Climate change is a "left-wing conspiracy to de-industrialise the world" (US Senator Minchin, 2009)
Santorum: Climate Change is a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy(US Republican Presidential Primary candidate Rick Santorum, 2012)
"....a disgraceful scam whereby the global depression was prolonged and deepened, where thousands of people died in artificially induced fuel poverty..." (James Delinpole, British journalist, 2013)
Just a smattering of not unfamiliar headlines echoing the now nearly hackneyed claims by right wingers around the world that global warming and climate change are some sort of mass Socialist/Communist conspiracy, which somehow has co-opted virtually the entire scientific community, to de-industrialise the planet - why socialists would want to do such a thing is never actually explained. Indeed, Green Parties often emphasise re-industrialising their home countries - reviving local manufacture rather than destroying it; instead ending the ludicrous and polluting long-distance import of goods made in sweatshops on the other side of the world.
If right wingers are concerned about de-industrialising left wingers, they might look to history and explain why it was the Communist Soviet Union that undertook perhaps the most rapid and massive programme of industrialisation in history, whilst Marxism itself is predicated on the development of an industrial proletariat. By contrast, in recent decades the right wing neoliberal governments in the UK and USA have led the way in shutting down a lot of industrial manufacturing in their countries in favour instead of big multinationals shifting industry overseas to countries with low wage, low safety and insecure protection for workers.
|There was always something about Maggie...|
This conundrum aside, the right wing's lack of historical awareness in their paper-thin claims is also evident in their ignorance of who was the first major British politician to raise the issue of global warming. It was that wild-eyed Red Menace, Margaret Thatcher, UK Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Now, she was/is a scientist by qualification and pre-political profession, so it may well be that, along with almost every other scientist on the planet, Maggie was in fact co-opted into the vast left wing conspiracy to promulgate climate change and use it as a means of de-industrialising Britain: personally, I always thought her economic policies did a pretty good job of that without needing global warming, but who knows?
I have to say, if she was a sort of British Manchurian Candidate, Maggie Thatcher has to have been the most effective socialist sleeper agent of all time. Objectively, she must have been in such a deep sleep that she never actually woke up. Perhaps, rather, she was hypnotised when she spoke to the United Nations in 1990, warning that
"... the threat to our world comes not only from tyrants and their tanks. It can be more insidious though less visible. The danger of global warming is as yet unseen, but real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices, so that we do not live at the expense of future generations.
In recent years, we have been playing with the conditions of the life we know on the surface of our planet. We have cared too little for our seas, our forests and our land. We have treated the air and the oceans like a dustbin. We have come to realise that man's activities and numbers threaten to upset the biological balance which we have taken for granted and on which human life depends.
We must remember our duty to Nature before it is too late.
Promises are easy. Action is more difficult. For our part, we have worked out a strategy which sets us on the road to achieving the target. We propose ambitious programmes both to promote energy efficiency and to encourage the use of cleaner fuels.
We now require, by law, that a substantial proportion of our electricity comes from sources which emit little or no carbon dioxide, and that includes a continuing important contribution from nuclear energy.
Many of the precautionary actions that we need to take would be sensible in any event. It is sensible to improve energy efficiency and use energy prudently; it's sensible to develop alternative and sustainable and sensible ... it's sensible to improve energy efficiency and to develop alternative and sustainable sources of supply; it's sensible to replant the forests which we consume; it's sensible to re-examine industrial processes; it's sensible to tackle the problem of waste. I understand that the latest vogue is to call them ‘no regrets’ policies. Certainly we should have none in putting them into effect.
We are, as the poet said, in symmetry with nature. To keep that precious balance, we need to work together for our environment. The United Kingdom will work with all of you and all the world besides in this cause—to save our common inheritance for generations yet to come."
This call to action was part of a speech to the Second World Climate Change Conference in Geneva in November 1990 and echoed sentiments she had voiced in speeches over the previous two to three years. It's importance was overshadowed by the crisis that was engulfing her collapsing Premiership, which was to come to an end shortly afterwards. Only in 2003 did she ever suggest any contrary views and then only in a rather rambling diatribe pitched mainly at the disputes raging between her devotees (who had adopted climate scepticism as an ideological cri de coeur for a non-interventionist state) and (slightly) more liberal elements in the Tory Party.
Greens disagree profoundly with Thatcher's economics, which deregulated markets and encouraged the conditions which have led to an ever upwards spiral in global greenhouse gas emissions; nearly all would also disagree with her support for nuclear power as a useful, safe or efficient alternative to carbon fuels; but none would disagree with her analysis or her apparent call to action on global warming. To be fair, she called for further research - which has been done and has done nothing but confirm her analysis and fears for the future. And in the 22 years since, both warming and emissions have continued upwards.
So, Daily Mail readers, Mr Delingpole, UKIP leader Farage and all the other right wingers who laud Thatcher as your role model, inspiration and guru, if you won't listen to the Greens, perhaps you might take some time to read Thatcher's speech - in full here. And then ask yourselves, if global warming really is a load of Bolshevik propaganda and part of some bizarre conspiracy too fantastical for even a Dan Brown novel, how on earth did we manage to get Margaret Thatcher on board the vanguard of revolution?