The Slow Death of Environmentalism

Where 25 years ago the environment was considered everyone’s domain, it has since been hijacked by the left.

Would you describe yourself as an ‘environmentalist’? I would, mainly to annoy greenies, but also because it’s true. If your definition of an environmentalist is someone who loves immersing himself in the natural world, makes a study of its ways and cares deeply about its future, I’m at least as much of one as David Attenborough.

But I can see why many fellow nature lovers might balk at the term, especially now that it has become so grievously politicised. That would explain the recent Gallup poll — it was taken in the US but I suspect it applies to Britain too — showing how dramatically this label has plunged in popularity. In 1991 the majority of Americans self-identified as environmentalists — 78 per cent of them. Now, it’s just 42 per cent: less than half.

Why has the term so fallen out of favour? Well there’s perhaps a clue in the fact that the decline has been far more precipitous among Republicans (down to 27 per cent) than among Democrats (down to 56 per cent). In other words, where 25 years ago the environment was considered everyone’s domain, it has since been hijacked by the left and turned into yet another partisan issue.

If you believe the greenies, the blame for this lies with an intransigent right so imprisoned by ideology that it stubbornly denies ‘the science’. Actually, though, I’d say it has more to do with the militant left exploiting environmentalism as a fashionable cloak for its ongoing war on liberty, free markets and small government.

Note the tactics. Like the Viet Minh or the Taleban, the environmental movement has become hugely skilled in the art of asymmetric warfare. The number of true believers is much smaller than you’d think — but they’ve managed in recent years to punch massively above their weight by infiltrating all the key positions of influence and by terrorising those who disagree with them.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

How the green lobby smears its enemies

To those of us who were children between the early 1960s and and the early nineties, Johnny Ball was always something of hero.

Johnny Ball

Johnny Ball

First he presented Play School, later he presented the maths entertainment series Think Of A Number. We liked Johnny. He was always smiling, always engaging. He was one of us. Then later, he went on to enjoy even greater credibility by being the dad of Radio 1 (now Radio 2) DJ Zoe Ball and therefore the father in law of DJ Norman Cook aka Fat Boy Slim.

So it saddens me greatly to read today how his career has been blighted as a result of smear campaigns over his climate change scepticism:

Bloggers have run campaigns stating Mr Ball ‘should not be allowed near children’.

And an imposter has even tried to cancel his booking at a training day for maths teachers in Northampton.

In a sinister twist, websites have also been set up in his name which contain pornographic images.

Mr Ball, a 72-year-old grandfather, believes his career has been destroyed and says his bookings have fallen by 90 per cent since the smear campaign began four years ago. Police are investigating his claims.

Something very similar, of course, has happened to another popular children’s TV presenter and science communicator of the same generation, botanist David Bellamy:

The sad fact is that since I said I didn’t believe human beings caused global warming I’ve not been allowed to make a TV programme.

My absence has been noticed, because wherever I go I meet people who say: “I grew up with you on the television, where are you now?”

It was in 1996 that I criticised wind farms while appearing on Blue Peter and I also had an article published in which I described global warming as poppycock.

But though this saddens me, it doesn’t at all surprise me for I’ve had a taste of this myself.

Last year, for example, a young man from the ferociously warmist British Antarctic Survey set up a website (now defunct I believe) with a hyperlink which took the visitor straight to ecopropaganda central RealClimate. (My real website remains More recently, someone has set up a fake Twitter account in the name of someone called James Dellngpole which spews the Twittersphere with the kind of lame, laboured jokes you’d expect from a committed eco-zealot. Then, of course, there’s the special tribute page created in my honour by the unfortunately-named organisation CACC (Campaign against Climate Change: hon president – G Monbiot; hon VP – Caroline Lucas MP), which issues a daily sceptic alert to direct activist trolls to posts such as this one.

Most flattering of all, I suppose, is The Carbon Brief – a spiffy new lavishly funded webpage designed to counter climate scepticism with the help of sneery little biogs of dangerous extremists such as Lord Monckton, Christopher Booker, Benny Peiser, Bjorn Lomborg and James Delingpole. Needless to say, it gives a free pass to such lovely, cuddly folk (check out the photo: scary) as Bob Ward and George Monbiot, who emerge as He-Man and Battle Cat to James Delingpole’s Skeletor. (Mind you I’ve always much preferred Skeletor, especially in the earlier episodes where he was properly scary: I think to be honest, He-Man is way too Tom of Finland and Battle Cat is a total wuss).

What’s particularly touching is the way the site shows such concern for my mental health: (H/T Barry Woods at Watts Up With That?)

Delingpole has written about the “imbecilic liberal-leftist philosophy of “multiculturalism”” in a column which described the BNP as “not nearly so dangerous as the liberal commentators who write meaningless ‘Thought For The Day’ drivel”. He has described his experience of suffering from manic depression in the Daily Mail.

All this is paid for by the lavishly funded European Climate Foundation. I’m sure the sponsors – see below – must be very proud of the work they are doing in helping promote open debate in the important field of climate science.

The Arcadia Fund

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

The ClimateWorks Foundation

The McCall MacBain Foundation

The Oak Foundation

The Sea Change Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Related posts:

  1. Green Jobs. What Green Jobs?
  2. Christine Rice: your new favourite mezzo soprano
  3. Simon Singh: is there anything he doesn’t know?
  4. What Dave and his chum Barack don’t want you to know about green jobs and green energy

5 thoughts on “How the green lobby smears its enemies”

  1. Chris P says:20th February 2011 at 6:34 pmHe’s a raving idiot with no clue about science. Keep him away from children.
  2. James W says:23rd February 2011 at 12:56 am@chrisp

    Actually, I think someone like you should be kept away from children.

  3. Fearless Frank says:23rd February 2011 at 4:44 amHey Delingpole, how about a story about the nutjob libertarian lobbies who do not have time to read scientific literature but have plenty to smear scientists.
  4. JimmyGiro says:23rd February 2011 at 2:10 pmFearless Frank (any relation to Fearless Fred ?) wrote:
    “…nutjob libertarian lobbies who do not have time to read scientific literature but have plenty to smear scientists.”

    Meets Chris P, with:
    “He’s a raving idiot with no clue about science. Keep him away from children.”

    Since you two are presumably well versed in science, and no doubt allowed near children, why is it that environmental scientists fail to convince grown ups, whilst mainly focussing on kids; which they persuade through fear and orthodoxy?

    I recall some of my science teachers being somewhat austere in their lecturing styles, but I can’t recall any lesson in physics or chemistry that ended in: “only paedophiles deny e=mc^2″, or “failing to master crystal field theory, indicates the onset of dementia.”

  5. Paul says:25th February 2011 at 11:02 pmJames, I love your blog. I urge you to read this. It’s a long read so if you’re in a hurry read the preamble on page one and then go straight to page seven. Arrrgh.

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