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1st January, 2001
Who said these words: ‘The environmental movement is a growing force in civil society, searching for a home in mainstream politics. The party that succeeds will be the natural party of government’? It wasn’t George Monbiot, Tony Juniper or Jonathon Porritt. It was David Miliband, in December 2006.He was right. Ecologist readers need no reminding that we are doing immense damage to our planet, and putting at risk our wellbeing and the lives of those who will suffer from our actions in the future. But the media, big business and the public are now waking up to it, and politicians are shifting with them.
Every other Sunday paper seems to come with a supplement on how to reduce your carbon footprint. Big businesses are seeking to persuade us of their green credentials. Britain’s bookshops are teeming with books by authors such as James Lovelock, Mark Lynas, and the brilliant Jared Diamond. But will any mainstream political party really gain the lasting trust and confidence of the environmental movement? And if not, what can we do about it?
There’s no doubt there are leading figures within each of the three main parties that get it. David Miliband is one of those in government who does, as are the new environment secretary Hilary Benn and his Conservative counterpart Peter Ainsworth. But there are some serious ideological barriers to each of our mainstream political parties really taking the environment to heart.
Any party wishing to...
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