Right Wing Nut House

4/21/2009

WHY DO CONSERVATIVES SEE RED WHEN OBAMA TALKS GREEN?

Filed under: Environment, GOP Reform, Government, Politics, conservative reform — Rick Moran @ 8:06 am

I used to be as much of a frothing at the mouth, anti-EPA, anti-environmental regulation ideologue as the next fellow. Back in the early 1980’s when I was but a young buckaroo, I could rail against the anti-business, anti-free market bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency and the anti-people environmentalists with the best of them.

But at that time, one must recall that the Reagan administration represented the first push-back against some of the really silly and stupid — not to mention draconian and illiberal — regulations that had contributed to the decline of the steel and other industries as well as placing an unnecessary burden on farmers, ranchers, loggers, and other small businessmen who became targets of the regulators.

So what happened? I’d like to say I grew up and opened my eyes but that would presuppose that somewhere in my conservative soul I wasn’t concerned about the environment all along. Rather it was the gradual realization brought about by my own life experiences that the industrial age and free market capitalism had brought us wondrous riches and allowed for a lifestyle unknown anywhere else on the planet but that it had come at a cost. We have always known of this cost to the environment. Even in my dotage I can recall Lake Michigan beaches in Chicago being closed due to excess pollution, and a small stream near where I grew up becoming a frothing, foamy cesspool of smelly brown sludge from some business or other dumping waste upstream. Driving through Gary, Indiana in the 1960’s after spending 4 weeks in the pristine wilderness of northern Michigan made us all gag from the stench of the belching steel mills running 24 hours a day, turning white laundry a soft shade of brown on backyard clotheslines.

Knowing all this, I still resisted the idea that government could tell business what to do. I just never made the connection between pollution and the polluters until I had traveled enough and lived long enough to see the impact on ordinary people’s lives.

Later, it was concern about suburban sprawl that affected me directly and all the attendant environmental problems and quality of life issues that came with it. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that environmental protection was necessary and even desirable, and that only the federal government was a big enough entity to take on giant corporations and powerful interests who were acting in an irresponsible manner toward the natural world.

And therein lies the conservative dilemma about the environment and why, to this day, conservatives are uneasy about getting too excited about going “green.”

In a perfect world where the free market was truly “free,” environmental protection would be fairly easy. “You break it, you pay for it,” would be the sentence for polluters who damaged the air and water that Americans breathe and drink. There might even be incentives for business to be good stewards of the land. But that notion supposes that all businesses will act with some degree of responsibility toward the environment. History has proved otherwise which made federal intervention a necessity.

In the early days of the federal environmental movement, there was much support from more moderate Republicans for measures like the creation of the EPA, the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, and the original efforts to cut down on lead in gasoline emissions.

But when EPA regulations began to cut into profits and pose a burden on businesses large and small, conservatives saw an agency out of control and uncaring about economic growth. The fervent beliefs and self-righteousness of environmentalists didn’t help matters either. In the end, it was enough to simply oppose anything the EPA tried to do, branding it as government overreach and injurious to wealth creation.

This view became even more pronounced during the 1990’s as the Global Warming debate heated up. As climate change advocates became more and more accusatory of skeptics, conservatives recoiled from what they saw as the almost religious nature of AGW beliefs. Kyoto, a treaty so obviously flawed that the senate wouldn’t even consider it, proved to conservatives that the global warming argument was less about climate change and more about massive transfers of wealth from rich nations to poor.

But why should conservatives look upon environmental issues in such a way? Environmentalism was invented by a “progressive” conservative, Teddy Roosevelt. TR was in love with nature — especially that part of which he could shoot — but he also realized that unless action was taken, some future generation of Americans would lose the legacy of our wilderness. The almost incomprehensible vastness of the land is one of the things that makes us an exceptional nation and TR saw a day when almost all the empty spaces would be filled up. Thus was born the conservation movement by government (it had existed for 50 years previous to that as private citizens bought up more than 20 million acres to save the wilderness).

What happened to that legacy? Post World War II conservatism became entranced and then captured by the idea that untrammeled growth and unregulated free markets was the ticket to paradise. Somehow, the notion that bigger was better married with a semi-religious belief in corporatism to unbalance the traditional conservative belief in “conserving” the past. When the reality of choking smog and filthy rivers became an issue, conservatives balked, believing it was a “cost of economic growth” or more incoherently, a question of “keeping the government out of the business of business.”

That view held by many conservatives has matured since the 1960’s but not by much. Conservatives are still apt to make fun of “tree huggers” and others who go overboard in professing their love of nature while believing that global warming is a “hoax”. In this, the right has been content to allow the left to claim the mantle of “Protectors of the Earth” despite the fact that there are few issues that are more conservative than conservation.

