In an open letter in the Sunday Telegraph the Shropshire MP and former minister criticised green “bullies” who, he argues, believe the only way to save the planet is to limit progress and stifle new technology.
The letter came in advance of this morning’s UK2020 event hosted by Paterson covering ‘Ecomodernism’. UK2020 is a centre-right think tank established by Paterson after he was sacked as Environment Secretary in 2014.
His Telegraph article opens with: “For the past 50 years the environmental movement has been in thrall to a simple, powerful and utterly wrong idea: that the best way to save the planet is to curtail human activity, whether in the form of breeding, building, burning or business. Anybody who suggests a different strategy – that economic activity is not just compatible with environmental benefits, but vital to creating and improving them – has been howled down.”
The MP goes on to say that the environmental movement is “utterly wrong” and he attacks “suit-wearing bosses” of green economic groups who have a “relentlessly pessimistic view of the world”.
He concludes: “Ecomodernism lets you escape this negativity and celebrate the measures we can take to improve the world’s wildlife if we have enough money and we can spare enough space from servicing human needs. On September 24 I will be hosting a debate about Ecomodernism with three of its inventors, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute of California, and Mark Lynas of Cornell University, Alliance for Science, together with Matt Ridley who has been making very similar arguments for years. They are from all parts of the political spectrum, but they agree on this new, positive vision of how to improve the planet.”
You can read his letter in full here.