"What is New Environmentalism?" – Battle of Ideas 2013

by | Feb 14, 2014

The video of the debate at last year’s Battle of Ideas festival on the question “What is new environmentalism?” is online.

I’m not sure that between Mark Lynas, Joe Smith, and Casper Hewitt and me, we got to an answer. But some interesting things were discussed on the way. I had a good chat with Joe afterwards over a couple of beers. However, I sense that neither he nor Mark still have any idea about why people might object to environmentalism in a broader sense, or might be critical of the claims made about climate change. This is odd, because Lynas is a fairly able critic of old environmentalism, especially the attitude to GMOs and to nuclear power. And Joe Smith, at least seems to understand that the climate debate is about more than climate science.

Kudos to them, however, for agreeing to the challenge of debate with people of a different perspective, unlike their erstwhile comrades in the dinosaur environmental movement, like this mad woman.


  1. Alex Cull

    Aaargh, yet another excellent and transcript-worthy video! Will I never be able to catch up? Seriously, this is great to listen to, and another quality offering.

    As for Natalie Bennett, a mischievous imp of the perverse is prompting me to hope that she will be given a slot on Newsnight or the Daily Politics to expound her 10-point plan in further copious detail and tell the world exactly how the UK Greens will expunge all wrongful climate thoughts from the corridors of power. I actually thought Ross Hawkins did a fair job of getting her to spell out her insane message in all its glory, and wish the interview had gone on for longer.

  2. hunter

    Alex, my bet is the BBC position is that Ms. Bennett is off to a good start.

  3. Lewis Deane

    ‘Whack!’ as Bishop Hill says:


    I love old Del and I hope ‘brietbart’ huffs and huffs and blows Huffington down but he’s wrong on the ‘Watermelon’ theory. For he confuses this miserable ‘Left’ with the Left. What did Marx say about Capitalism and all those canaille who wished it didn’t exist? Capitalism is the most liberating force that has ever existed and anyone who puts spokes in it’s wheels is no true ‘Marxist’ (A term Marx himself famously dis-abused!). Marx might have said all modes of existence have their historical end and we hope they ‘end’ because we are going towards something better. But that is the future. And all the best things that we have gained from Capitalism – impossible to count – but to name a few, rational thought, engineering, technology etc etc are always at risk from parasites and liars who wish to drag us back to a ‘putative’ nature. Canaille, all! (PS I’m not a Marxist!! Just saying!)

  4. Jeremy Poynton

    Ah, Ms. Bennett. One day one of her tenure, the BBC interviewed her, and she stated that the “green economy” now comprised 11% of GDP.

    Surprised by this, I contacted the Green Party for some citations, sources and references regarding this statement.

    Some months on, I am still waiting. Indeed, my email was not even acknowledged.

    Whatever you do – do NOT question Ms. Bennett.

  5. hunter

    There is a poster who goes by “Andy West” posting some interesting stuff about memes as a way to describe and understand the social dysfunction of AGW. It is chilling.
    True believers in AGW eat up the sort of deceptive bosh like the bogus claim of 11% with hardly a pause. It is a mystery to me how the AGW world view seems to leave its adherents so resistant to critical thinking and skeptical reviews. I seek to apply both to as much of what I do as possible, including my politics and religious ideas. AGW believers seem incapable of this regarding weather/cliamte issues and seem to support more and more radical ways to empower AGW opinion leaders.

  6. Lewis Deane

    Ben, I haven’t got the money even to see your debates. I’m sorry.

  7. Lewis Deane

    Why I’m not there?

  8. Lewis Deane

    I could wake up and destroy everyone.

  9. Jeremy Poynton

    The simple fact is that the Climate Jihadis have damaged environmentalism, possibly irreparably.

    Way to go, guys and gals!

  10. Andy West

    Ben, as the Andy West mentioned by Hunter above, I think you would find the memetic perspective of CAGW useful in explaining the ‘odd’ behaviour you highlight above, and a great deal more too.

    ‘The CAGW Memeplex’ essay is a long read I’m afraid (small novel sized), but the introductory Post to it, which guested at WUWT and Climate Etc. last November, is only 4 pages, of which page 3 is a highly condensed section by section summary of the essay. Find the Post here:

  11. Andy West

    Oops, URL associated with my name is wrong above; correct on this post :)


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