Skip to content

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Climate-Change Sceptic?

Brendan O'Neill, The Daily Telegraph

The Green Party’s proposal shows how authoritarian and intolerant environmentalist politics has become

Imagine if there were a campaign to sack every senior government adviser who didn’t believe in God. There’d be outrage, and rightly so. Purging politicos from power on the basis of their private beliefs, on the grounds of what lurks in their conscience, would be seen as an intolerable assault on freedom of thought.

Well, the Green Party is proposing just such an assault on senior government advisers – not on the basis of whether they believe in God but on the basis of whether they accept the climate-change consensus. The party has published a 10-point plan on dealing with the current floods, and at the very top of the plan is the proposal that all senior advisers who do not accept the “findings of climate scientists” should be ditched, thrown out of office, expelled from public life effectively. This would apply even to advisers whose brief has nothing to do with the environment. As Green Party leader Natalie Bennett makes clear in this pretty shocking interview with the BBC, “every senior adviser who refuses to accept the scientific consensus on climate change shouldn’t be in their posts”.

There is more than a whiff of McCarthyism to this proposal. Perhaps we should ask every aspiring civil servant, “Are you now or have you ever been a climate-change sceptic?” The Green Party’s proposal shows how authoritarian and intolerant environmentalist politics has become, so that everyone who raises awkward questions about the climate-change consensus is branded a “denier” (a term borrowed from the Inquisition) and anyone who fails to conform to the right way of thinking on climate-change issues will swiftly find themselves accused not just of being wrong, but of being immoral and even dangerous – the Green Party says senior government advisers who refute the green consensus are“endanger[ing] our future and our children’s future”.

When a party can so casually call for the sacking of political advisers who do not accept a particular outlook, a particular consensus, then it’s pretty clear that party has lost any attachment to the age-old ideals of free thought, free speech and the rights of conscience.

Full comment