18th Jan 2012; 18:00Listen to the audio
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RSA KeynoteThe environment has long been the undisputed territory of the political left, which has seen the principal threats to the earth as issuing from international capitalism, consumerism and the over-exploitation of natural resources.
In his new book 'Green Philosophy', philosopher Roger Scruton argues that this way of thinking is fallacious, and poses a danger to the ecosystems on which we all depend.
Instead, he believes that conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism, and argues that rather than entrusting the environment to NGOs and international committees, we must 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.
The current environmental movement directs its energies at the bigger picture but fails to see that environmental problems are generated and resolved by ordinary people – and that there is an alternative path that we can take which could ensure the future safety of our planet and our species.
Speaker: Roger Scruton, writer, philosopher and author of 'Green Philosophy: How to think seriously about the planet' (Atlantic Books, 2012).
Chair: Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA.
See what people said on Twitter: #RSAScruton
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