UK chancellor George Osborne already angered environmentalists by insisting Britain would not lead in CO2 cuts, and blaming green regulations for stifling industry. Industry disagreed with his anti-red tape agenda, stating that well-planned environmental regulation doesn't have to be a burden. Now Osborne's colleague, Climate minister Greg Barker, has waded into equally hot water by railing against the "environmental Taliban". Business Green's editor James Murray suggests that the Government's anti-green rhetoric is getting entirely out of hand:
To be fair, says Murray, many of the Government's shifts in policy to more cost effective measures may be justified, or at least debatable. But the bungled handling of Feed-in-Tariff cuts, combined with the overly aggressive, populist anti-green messaging is entirely counter productive.
Should you envisage yourself as a courageous anti-imperial freedom fighter or accept that you are a despicable terrorist with a Stone Age value system? Should you, as WWF's George Smeeton satirically suggested on Twitter this morning, ensure a member of staff is stoned for 'catching a flight' or sack all women in your sustainability department for being women? If there is an "environmental Taliban" are those fighting against green policies "carbon intensive special forces"? And are there other bands of environmental terrorists, a "green Mujahideen", an "eco Eta", a splinter group "sustainability IRA"?
Sure, let's debate how best to cut emissions in a cost effective manner. But let's not compare each other to brutal murderers and dictators when we disagree.
I couldn't agree more. Now where did I leave my rocket launcher...