When Boris Johnson first stood outside Downing Street as Prime Minister he championed optimism and said he would take on the ‘the doubters, the doomsters, [and] the gloomsters’. So I hope that once Brexit is done he will take on the left-wing environmentalist movement and apply this spirit of optimism to solving environmental problems.
For the past 30 years the fear-mongers have been preaching nothing but doom and gloom. Now they tell us we need to stop driving our cars by 2050, stop eating meat, have fewer children, dismantle our industry, and reduce our standard of living overall. Ironically, the people who preach this dogma and claim to champion social justice come from a super-rich metropolitan elite. People like Leonardo Di Caprio fly around on their private jets lecturing poor third world countries on why industrialisation is bad, despite themselves being prime beneficiaries of its fruits.
When its messiah Greta Thunberg comes to talk, our politicians fall to their knees. She tells us we have not done enough when we have spent the last 40 years dismantling our coal industry, forcing our car industry to go electric (as if that’s carbon free), imposing a green levy to intentionally drive up energy bills, and taxing people for having the wrong type of car.
The left once favoured industrialisation as a means to enfranchise the working class; it was the aristocracy who opposed industrialisation as they wanted a class of serfs to work their land. Industrialisation led to workers gaining the vote and raising their own standards of living; it is something to be celebrated. Once upon a time the left fought to preserve the coal industry during the miners’ strike, but now protests against it.
But beneath this lies a more odious anti-human ideology. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have said they will not have more than two children due to their belief in overpopulation. Bill Nye (“the science guy”) argues that parents who have “too many” children should be penalised. This is dangerously close to removing human rights.
Not all environmentalists are as anti-progress as this, but it is deeply embedded within the ideology to oppose human progress in the name of returning to some mythical “sustainable” Earth, where everything is clean and pure. It is like a religion where mankind’s original sin is industrialisation, from which he can only be redeemed by repenting his carbon footprint.
We need to act to protect the environment, but such action should put human wellbeing and flourishing at its heart. We need to create new jobs in technology while not intentionally putting the few industrial sectors we have left out of business. We need to develop innovative solutions to the world’s problems as we did in the past; we were able to feed a growing population despite Malthus’s predictions that we would all starve, because more people found more solutions.
We need to adopt a more positive attitude towards ourselves as humans, view ourselves not as a cancer on the Earth but as a blessing, and go forward with a spirit of can-do. We must dismiss the project fear of the liberal environmentalist movement because, to echo the Prime Minister’s optimism, where there’s a will, there’s a way.