Margaret Thatcher, former UK Prime Minister, who died this week, may she rest in peace, knew something about the ecosystem of international governance. She was a great believer in the necessity to give back to nature so that we could continue to receive.
She began adult life as a scientist, indeed a chemist, and later moved into being a life long representative of her local constituents, her village. As she moved through the world of government she had the opportunity to learn some lessons that a person with her scientific mind, position of power, and authority had a easier time learning than many.
Mrs Thatcher arguably did more than any major UK politician at the time to legitimize the environment as a concern at the highest level. But later she recanted considerably, voicing fears that the green movement has become a self serving politics for money vehicle without being truly roots in the environment.
In November 8, 1989 she told the UN: “While the conventional, political dangers – the threat of global annihilation, the fact of regional war – appear to be receding, we have all recently become aware of another insidious danger. It is the prospect of irretrievable damage to the atmosphere, to the oceans, to earth itself.”
“What we are now doing to the world, by degrading the land surfaces, by polluting the waters and by adding greenhouse gases to the air at an unprecedented rate – all this is new in the experience of the earth. It is mankind and his activities that are changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways.”
She continued: “The result is that change in future is likely to be more fundamental and more widespread than anything we have known hitherto. It is comparable in its implications to the discovery of how to split the atom. Indeed, its results could be even more far-reaching.”
She understood that the problems Nature and we face needed solutions, not endless talk. She was noted for saying it is no good squabbling over who is responsible or who should pay. Rather that we might only succeed in dealing with the problems with the invention, testing, and delivery of practical solutions. The notions of an experimental chemist for certain.
Before Mrs Thatcher started to talk about the ozone layer and climate change, lots of people said: These green issues are just for birdwatchers. But if Mrs Thatcher’s saying something like that – there must be something in it’.
In 2003, her book Statecraft recanted her earlier views, casting doubt on “alarmist” science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – a body she helped to create – and warning that it had be suborned by extremists with a global governance agenda masquerading as being concerned about the environment as a path to political potency: “The new dogma about climate change has swept through the left-of-centre governing classes.”
She said the international effort to tackle climate change “provides a marvelous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism”, and thought that it was a tragedy for the world of naturalists and conservation minded people to have been taken over by such sinister forces.
A climate sceptic columnist later applauded her for her realization, arguing that previously she had been “under the spell” of her adviser the former UN ambassador Sir Crispin Tickell. While Tickell has held many UK positions of influence in the UK, his influence over Thatcher was a major step in subverting the world of reverence for natural history and conservation into the dirty politics of green. Sir Crispin’s most personal contribution to the religionification of environmentalism came in his creation of the Gaia Society and its dedication to cult-like views around the ideas and personages of eco-spiritualists James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.
Once again it goes to show that a key problem in the real walk and work to save Nature is the reversal of the “save the world, make a little money on the side” mantra to “make money/power, save a little world on the side.”
PS… And this from me, a birdwatcher conservationist who happens to take some pleasure in the Sci Fi notion of Gaia, but then again I am also an old Star Trek fan, go figure.
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