Regarding the Nov. 3 news article “Cameron’s conundrum: Green conservatism”:
Conservatism should aim to conserve human society for future generations using solutions appropriate to the principles of liberty and the free market. Margaret Thatcher said, “The core of Tory philosophy and of the case for protecting the environment are the same.” The father of British conservatism, Edmund Burke, prefigured the same sentiments.
A politically reactive view of the environment risks blinding Britain’s Conservatives to smart, market-friendly solutions that are succeeding elsewhere. Such an outcome clears the stage for left-leaning statist approaches, in turn confirming, rather than challenging, left-wing orthodoxy on the environment.
From a position of environmental leadership under past Conservative governments, including Mrs. Thatcher’s, Britain is falling behind the United States, China and India on the environment. Electorally, the Conservatives would do better to remember the votes lost to centrist rivals, which cost the party a majority in the last election, rather than the threat from the U.K. Independence Party, which has never won a parliamentary seat. To meet its philosophical, economic and electoral responsibilities, our party must articulate a more sophisticated response to the environment.
Ben Goldsmith, London
The writer is chairman of the steering committee of the Conservative Environment Network.