THERE is something about this latest resurgence of the green movement which leaves me feeling somewhat disquieted.

First, this being the day and age it is, I should state my caveat.

The Earth’s climate is changing. It is warming up in fact, unsurprisingly since we are still emerging from the last ice age.

The pace of warming appears to be speeding up, and man-made causes seem to be contributing to this.

Our ability to accurately model the changing climate remains disappointingly limited, for now, but we have both a causation hypothesis for anthropogenic climate change – the greenhouse effect – and the data correlation of warming with the quantity of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

That much, we can say, reflects the scientific consensus as it stands, and the case for using renewable and nuclear energy where it is practical to do so – and increasingly in future – is unanswerable.

Of course the real question is what our reaction should be.

Earlier this year we had a run of bizarre ‘climate protests’ by school children – bizarre since it is transparently obvious that child protests are only ever a front used by manipulative adults, and nobody is fooled, and because they came out of nowhere at a time when everyone was busy celebrating or fretting over the changing face of European politics.

Conspiracy theories are for mugs, but I note in passing that several Remain groups, such as Led By Donkeys, have been revealed to have strong links with green groups.

Just a thought...

Anyway, since then we have endured politicians paying gushing homage on bended knee before St Greta, and now every council and their mum has declared a ‘climate emergency’, and promised to recycle more.

We are now using bits of cardboard to sip our McDonald’s drinks, our taxes are used to encourage millionaires to put solar panels on their estates, and there is talk of raising the price of flights so your annual ladies’ weekend in Benidorm can become a burnt offering too.

Rest assured, those who travel to a Tuscan villa three times a year will be unaffected.

Here’s a truism, if your protest movement’s cause is enthusiastically adopted by the state, you are not a protest movement, and your cause is probably bogus.

I have never found the wider green movement very convincing.

Warning! Generalisations follow.

You don’t usually have to spend too much time speaking with its advocates before a tendency towards misanthropy is revealed.

“There’s too many people”, “people are a virus/cancer on the Earth” etc.

Like with earlier pseudo-scientific predictors of calamity, Thomas Malthus springs to mind, moralising, religious conviction and often an underlying feeling of impotence combine into an unattractive package.

It is for this reason, as my colleague Faith Eckersall recently outlined in these pages, that green activists are very keen to advocate what ‘you’ must do to meet their ideological goals, and for the state to use its power to make that a reality.

Their alliance with the state is only natural, since both view the people with contempt and both want more power over us.

Keen observers of politics will also note the value of a doomsday threat for those who wish to wield power. “Well, if it’s that bad then, here, take my freedom.” If it is life or death then, well, anything can be justified.

There is nothing, however, in any legitimate analysis of the situation, such as that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which is freely available online, to make panic or declarations of emergency (emergency powers anyone?) justifiable.

We might recall that Malthus, who was taken very seriously back at the turn of the nineteenth century, thought the population of the world had already outstripped its capacity, and hunger and plague would soon knock us back, as we miserable sinners no doubt deserved.

The population then was just under one billion, most living a miserable life. Now it is more than seven billion, and fewer people than ever before are still living in hunger and subject to nature’s cruelties.

How did that happen? Through industrialisation, trade, science and technology, done by people who actually like people.

Climate change is important. We should be preparing for its inevitable consequences, and we should be taking reasonable steps to mitigate it, and researching how we can increase our power over nature in all respects.

We should not, however, sacrifice hard-won liberties or throw away the engine of human progress on the say-so of a cult, even one which currently has the ear of the great and the good.