19 May 2011

Greening the Green Party?


Taking part in Dave Bangs rally for forest access at Houghton Woods in Sussex and walking in the woods with him and other well informed naturalists, last saturday, it struck me that I ought to do more ecology. My knowledge of pollards and orchids is sadly limited!

I have, however, despite having taught economics for pretty much all my working life, a background in environmental science (sort of).

My first degree was in Environmental Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, which is now part of University College London.

So I studied soils and pollen and snails and human inter actions with the rest of nature. Very useful and interesting but a while ago.

Being for the 'environment' means little unless you have appropriate policies and ecology shows that sometimes counter intuitive ideas work.

For example, slash and burn agriculture (with limits) may be good for forest biodiversity.

Ecology needs to be re-integrated into green politics, when the Green Party started we were the Ecology Party and had input from scientists.

I don't believe there should be an absence of the social, social justice is a green political principle.

And the growth/waste imperative of capitalism means that to sustain life we need an economic system that is ecological.

I would be interest to know opinions of Green Party members who work in environmental science or have expertise in ecology.

Do we need to re-green the Green Party?

1 comment:

Different kinds of love said...

I think the opposite. There are enough ecological pressure groups out there. To be a political party, we are essentially about winning people over to our ideas. We have the image of being ecologically sound and this already is a little exclusive. I had an elector on a doorstep say that they wanted to vote Green but didn't know enough about the environment and had a car. So to maintain mass appeal, we need to be more attractive to the mainstream and less experts in ecology.