Category Archives: Environmentalists

Populism and the rise of climate scepticism

 Last year I blogged on Walter Russel Mead’s analysis that linked climate denial to a tradition of American populism. At one level it is obvious that there is an association between climate scepticism and populists (such as the lovely Jeremy Clarkson). But in this post I explore those links more deeply, inspired by Paul Taggart’s excellent book on populism. Continue reading



Filed under Climate deniers, Environmentalists, Populism, UK politics, US

Dispeptic Sceptics

Dagnabbit, there’s no pleasing you scepticy chaps is there. It’s not enough that people are becoming bored with climate change. They have to be becoming bored with climate change for the right reasons (obv. waking up to the grand conspiracy etc – see comments on Matthew’s recent post).

Are you environmentalists in disguise (as the more ardent fans of my favourite football club often chant, although they substitute ‘environmentalists’ for ‘Derby’)? Greens have been criticised – at least by Matthew and I – for wanting people to take the necessary actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the name of the climate; to forfend Armageddon.

In truth it doesn’t matter. If people are in fact beginning to wonder if the whole oil thing looks a bit iffy and so whack a solar panel on their Wimpy semi then it’s all to the good (even if we do end up paying them for the privilege). Not only do they mitigate a little bit of climate change, but they’re also instant early adopters.

In a topsy-turvy fashion, one could apparently level the same criticism at denialist folk. If people are becoming disgruntled with beardy climate wonks (strokes beard!), it has to be because they’ve seen through the AGW lie and not due to a growing sense that dealing with climate change all looks a bit too tricky and pricey, thank you (is it your zeal I can feel?)

Can’t you Bishophillbilly types arrange to dance a fandango with some of the residents of the Dark Mountain. Or just have a big old hug. You’ll all feel better. Honest.

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate deniers, Environmentalists

The limits to environmentalism 4

Welcome to the second of two posts discussing Tim Jackson’s Prosperity without Growth (PWG), which has become a Bible of the environmentalist movement in the UK over the last year. In the previous post, I questioned the way Jackson focused on an end to growth in the rich world, which would not provide anything like a solution to the problems of breaching ecological limits and, on Jackson’s own numbers, is less important than questions about exactly how much growth the poor world will be possible and how we can accelerate the decoupling of growth from carbon emissions.

For me, this is probably the major problem with the no-growth argument. But I think there are also two others. Continue reading


Filed under Decoupling, Environmentalists, Growth, Innovation

The limits to environmentalism – Part 3

A year on from our controversial review of Growth isn’t Possible by the New Economics Foundation, we’re venturing back into the fray. As it comes out in paperback, here’s our take on one the most high-profile and influential environmentalist books of the last year – Tim Jackson’s Prosperity without growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (henceforth PWG).

Very very briefly, PWG says that Continue reading


Filed under Decoupling, Environmentalists, Growth, Innovation