Conservative thinkers for the last century have embraced conservation and environmentalism as a natural outgrowth of one of conservatism’s most cherished principles. Political theorist Russell Kirk:

“True conformity to the dictates of nature requires reverence for the past and solicitude for the future. ‘Nature’ is not simply the sensation of the passing moment; it is eternal, though we evanescent men experience only a fragment of it. We have no right to imperil the happiness of posterity by impudently tinkering with the heritage of humanity.”

The “heritage of humanity, or as he put it later in life, the “concept of society as joined in perpetuity by a moral bond among the dead, the living, and those yet to be born—the community of souls. . . .”

Prudence, piety, a regard for the world around us and the people in it; you can’t get much more conservative than that. We see this ideal slowly being resurrected among younger conservatives especially. Perhaps the last two decades of materialism and the celebration of capitalism has affected younger conservatives who seek more meaning in their lives. This is part of the crunchy-con beliefs of Ron Dreher and embodied politically by Mike Huckabee. Environmentalism to some younger righties is very much a concern that is tied into an overall critique of American capitalism.

Kirk decisively rejects the “practical conservatism [which has] degenerated into mere laudation of ‘private enterprise,’ economic policy almost wholly surrendered to special interests.”28 He “Indignantly denie[s] . . . that his conservatism could or should be identified with businessmen.”29 Other leading traditionalists concur. Peter Viereck admonishes conservatives to “conserve the humane and ethical values of the West rather than the economic privileges of a fraction of the West.”30 Stephen Tonsor contends that the traditionalist conservatives “are not now, nor will they be, identified with the American business community. They are clearly identified with natural law philosophy and revealed religion.”

From a traditionalist perspective, just as we have inherited our culture and must preserve it for future generations, so have we inherited this earth, and we have to take proper care of it as good stewards. As Margaret Thatcher stated when she announced her conversion to environmentalism, “No generation has a freehold on this earth. All we have is a life tenancy—with a full repairing lease.” The principle of stewardship, and consequently of “sustainable development,” should lead conservatives to accept their duty to design our economy so that we produce our goods in a way that does not impair the planet’s ability to provide for future generations.

The question, then, of why conservatives have abandoned environmentalism and ceded the issue to the left is more political than philosophical. The rationale has always been there. It’s just that in the heat of political combat — and thanks to a Republican party that would rather be in bed with the polluters than regulate them — conservatives have ultimately taken the position that whatever the liberals want to do with regard to the environment is wrong and must be opposed as a matter of principle.

I would say to my friends on the right that we’re missing the boat when it comes to the environment. President Obama’s top down solutions will be costly, inefficient, and in the end, won’t work very well. The liberals have left a huge political hole that conservatives could drive a truck through if they would begin to think more than superficially about how to protect the earth. Obama wishes to mandate which technologies will win out in the competition to develop alternative energies, reduce carbon emissions, and develop clean coal plants. One wonders what kind of mandates the government will force on auto manufacturers to develop “green” cars now that they have The Big Three by the short hairs. And cap and trade may prove to be one of the biggest boondoggles in the history of government - without reducing carbon emissions by one molecule.

But does that mean that these goals are unworthy? Or is it that the “solutions” are wrongheaded? Being dismissive of global warming is one thing; not promoting the idea of reducing carbon emissions is quite another. There are good reasons beyond “saving the earth” from what may be catastrophic climate change to reduce our carbon output. First of all, there’s a chance that ruinous changes in climate might actually occur unless we do something. The problem is that global warming has partnered so many odious ideologies and movements that the “solutions” being offered are thinly disguised power and wealth grabs by the United Nations, anti-globalists, anti-capitalists, radical environmentalists who put nature above human beings, and “sustainable development” freaks who actually wish to rid the world of 80% of its human population.

Making the reduction in carbon emissions a goal in and of itself would make more sense. Lessening our carbon footprint saves energy and helps us along the road to energy independence - a worthy goal all by itself. And devising laws and regulations that maximize market input into what kind of technologies will win out to help with the development of new, cleaner systems (and old ones like fast-tracking new nuclear power plants).

Resistance by conservatives to the idea of “going green” is, in the end, self defeating. Issues such as what is happening to our forests and national parks where over logging has denuded the land of millions of acres of trees (at bargain basement prices), as well as the systematic plunder of western lands where companies have purchased mineral rights for a song while reaming the taxpayer thanks to the stupidity of Congress and bureaucrats should be cause for reproachment of the Democrats by conservatives and not a reason to brand those who advocate protecting these resouces as kooks.

