Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Shades of green

If Scruton makes a mistake it is, ironically, that he is not conservative enough. As he has written before, conservatism is not a philosophy but a disposition, and one of the things it is disposed to do is be mistrustful of comprehensive world views that attempt to provide all the answers. Conservatism has to apply that insight to itself and accept that the environment is a large, messy problem that requires a large mess of solutions, big and small, conservative and radical. Scruton is right to make the links between conservatism and conservation and to stress the role attachment to place can play in environmental protection. But this battle is too big, international and unprecedented for Burke’s “little platoons” to fight it alone.
Review of Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet by Roger Scruton in the FT Weekend (31 Dec/1 Jan)