WHILE it may be true to say that “We are all environmentalists now”, the great majority of Australians have little or no say in the environmental policies being put to governments – federal, state or local. These policies are almost exclusively the domain of a tight network of conservation groups ensuring one view, and one view only, is put forward.
I’m paraphrasing comments from Barry Cohen made to me a couple of years ago. Mr Cohen was Australia’s Minister for the Arts, Heritage and Environment in the Hawke Government from 1983 to 1987.
What are the key values and beliefs shared by this “tight network of conservation groups” often referred to as the Greens?
Some claim the Greens based their policies on sound science, but I’m yet to see the evidence to support this contention.
I’ve listened to some explain that the Greens essentially take a commonsense approach to environmental issues, but science, particularly physics, makes a mockery of commonsense.
Much has been written by those who scorn the Greens labelling them socialists, luddites and liars. But again, this is hardly the beginning or the end of their story.
It is generally accepted that the beliefs and values of the Greens have had a profound impact on western society over the last few decades.
But where do we go to better understand these values and determine whether or not they are really worth subscribing to?
Furthermore, if the Greens are never made to declare what they honestly stand for, they remain freer than most political movements to craft a potentially misleading, though perhaps politically savvy message.
In ‘Defining the Greens (Part 1)’, I commented that in Part 2, I would explore the idea that the Greens and some ‘scientific disciplines’ are based on Romanticism. But I am holding my thoughts on this, just for the moment.
Defining the Greens (Part 1) is here, http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/04/defining-%e2%80%98the-greens%e2%80%99-part-1/
The picture of Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens, is from Perth Independent Media.