AS we prepare to go to the polls, it’s worth noting the extent to which the political class sing from the same environmentally friendly hymn sheet.

So one-sided has this issue become that I sometimes wonder if we are still allowed to use the word, “jobs”, in public, without the prefix of “Green” being attached to it.

It is remarkable the extent to which austerity environmentalism has become not only mainstream but all-stream. Not only do all the major political parties pronounce their greenness, but most of the small parties, even the Brexit Party, when it still existed, talk not about an industrial revolution but a green industrial revolution.

It’s as if the mere words, “jobs” and “industry” make our hands dirty.

Unlike most other countries, the UK has made carbon reduction a legal requirement. Within 15 years we are supposed to have carried out 58 percent reductions. Suggested ways to achieve this include increasing the price of flights, stopping gas boilers being fitted in houses, retrofitting houses at the cost of around £18,000 per home, and banning new petrol and diesel cars – the list goes on.

Genuine concerns are being raised about fuel poverty consequences. Will transport become too expensive? Will limiting potential industry impact on jobs? In the US, for example, millions are expected to lose their jobs if fracking is banned, according to the Global Energy Institute.

But do these changes reflect what the public want? If they do not, it would appear that our system of democracy is failing us yet again. On top of this, the legally enshrined nature of the carbon target allows governments to ignore all sorts of alternative policies, to ignore public opposition to their environmental austerity, both now and in the future.

Unfortunately, rather than treating environmental changes as a practical and manageable issue we appear to have adopted a one-dimensional, carbon neutral approach that limits the potential for growth and consequently undermines our capacity to manage these changes more efficiently and without the austerity implications.

This is the argument of Bjorn Lomborg, author of False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.

Driven by a catastrophic myth of extinction, a catastrophe not supported by even the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or wider science, tackling global warming becomes irrational and impractical with devastating implications for the public and especially for the poor across the world.

For Lomborg the problem of environmental change is real but has been moralised and now limits our scientific and practical possibilities.

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Rather than discussing global warming in apocalyptic terms, as a “climate emergency”, Lomborg argues that this is a manageable problem. If we use our ingenuity and not only focus myopically on being carbon neutral, we can build water defences, for example, that could resolve many of the problems of sea levels rising.

Speaking as an economist he explores the practical costs of various approaches to environmental changes and finds that by using science and technology, coupled with economic growth, both industrial advancement and environmental protection can develop hand in hand.

The hyperbolic representation of the problem allows politicians and the new elites to talk big, and to gain a sense of moral purpose based on simplistic and false assertions that they are going to “Save the Planet” and “Save Humanity”.

But by focusing simply on becoming carbon neutral we risk massively limiting industrial and scientific developments that could help us manage both local and global changes.

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What a country like Scotland needs is not a green industrial revolution but an industrial revolution per se. It needs better jobs, not “green” jobs. It needs affordable heating and transport. All of this needs somebody to step up and make the case for the importance and need for massive and managed economic growth.

Now all we need is a political party to break the mould, to get their hands dirty, and get us out of this austerity trap.

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