U.K. farm owner, “eco-dwelling” builder, and Grist reader JRWoodman offers some perspective on the apparently greenish platform of the new Conservative-LibDem coalition government:
The UK’s Conservative party springs out of the old families that lived in stately homes in the countryside and enjoyed country pursuits. To this day if you look at an electoral map of the UK’s parliamentary constituencies you find that virtually all the blue (Conservative) areas are in the countryside while the left wing’s constituency is centered in essentially the urban areas. When you live in such a ‘green and pleasant land’ it’s not surprising that concern for the environment is a higher priority for the right than the left (with a few exceptions).
To pick up on the 2 comments so far, here in the UK our view of the ‘American way’ and your general lack of concern for the environment shocks many of us. I even find myself on occasions laughing at some of the supposedly green viewpoints on Grist which most UK Greens would consider approaching environmental profligacy, though we’re probably too polite to say (I’m thinking in particularly of such things as electric and hydrogen powered cars).
I suppose it’s all relative. When the average American citizen’s carbon footprint (20 tons+) is double that of their average European counterpart, I suppose it’s not surprising that our viewpoints so differ. Be aware, though we in Europe have a long way to go, your journey will be that much harder.
Meanwhile, new Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants to lead “the greenest government ever.”