Mark Lynas: I'm not the pariah of the green movement

Mark Lynas' views on GM and nuclear have provoked debate amongst greens
Author at the centre of recent documentary claims more than half of the environmental movement agrees with him that we should embrace genetically modified (GM) crops and nuclear power

Campaigner Mark Lynas says he is not the 'pariah of the green movement' and that environmental groups risk alienating people because of their strong campaigns against nuclear, GM and also aviation.

In a recent documentary, green activists including Lynas, said environmental groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace were 'clinging to out-dated ideology' by opposing solutions to climate change like nuclear power and GM crops.

In an interview with the Ecologist, he says more than half of the movement agrees with him. 'There are a lot of people out there who don't consider themselves greens but are concerned about these issues but are alienated from the green movement because it is so ideologically self marginalising. If we are ever to solve the planets' problems we need to have a much, much broader church. That is one of the things I want to see happen.'

Lynas says stopping new coal-fired power stations being built and campaigning for existing ones to be phased out should be the 'number one priority' for environmentalists. However, he said it had been a 'mistake' for campaign groups to focus so heavily on opposing aviation.

'It is probably the hardest thing to do anything about technically and it's one of the things people most value. That's alienated people, and, I think, contributed to the rise of climate change scepticism in the population as a whole.'

He added that solving climate change did not have to mean 'living in a cold house or putting up with austerity and discomfort' but was something that we could deal with using existing technologies.

Read the full interview

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