Have you ever noticed that the climate strike kiddies are so overwhelmingly middle-class?
Watch any school’s climate protest and note the neat blazers and brand-new iPhones. Listen, if you can without surrendering to the urge to shove knitting needles in your ears, to Poppy, Hyacinth and Viola from St Pretentious-Twatts parrot their rote-learned lines about the “threat to the planet”. Even their patron saint, revolting Swedish brat Greta, is the scion of an upper-middle-class family of actors and opera singers who clearly think nothing of spending over $1,000 on a retro armchair.
The party of environmental activism, the Greens invariably draw their support from the richest voting bloc.
Because the reality is that environmentalism is just class war by other means.
It’s always been thus with left-wing movements. The private correspondence of the British socialists, headed by the Bloomsbury Circle, drip with disdain for the working-classes. Orwell ruefully admitted that “Socialism, in its developed form, is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes. The typical Socialist is … a youthful snob-Bolshevik”.
Every so often the mask slips and the class dynamics become crystal clear. That’s precisely what happened earlier today on Wandsworth Bridge in London. Members of Insulate Britain, the Extinction Rebellion offshoot now 11 days into its road-blocking campaign for double-glazing, were filmed being dragged out of the road by enraged working-class men who did what the authorities couldn’t and cleared the road of these Home Counties irritants.
Greens types invariably react with outrage when you point out that the Greens are the party of the rich but facts are facts. The Greens ’ vote in Australia is almost exclusively confined to Melbourne’s million-dollar inner-city terraces and Sydney’s harbourside mansions.
Last year, academics from the University of Exeter, Keele University and Aston University published research showing that XR activists are overwhelmingly middle-class, highly educated and southern. A whopping 85 per cent of them have degrees. (Incidentally, going on the snaps of those arrested in recent days, a surprisingly large proportion of them appear to be vicars.)
Orwell also wrote that “a humanitarian is always a hypocrite”. An eco-activist is even worse: research has found that the most ostentatiously “green” people at the same time have the biggest carbon footprints. That’s because they’re overwhelmingly wealthy, and (as even the IPCC tacitly admits) wealth translates directly into carbon emissions.
Eco-activism is, thus, essentially the well-off bourgeoisie campaigning to make working-class people’s lives more impoverished and miserable. “To bring about a society in which cars, flights and ‘non-essential consumption’ are banned.”
Climate alarmism is inherently opposed to the interests of working-class people, and more and more people are starting to clock this. Bans on petrol and diesel cars might mean little if getting around for you means cycling around Stroud. But it means a hell of a lot if you drive for a living and rely on your car to get the kids to school. Fantasising about the end of the world is a luxury most people do not have. As the gilets jaunes used to say, the elites care about the end of the world, while everyone else worries about the end of the month.Spiked Online
A climate activist friend of mine reacted furiously at my habit of pointing out, every time she boasted about her latest overseas trip (at least three times a year), that she had just knocked my annual carbon emissions into a cocked hat with a single holiday. Such is the way with hypocrites: they will happily hold everyone but themselves to the standard of their own moral superiority.
But even worse than the lunatic, bourgeois left, is the supposedly sober “conservative” centre-right who endlessly pander to them. When XR nutters demand zero emissions in five years, any government decently concerned with the welfare of the working-classes would tell the green loons where to shove it. But they don’t: instead, they shuffle and shamefacedly whimper, “Well, alright… net zero by 2050 then?”
Yet, for all the sound and fury of the climate elite, pandering to them is never a vote-winner. Two Australian prime ministers were kicked out of office in short succession, in a backlash against carbon taxes. Scott Morrison won in 2019 mostly on the backs of resource-belt voters.
The climate war is a class war: the centre-right must make clear which side they’re on.
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