A quote from Roger Scruton in The American Conservative, 16 July 2007
The fourth reason the environmental movement has been appropriated by the Left is that it is a paradigm of a global cause. What is going wrong with the environment is going wrong everywhere. The world is an interlocking and mutually adapting system. If there is damage in one place, it will emerge in another. There seem to be no solutions to environmental problems that don't involve transgressing national boundaries and linking people across the globe. This connects to a longstanding desire on the Left to abolish nations and national governments—those centers of loyalty and power that seem to be at the heart of human conflicts—and to replace them with some kind of transnational, multinational, or even global government.
[…] Environmental issues seem to lend themselves to statist solutions. The problems seem so large, so diffuse, so without local definition that the only way to solve them must be by some gesture of control from above in which enlightened intellectuals direct the benighted profiteers. That is a cherished motive on the Left: the hope that progressives will be able to take hold of the state and use it to dictate to the rest of humanity, supposedly for the benefit of everyone. […]
Left-wing movements appeal because they offer three things that people need. They promise a justifying cause, in the form of a victim to be rescued. In the 19th century, we rescued the proletariat, and then in the 1960s, we rescued youth. We rescued women, and then we rescued animals. Now we rescue the Earth itself—a cause so noble as to justify all activities performed in its name.
These movements also provide an enemy, and enemies are useful for defining your place in the world. While it is difficult to share friends, you can easily share enemies, since hatred is far less demanding than love and requires no shared judgment—only a common target.
Such movements provide a dynamic experience of belonging, in which you are engaged in doing something and doing it collectively. They offer a balm for loneliness and alienation. [...] [W]hen a radical Left movement becomes discredited, there is seldom an act of penitence. There is rather a sideways migration to another movement with the same emotional structure. During the '70s and '80s, therefore, as the reality of communism could no longer be denied, people began to migrate from red to green. The problem is that when an important issue like the environment gets captured by a left-wing movement, this disrupts the possibility of developing a proper political approach. [...] Environmental movements on the Left seldom pause to consider the question of human motivation. It is so clear to them that something must be done that they leap to the conclusion that it must be done by state power and imposed by law.