Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Saturday 3 October 2009

Are Tory bloggers out of step with membership on the environment?

Conservative Home are publishing the results of a wide-ranging survey of Conservative membership on a variety of issues today with the second part tomorrow.

Tim Montgomerie also has an article in today's Independent which summarises the headline findings. One that leapt out at me was:

84 per cent support environmental measures

I found this figure very interesting because if you read many of the leading Conservative and right-wing blogs and many of the comments after the posts they often do not reflect this view. There seems to be a vein of suspicion running through references to the environment and climate change that there is little evidence that it is man-made and even that the whole environmental agenda is some sort of left-wing conspiracy.

Here are a few examples from a quick google search:

  • Iain Dale finding it very amusing that snow affects climate change book launch, confusing weather with climate (many of the comments below the post are noteworthy too). There are more examples from Iain here and here.
  • There are examples on Con Home of articles hostile to climate change politics too, e.g. here and here.
  • Here are a couple of examples from "Letters From a Tory" here and here.
  • And here's Donal Blaney with his several penneth on the subject here, here and here.

I could go on but I think you get the point.

Now before loads of right-wingers start jumping down my throat I am not saying they do not have the right to their views, of course they do. I am not personally in the business of accusing people of "climate change denial". It's not a religion for me although I do think it exists and a good proportion of it is man-made but I am happy to have the debate. I am only raising this because it highlights an apparent difference of opinion between leading Conservative blogs and their membership. This seems a bit odd because usually, from what I can see (e.g. on Europe, Tax and other big issues) the Tory blogs are usually very much aligned with the grassroots view.

I would be interested to see what other people think about this.


Tory Outcast said...

I haven't studied all the examples you posted but none of them seem to be against "environmental measures"

I for one am particularly sceptical of man-made climate change but still support what one might call "environmental measures" for a variety of other reasons.

Letters From A Tory said...

As Tory Outcast said, the posts that you linked to on my blog seem to refer to climate ACTIVISM rather than concern for the environment - the latter is something that I do indeed care about whereas the former is just an irritant that distracts from sorting out the problems.

emily said...

As TO says, "environmental measures" is a broad terms.

I think there are a variety of reasons Tories react negatively to green activism, not least the tenor and moralism of enviro rhetoric. But I won't go on about it here (if you are interested I have written a response to you here:

neil craig said...

Of course we now know for a proven fact, thanks to Stephen McIntyre, that the entire global warming story is a lie based on deliberate fraud. It is no longer possible for any politician (or journalist) who is not wholly & totally dishonest to support it.

Whether this will prevent any LibDems from doing so is, of course, questionable.

marcuscleaver said...


You raise a good point but I think it would take a very sceptical person to simply dismiss environmental measures out of hand, no matter what their party view.

However I don't think environmentalism is truly seen as a priority amongst the grassroots compared to other policy areas. This is where fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, the bloggers are in touch.

David said...

I think one of the things that must keep Cameron up at nights is the worry that people might start associating Donal Blaney with the majority of the grassroots.