent the interests of the people because it is anti-people. The solution must come from both an industrial and political revolution.

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The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992