Last October the director-general of the National Trust, Dame Helen Ghosh, seemed prepared to stand against the green orthodoxy which exists in the public and voluntary sectors. She said that she had an open mind on fracking and rejected the case for wind farms on the Trustís land. Her approach was entirely logical. The Trustís job is to guard the aesthetic integrity of the landscapes which it has bought with donorsí money, or which they have been gifted, in order to preserve it for future generations.
The Trust does not exist to deface the land with enormous wind turbines which, from an energy point of view, are little more than ornaments.
In April, however, Dame Helen said that she is opposed to fracking on Trust land to avoid anything which encourages continued use of fossil fuel. At the same time, she softened her stance on wind farms.
The Trustís rural enterprise director has said that it plans to erect more solar farms on its land, saying that they encourage wildlife.
Since when was the National Trust an authority on energy policy?
These announcements are not consistent with a policy of conserving treasured landscapes. They are more consistent with a desire to jump aboard the climate change bandwagon.
This is a sign of a wider, more insidious culture in government. When organisations like the Parole Board, the Methodist Church, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are required to have a climate change plan, something has gone seriously wrong.
Ministries are devoting much of their time and effort to cross-government policy initiatives, using our money, which have little to do with their stated purpose.