Can blue be green?
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‘Our planet has the unique privilege of life. It is our duty to safeguard our world. The more we master our environment, the more we must learn to serve it.’ Margaret Thatcher
We have a new MP! Ranil Jayawardena is not a surprise – in fact he was such a dead cert that even prior to the election there was talk of him one day becoming the UK’s first Asian prime minister.
The Conservative manifesto is very weak on climate change and there was little talk of it during the election campaign by any of the main parties. But in polls, over two thirds of conservative voters expect their party to have a strong policy and their leader to take the lead internationally.
And a recent report by the Climate Outreach and Information Network proposes there is no reason why someone holding centre-right values should be any less concerned and willing to act on climate change than the traditional green lefty. In fact, reading through the report made me wonder whether fixing climate change might well benefit from some centre-right thinking.
Let’s have a look at a few of these values:
Little threatens our green and pleasant land and our way of life more than climate change. It is a strong conservative value to want to protect the country we love.
Fairness and responsibility
Conservatives believe in taking responsibility. They think it is wrong to leave the national debt for our children to deal with and are prepared to take difficult decisions now for their sake. How much more do we owe it to our children and grandchildren to reduce the risks climate change holds for our country?
Patriotism and sense of common purpose
Britain has creativity, world-leading technology, the world’s highest tides and Europe’s strongest winds. Half a million homeowners already have solar panels on their roofs, generating their own power and providing a steady dependable income for their owners. But other countries are moving far ahead of us. If we choose to invest now, we could still lead the world in renewable technologies, and provide a clean, reliable and secure energy supply that also fuels national prosperity and secures long term jobs.
Climate change is the biggest issue of our time, and we are at a historically critical moment. Our country could provide the strong leader who, like Winston Churchill, is prepared to speak the truth and lead from the front. During the Second World War everyone, whatever their politics, pulled together to defend our way of life and our freedom. With courageous leadership, we can do this again!
I intend to chat with Ranil Jayawardena about how I think he could build a better future at the lobby of parliament on the 17th of June. It is organised by The Climate Coalition, a coalition of organisations from Christian Aid to the WI and the National Trust. If you would like to join a local group going to this lobby please email firstname.lastname@example.org .