Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Owen Paterson’s bizarre tirade against the Green Blob

The former environment secretary wrote this extraordinary piece for the Telegraph after being dismissed from office and it is a jumble of vague, ideological and unevidenced claims.

I read it wondering how he could make so much of his bravery in standing up to the Green Blob of environmental NGOs, and fail to mention the colossal Black Blob of the truly rich and powerful fossil fuel industry. No mention of their dark influence at all.

Greenpeace have rebutted some of Paterson’s accusations here. In particular they say that they have never burnt an effigy of Owen Paterson and, being a strictly peaceful organisation, they never would.

The journalist George Monbiot has volunteered himself to test Paterson’s claim that many leading environmentalists “could not tell a snakeshead fritillary from a silver-washed fritillary.” Monbiot writes:

I challenge Mr Paterson to a kind of duel: to walk through the countryside together, with independent experts, and see who can correctly identify the greatest number of species across all classes: birds, insects, spiders, plants, fungi and the rest. Will he take up my challenge?

Identifying fauna and flora has never sounded more intense. May the duel commence.