As an independent environmentalist, there is one important lesson I've learnt from recent experience - it is not to align myself with any political party.
Politics and conservation do not make good bedfellows.
The problem I've found since exploring and writing about my feelings on the environment is that without exception an element of politics creeps in, usually covertly, and hijacks the good work that people do.
There ends up being so much conflict within environmentalism that all the good work begins to unravel through division. One conservation group begins to oppose another, each competing for the greenest label.
There is only one form of true conservation – that is simply to conserve the environment.
My vocal opposition to wind farms might appear to fly in the face of 'green' thinking, given that wind projects are backed by many 'green' groups, Greenpeace, the Green Party, Friends Of The Earth to name but three. And yet their support for such an obvious racket can only mean one of two things: they must either be part of the moneymaking con themselves or they have been hoodwinked by the wind companies and their deceitful propaganda.
And if the latter then can we really trust their judgement anyway?
Sometimes a mainstream political party or two may back an environmental protest but please make no mistake, they are still part of the problem.
Conservation of the environment is a simple philosophy, it doesn't require the involvement of political parties.
By all means use the politicians to further your cause in high places – but don't let them use you!
The HS2 protests which I back wholeheartedly, HS2 being the biggest folly of our times, has been hijacked by politics too. On to the bandwagon have jumped the Green Party – but where are they when it comes to opposing wind farms? They criticise one form of environmental destruction while actively promoting another. When politics begins to control genuine citizen protest then we have a problem. Some good folks opposing one form of countryside desecration may, because of the propaganda being put out by the organisation or party that 'sponsors' their particular protest, feel obliged to follow the party line and ignore another real threat to the environment somewhere else.
There is no choice between good or bad when it comes to environmental destruction, it's all bad. Any scheme that harms the countryside or our wildlife should be resisted. Many will go ahead, some can be halted. But don't let's all go off in different directions turning a blind eye to one scheme just because our organisation says it's okay or a necessary evil.
It's a mess. That's why I resolutely refuse to be swayed by political involvement in conservation. It is never a good thing, there are always strings attached. People, ordinary people like you and I, are more than capable of speaking out and protesting without being beholden to one or more 'green' organisation run by people who seem to think they know better than the rest of us.
I urge people to go with their instincts and intuition. We all know when our countryside is threatened and by what. Almost without exception, development in our rural landscape comes down to money. Whether it's plans for high speed rail links gouging through our forests to save half an hour on a train journey or wind farms destroying our countryside and coast under the 'green' banner while raking in big money for big wind companies. The end result is the same, our beautiful and essential rural environment gone, forever.
So my plea today to all the amazing people out there speaking out and protesting against the many threats to our environment – listen to your hearts and minds and not the politicians and organizations that are trying to divide you into scattered groups.
One environment. One aim.
We're in this one together.
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