right-wing green


Not so long ago, environmentalism was assumed to be a leftwing cause: anti-capitalist, pro-social justice and on the side of the underdog. It is only recently that the idea that green goes better with blue than red has gained credence and in the philosopher Roger Scruton environmental conservatism has found its most eloquent, intelligent and passionate advocate. He is scathing about those on the left who “regard ‘conservatism’ as a dirty word, with no semantic connection to the ‘conservation’ they favour”. He argues that the link between the two is much more than etymological. “Conservatism and conservation are two aspects of a single long-term policy, which is that of husbanding resources and ensuring their renewal.” Scruton’s case for a green conservatism is compelling. Phrases such as “frugality is founded on the principle that all riches have limits”; “it is easier to destroy than it is to restore”; and society “is a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are to be born” could easily be inserted into speeches by ecologists. In fact, they all come from the pen of conservatism’s intellectual hero, Edmund Burke.

more from Julian Baggini at the FT here.