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19 Apr, 2020 07:15

Here’s some good news about the Covid-19 pandemic: The self-absorbed, climate change do-gooders are one of its casualties

Here’s some good news about the Covid-19 pandemic: The self-absorbed, climate change do-gooders are one of its casualties

Support for green parties, and their causes, has slumped across Europe. When you’re fighting a silent killer and the economy is going to ruins, their ill-conceived, woke activism just doesn’t seem to matter.

The Covid-19 pandemic has left many victims in its wake, the elderly, those in poor health, doctors and nurses working on the frontline… and the climate change brigade.

It seems that many people across Europe have had a rethink about the wisdom of the green agenda in these unprecedented times. When you are being stalked by an invisible killer, locked in your own home for weeks on end and not able to visit those outside your immediate household because you risk being caught by the police and fined, then thoughts of climate change and other issues that in pre-Covid days seemed important, don’t really seem to matter that much any more.

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The view seems to be that tackling rising sea levels and Amazonian deforestation can wait for another day. 

When business and industry are at a virtual standstill, there are few planes to jam up the skies, and vehicle traffic is at such low levels that the air we’re breathing during the pandemic is cleaner than it’s been for years, then those particular green bogeymen have vanished overnight.

Of course, politics is still with us, pandemic or not, and climate change activists have attempted to weaponise the coronavirus by trying to draw a direct link between the horrible, lonely deaths of its victims and the state of the planet, and using fear as a catalyst to do so.

But most ordinary folk, rightly, think that this is a time to focus first and foremost on their health, their futures and their damaged livelihoods, and of that of their families.  

The inhabitants of the green fringe had come into this catastrophe on a bit of a high. 

Following the European Elections last year, where smaller parties always perform exponentially better than they do domestically, thanks to the voting system used, the Greens in Germany, for instance, were level-pegging with the Christian Democrats in the national polls, at around 26 percent.

Since then, the CDU, despite its own internal problems, has risen to 36 percent support, while the Greens have flopped to 17 percent.

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It’s a similar story elsewhere in Europe. In France, their green party, Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV), took more than 13 percent of the vote in the European Elections last year, gaining 12 seats; but in the recent round of local elections scraped only a meagre 2.4 percent of the vote. No doubt they were happy to have the second round of those polls delayed, if only to regroup and save face.

In the UK, the Greens bump along on low single figures in the polls while a dramatic surge of support for a Government with a clear, strong message has galvanised the Conservatives.

It seems that the desire to support those fringe parties with such a narrow outlook has dissipated in the face of worldwide disaster. 

Voters are not going to choose parties based on smug First World issues any time soon. They will want strong, experienced political representatives who can deliver on health, jobs and security in an uncertain world.

There is no place for student politics when big decisions have to be made. The “all in this together” message is a strong one and those that choose to operate outside of the collective, by turning inwards, and putting their own niche interests before all else, are putting the lives of others on the line.

Insular thinking is not going to help with the economic recovery either. The ‘Amsterdam doughnut’ idea currently being touted in the Netherlands as a means of rebuilding a new society using a different economic model is simply inappropriate.

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One of the ‘doughnut’s’ key boosters told one newspaper that it was not “just a hippy way” of looking at the world.

I beg to differ. That is precisely what it is.

Like so many issues on the green agenda, the pressing urgency to stay woke trumps anything else and former disciples seem to now be realising this, thanks to a very real public health emergency.

If self-absorbed, climate change activism, the fear it creates and thrives on, and the ill-conceived fringe green causes of the 21st Century are casualties of the current pandemic, then there will at least be one positive to emerge from this mess.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.