Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton

The Only True Conservationist is a Conservative

Coleridge Lectures/
Thu 05 March 2015

Roger Scruton

The Only True Conservationist is a Conservative

Roger Scruton
Thu 05 March 2015,

The Left makes the running on environmental issues – seeing the threats to the earth being international capitalism, consumerism and the over-exploitation of natural resources. The truth is the only true conservationist and environmentalist is a Conservative. The environment is the most urgent political problem of our age; the problem is that most environmental problems are generated and resolved by ordinary people often ignored by the environmental movement. Conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism; rather than entrusting the environment to unwieldy NGOs and international committees, Scruton argues that we must all assume personal responsibility and foster local sovereignty. People must be empowered to take charge of their environment, to care for it as a home, and to affirm themselves through the kind of local associations that have been the traditional goal of conservative politics. This is the right path to take to ensure the future safety of our planet and our species.

This lecture is part of a new annual series inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s radical lectures in Bristol in 1795. It is part of The Romantic Poets and Bristol programme, which celebrates the life of Thomas Chatterton, Hannah More, Willam Wordsworth, Coleridge and others in the city, and Bristol as the place where Romanticism was born with the first publication of the Lyrical Ballads. The programme focuses especially on nature and the emotions, place and the environment, and also looks at Bristol as a city for science, philosophy, ideas and political debate at the time of Coleridge and today. The 2015 theme is Radical Green. Future themes are: Utopias (2016); Revolution (2017) and Peace (2018).

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