by JAMES DELINGPOLE
One of the reasons is religious. If you are a conservative, you are more likely to cleave to the old Christian religion. If you’re on the left, you’re more likely to believe in the new one – environmentalism or Gaia-worship.
Many facets of the new religion are merely substitutes for aspects of the old religion.
The crucifix has been replaced by the wind turbine; priests have been replaced by climate scientists; false prophets by the likes of Al Gore and Prince Charles; hair shirt penance and daily ritual by recycling; pilgrimages and purgatory by IPCC conferences; and so on.
Conservatives naturally feel towards environmentalism as they do towards Scientology or pastafarianism or Jedi: why subscribe to a silly, made-up new religion when you’ve got a much preferable one sanctified by 2000 years of history?
But even conservatives who aren’t remotely religious are instinctively sceptical of environmentalism for several other sound reasons.
One is that conservation is built into most conservatives’ DNA – indeed, it’s actually in the name of their political philosophy. Conservatism is about conserving what is best, whether it’s traditions, institutions or nature. (I go into a bit more detail about this in my speech,which you should watch because it’s very short and there’s a funny bit in the middle where I’m interrupted on the phone by the former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson).