"Mentalist" being the operative word

I can’t stand environmentalists. You know why? Because they’re deluded.

Greens are characterised by a smug holier-than-thou outlook that I can’t stand. They’re after the quick win, the easy thrill, the little action that’ll make them feel good, rather than anything that really helps the planet.

But if you mention this to any of them – even in passing – you’ll be subject to an endless barrage of violent criticism. Nothing’s so important to a greenie as her own self-righteousness. Greens are right, they believe, and they’re right without – or even in spite of – any evidence for their practices.

They’ll buy a tomato from the local farmer’s market in preference to one from the supermarket because it has fewer “food miles” – forgetting that the plane Tesco’s tomato came in carried 500,000 of the little red spherical buggers, so driving to the farmer’s market released far more Co2 into the atmosphere than the plane on a per-tomato basis.

They’ll buy Fairtrade goods, without understanding that if you proscribe a concrete set of measures for greater profit (as Fairtrade does to its farmers) those rules will be gamed to divert the extra funds into as few pockets as possible. (Take a look at all the farmers who can’t get into the Fairtrade cartel. As a result of Fairtrade’s market-distorting measures, far more farmers are in far worse conditions than ever before.)

They’ll make great show of switching off appliances on standby, skating over the fact that a single one-second ignition of their car negates a year of that.

They’ll drive the ultimate smugmobile, the Toyota Prius, and London’s Mayor will support them by exempting them from certain taxes. While non-smug vehicles with still lower emissions than the Prius – Volkswagen’s Polo comes to mind – are unloved, because they don’t give the greens that sense of smugness.

They’ll oppose bloodsports like foxhunting, forgetting that these activities are eminently sustainable and support thousands of people in low environmental impact jobs in the countryside. And they’ll forget, of course, that real life (where your food comes from) IS full of blood and guts. The ‘nature’ they profess to love is red in tooth and claw, not the hugs-and-puppies cuteness they imagine.

They’ll read with wonderment those books about living for a year without money… not realising that if we all went back to being subsistence farmers, the world could support about 50m people tops, and without the magic of trade and division of labour we’d have no great cities, no schools, and no technology. (How many of these people would stay out in their fields when.. they needed a hospital?)

Of course, if these greens – a surprising number are middle-class – really wanted to do something good, they’d be doing something hard. Like negotiating trade agreements that kill off EU subsidies. Or engineering a better wind farm. But no, no, that’s difficult. And what greens really want is to feel smugly superior without actually doing anything.

Greenies suck.

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