My, isn’t life so complicated? I mean some dumb ass revisionist right winger (James Delingpole) writes a book (Reference irrelevant!) to mock the Green movement in general and the contingent campaigning against Anthropogenised Climate Change in particular. Surely a review of this will make me smile in a knowing, team-building sort of a way. The crucial critique is so clear that we should be as one in our thrust but, no, as the reviewer turns out to be Mark Lynas. (“Beware the Green Goblin” on pages 40-41, New Statesman, 13/2/2012)
Mark seems so tied to the outcomes of the capitalist, consumer society that he can but question its application and not its existence. Trouble is you must read most of his review to obtain this stance as the first eighty percent is what should be called “non-evidence based sniping”. He chives, he scolds in derogatory manner and whines as he does it. My God, man, this is an open goal.
But no, Lynas himself shoots wide at this point. Uncomfortable with Agenda 21 and, it seems, the concept of sustainability, Mark then goes on to inform us:
1. It is true that there’s a lot wrong with environmentalism.
2. Most greens do reject “perfectly eco-friendly technologies such as nuclear power or GM crops”. [My quotation marks!]
3. ..and their Luddite “prejudices” are as “unscientific” as Delingpole’s thinking.
4. .. “a minority are fools who indulge in back-to-the-land romanticism”.
5. ..and have an obsession with scythes and other obsolete technologies. (Sorry Simon Fairlie – I’m just quotin’ him!)
6. They have “a hatred of the very industrially derived comfort that feeds them”
7. .. “and affords them the cyberspace in which to spout their nonsense”.
8. These, he says, ARE “watermelons”. (Ho, hum: “Green on the outside, red on the inside”.)
9. …capitalism and democracy need defending from the more deluded greens.
10. ..the environmental movement is too much a creature of the political left.
11. And finally: “Delingpole is not the man to make this [ie Lynas’] case because it would involve some original research”.
So you see this is in fact a pitch from a reactionary one time Green environmentalist to scribe a right wing critique of the positions adopted by those proposing radical, sustainable, green reform. Lynas would rather he himself wrote this rather than Delingpole.
Look, Mark, you probably do not know one end of a seed potato from the other, haven’t a clue how to choose and plant trees for woodland, wouldn’t recognise a mass extinction if it hit you in the teeth and I’m sure you think water comes out of taps. I guess you’d invest your money in a roof-top solar panel (well, it pays a nice subsidy, doesn’t it?) and think it’s OK to eat American GM wheats with your UK reared Brazilian GM soya fed beef. Look,this is a deep, deep crisis of commercial capitalism we are being drowned in at present. It’s on its last legs and you’re supporting it?
The only analogy I can find is the battered wife. “Oh hit me again, darling, if you have to, but please spare the children.”
Where is your reality? Do you seriously think this model will work with just a few tweaks here and there? Have you spoken to Merkel? Or an average Greek – one of their 99.9%? Been to the Heart of African jungle? Heard the chain saws? Looked down the average oil well? Seen what’s there? Been to “Glow in the Dark” Cumbria “Sponsored by Sellafield”?
I think, no I know we can build a safe, harmonious, sustainable Global civilisation but it will not be by band-aiding the current framework. Yeah, it’s what we’ve got and it’ll not disappear overnight. The Occupy communities do not yet project a clear image of their outcomes but they can point at what is wrong whilst shaping goals. It’s not romantic foolishness but pragmatic realism. I envisage gradual transition, just as the groups seeding similar ideas in communities right now on a Global basis.
You ever see the film “Fanshen” about the Maoists? A formative piece to me, it depicts the diligent communist seeds visiting village after village and engaging peasants in long conversations. Never once did they preach. Instead they talked and every time the villagers came up with the same proposals. These were the foundations of the Chinese progression, ultimately to their present prosperity but then to the Communist Revolution. Built on the needs and drives of the peasants.
Let me tell you, Mark, this profoundly scientific Watermelon is proud to be red on the inside under my deepest green skin.