Fw: [diggers350] R4 'Analysis': Are environmentalists bad for the planet?

Joan Lawson lawson.joan at btinternet.com
Thu Jan 28 09:18:59 GMT 2010


Response to Simon's letter to the BBC.

Excellent letter.

Your amazing suggestion re Alastair McIntosh on the Moral Maze made me practically choke on my porridge!  Quite apart from his impecable ecological credentials, Alastair has very broad experience and a brilliant mind. Would it be fair on the rest of the panel? 

Joan Lawson
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Simon Fairlie 
  To: diggers350 at yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 10:12 AM
  Subject: Re: [diggers350] R4 'Analysis': Are environmentalists bad for the planet?


  Yes I heard that programme and was suffficiently pissed off to write this letter to them:

  Dear Radio 4

  Your programme  "Analysis" ought to be renamed "Polemic". The mere title of this evening's programme "Environmentalists? Bad for the Planet?" betrayed its bias. The issues  were covered competently enough — yes many environmentalists view global warming as a symptom of capitalist overdevelopment — but in a faux-naif tone that suggested that something new was being uncovered, when of course it's all old hat and greens have debating these matters ad infinitum for the last 50 years, if not the last 500.

  What really infuriated me was the concluding sentence where Justin Rowlatt suggested that this was a "hidden agenda". Hidden? There are mountains of books and articles and films  putting forward the  green anticapitalist  philosophy and agenda which Rowlatt  made a pretence of exposing. The only sense in which it is hidden is that it hardly ever gets fairly represented on the BBC and other mainstream media.

  Either you should get rid of your "Ethical Man", or else employ a few more so we get a balanced selection. And while we are on the subject of ethics, could we please have somebody with a radical green outlook on the Moral Maze panel from time to time? I suggest the Scots philosopher Alastair McIntosh, mail at AlastairMcIntosh.com.

  Yours sincerely

  Simon Fairlie
  On 27 Jan 2010, at 01:23, Paul Mobbs wrote:

    Hash: SHA1

    Hi all,

    Have a listen to this.

    I've only had a cursory listen, and I might go back over it again if I have 
    time to put "finger to keyboard" on its content. It appears to me that it 
    proceeds from the notion that the ONLY major problem we have in the world is 
    climate change -- and thus omits reference to the limits to human ecology in 
    general, and the failure of the the "growth economy" to internalise this 

    Certainly I think "The Ethical Man" needs to decide whether he's into 
    'ethics/justice', 'green consumerism' or serious environmentalism -- perhaps 
    you might like to contact the Beeb on that too!



    Analysis - Are environmentalists bad for the planet?

    The BBC's 'Ethical Man' Justin Rowlatt asks if the environmental movement is 
    bad for the planet. He explores the philosophical roots of a way of thinking 
    that developed decades before global warming was an issue. He also examines 
    some of the ideological baggage that environmentalists have brought to the 
    climate change debate, from anti-consumerism and anti-capitalism to a 
    suspicion about technology and a preference for natural solutions. Could these 
    extraneous aspects of green politics be undermining the environmental cause, 
    and are some environmentalists being distracted from the urgent task of 
    stopping global warming by a more radical agenda for social change?

    Justin speaks to green capitalists including the Conservative MP John Gummer, 
    who thinks that technology and reinvented markets hold the answer to tackling 
    global warming. He talks to Greenpeace chairman John Sauven about green 
    attitudes to so-called techno fixes, including nuclear power, and discusses 
    green conversion tactics such as so-called identity campaigning with Tom 
    Crompton from the conservation charity WWF and Solitaire Townsend, co-founder 
    of the green public relations company Futerra.

    The programme also hears from the leading green thinkers Jonathon Porritt and 
    Professor Mike Hulme, founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate 
    Change Research, and from the theologian and United Nations advisor on climate 
    change and world religions Martin Palmer. Martin sees parallels between some 
    parts of the green movement and millenarian cults who have claimed that 'the 
    end of the world is nigh'. Justin also interviews Andrew Simms from the New 
    Economics Foundation, who believes we can only tackle climate change if we are 
    weaned off our addiction to consumption and economic growth.

    Broadcast on:
        BBC Radio 4, 8:30pm Monday 25th January 2010

    (available until next Monday)

    - -- 
    "We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
    nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
    for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
    that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
    righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
    God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
    (Edward Burroughs, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

    Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
    For details see http://www.fraw.org.uk/ebo/

    Read my message board, "Ecolonomics", at:

    Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
    3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
    tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
    email - mobbsey at gn.apc.org
    website - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/index.shtml
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