Monday 26th September 2016                 Change text size:

Former environment secretary Owen Paterson claims he was sacked because of ‘green blob’



Photo: Policy Exchange via Flickr

Sacked climate-sceptic environment secretary Owen Paterson has claimed that he lost his job because of a conspiracy from self-interested campaigners and pressure groups.

In an article written for the Sunday Telegraph, Paterson criticises “the green blob” – which he characterises as a “mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials”. 

He claims that these “unelected busybodies” are “doing real harm while profiting handsomely”.

Paterson was removed from his post as a part of a government reshuffle last week, after a reign plagued by controversies. 

Criticism emerged when Paterson voted against an EU ban on pesticides proven to kill crucial bee species, when he was slow to respond to the worst floods in decades, and when he launched a failed and “inhumane” badger cull to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis.

But it was Paterson’s apparent disbelief in the evidence of manmade climate change that won him the most enemies.

Prime minister David Cameron was forced many times to defend Paterson’s appointment whilst asserting his party’s commitment to tackling climate change.

It has been suggested that this widely-held public dissatisfaction with a climate-sceptic environment secretary led to Paterson’s removal. In the Telegraph article, he suggests it is actually the fault of “the highly paid globe-trotters of the Green Blob who besieged me with their self-serving demands”.

He continues, “I saw my task as improving both the environment and the rural economy; many in the green movement believed in neither. 

“Their goal was to enhance their own income streams and influence by myth making and lobbying.”

The lengthy article also takes aim at the EU, wind farms, and opponents to fracking, while dismissing the claim that global warming increases the chances of flooding, a claim that is gaining credibility as evidence grows.

He also claims that Greenpeace burned an effigy of him, a claim the campaign group denies, while calling the Green party and Friends of the Earth “anti-capitalist agitprop groups”.

Returning fire, Friends of the Earth’s energy and climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said Paterson’s “paranoid outburst” proves “he was never fit to hold office”. 

Responding on Twitter, journalist and campaigner George Monbiot added, Calling all members of #GreenBlobPride. Owen Paterson says we ended his career. Carrot juice all round!” 

Paterson took further heat last week after it was announced he is to deliver a lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the UK’s leading climate-sceptic campaign group.

Shrubsole added, “Liz Truss [Paterson’s replacement] must make a clean break with her predecessor by backing urgent action to slash emissions, and by speaking to scientists and experts – not the climate quacks at the GWPF.”

Photo: Policy Exchange via Flickr 

Further reading:

Former environment secretary Owen Paterson to give lecture to climate-sceptic campaign group

Liz Truss to replace Owen Paterson as environment secretary

Environment secretary has received just two climate change briefings during tenure

Environment secretary Owen Paterson says UK will benefit from global warming

Controversial but ‘necessary’ badger cull set to begin in Somerset

 


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