The problem with hidden agendas
I'm used to my reports and blogs causing a stir but the Analysis programme I made this week for Radio 4 seems to have been even more incendiary than most.
It asks an admittedly deliberately provocative question - whether the green movement is bad for the environment.
But the actual programme is, I thought, more balanced and nuanced. It discusses whether some of the ideological baggage of the green movement can be a problem when campaigning on the climate issue.
Yet it led one contributor to the programme to describe me as dangerous. I've been called all sorts of things in my life, but that's a new one on me.
I've also had a clutch of critical e-mails. One described the programme as "an attempt to catch a currently fashionable vogue for smearing environmentalists".
Then there is the usual slew of angry posts on my blog.
So why is the programme causing such controversy?
A number of people thought it was plain biased.
"It's good old fashioned journo trick", reads a comment on one blog.
"Set up the straw man, conflate lots of ideas and different people's work behind it and deliver your own value laden conclusions as if you were taking the only rational position possible."
Is that fair? Judge for yourself, listen to it now.
Alternatively, you can read a full transcript here.
The more patient among you can wait until Sunday 31st, then you will be able to do it the old fashioned way and listen to the programme on the wireless. Radio 4 at 9.30pm. (You may it find a useful sleep aid).
But I will cut to the chase. I argue in the programme that green campaigners should be very wary of using the urgency of the climate issue as cover to push forward other, agendas - poverty or equality, for example.
Here's the conclusion: "I don't have a problem with people campaigning for those other agendas for their vision of a better society. For me the problem comes if the
fear of the consequences of climate change is used as cover to smuggle in other objectives for social and political change. That's because many people already
have a sense that there's something suspicious about the campaign to tackle global warming; they instinctively distrust the science and if they feel that the solutions people are proposing are less to do with carbon than pushing through a hidden agenda that will only serve to confirm their scepticism."
Now that's not that controversial is it?