This state of affairs should rend the soul of any good conservative who agrees with Kirk that we are not leaving a decent “heritage to humanity” by our silence and non-engagement on environmental issues. If we continue to allow Democrats the run of the house and not challenge them with good, solid, conservative alternatives to their collectivist notions of paternalism and government control, we will be missing a huge opportunity.

30 Comments

  1. I think the right needs to take some cues from the founder of Greenpeace, who left the organization after it was essentially hijacked by political radicals who perverted and warped its original message and mission. He once (in an interview on Penn and Teller’s Bullsh*t) said that preserving the environment is a good thing - we can all agree on that - but that sacrificing productivity and commercial exchange of the goods and services that we need is not advisable and that we need to focus on finding solutions that are as environmentally sound as possible without infringing on the ability to produce goods and services that make our modern society work.

    Easier said than done, but a worthy pursuit. I’m on board with “going green,” but not as a matter of political or government dogma or in terms of a new legislated-into-existance industry that is essentially bankrolled and subsidized by the taxpayer.

    Want clean energy? Here’s the answer: Nuke plants. Clean, efficient, limitless power, and technology that’s available NOW. What’s the hold-up (other than price)? Why are we wasting time and public money on inefficient, expensive, ineffective wind, ethanol and solar power (and various others)?

    The conservation of nature is a good thing, and those who would argue with this are a little strange. At the same time, over-regulation of industry and commerce in blind adherence to iron-clad government laws out of some nebulous devotion to “the great mother Gaia” and is not beneficial to a productive society or its employment when it is practiced as a matter of rigid political dogma.

    However, there is middle ground on this issue, and to cede it entirely to the left wing of the Democrat party is indeed politically and practically stupid.

    But then again, much of what the GOP has become during the latter years of the Bush Administration is politically and practically stupid, so I guess this isn’t news.

    Here’s hoping.

    Comment by Good Lt. — 4/21/2009 @ 9:14 am

  2. When I was living in Tuscany (sorry, I know how that sounds) I learned a couple of useful energy facts:

    1) Italy has to buy most of its power from France. Why? Because France is heavily into nuclear and Italians rejected it. So Italians can’t run clothes dryers or air conditioning and they pay a fortune to the French.

    2) The whole country — much of the continent — drives diesel. I drove several while I was there. The mileage is absolutely amazing, even on normal-sized cars. We could cut our gas usage drastically, almost overnight, with very available technology. And with the new cleaner diesels we’d sacrifice absolutely nothing.

    3) Part of the reason Italians drive diesels is that the government taxes the sh*t out of fuel. So while their government was stupid on nukes it was smart on fuel. Government intervention can sometimes be a good thing. It should also be noted that France’s decision to go nuke was a government decision.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/21/2009 @ 9:34 am

  3. Rick, you make some excellent points; but, please don’t generalize about “conservatives” opposing everything suggested by the greens and/or liberals. The reason it may seem we do is because that’s a normal reaction, perhaps, to THEIR excesses. Plus, when we were TOLD the debate about global warming was over, when we knew that wasn’t true, we sort of got our backs up.

    I’ve read that the air and water in this country is cleaner than it was 20 years ago. Have we been misled or brainwashed by the conservative nutcases? If it’s true, should all the credit be given to the EPA and government regulations? Or, could some of the credit be given to clear-thinking people who made many changes without being FORCED to do so?

    Farmers have been making real changes to their tilling processes for many years — they do so in order to protect the soil from erosion. It was due to education, not regulation.

    There are many things that can be done to protect Mother Earth. Maybe conservatives should focus on sensible options and make it very clear to the people that we certainly care. We just don’t like destroying the economy in the process.

    Comment by Linda D in NV — 4/21/2009 @ 10:02 am

  4. Good Lt.

    You are wrong to lump solar and wind with ethanol. Solar and wind are extremely effective when used properly.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/21/2009 @ 10:08 am

  5. Conservatives need to treat environmental issues seriously and advance conservative responses, instead of acting like the whole thing is made up and then going on to say nothing further about it. A lot of bad leftist ideas have been allowed to linger this long precisely because there is only one side really having a conversation.

    The notion that climate change is not happening at all and/or that it is happening but mankind has no impact on it at all, is not only absurd, it also requires the belief in a gigantic worldwide conspiracy that would dwarf “The Da Vinci Code.” When liberals say “the debate is over,” it is really those two points we’re talking about–and, sorry guys, that debate IS over. Some gases trap heat. This was demonstrated back in the days of Arrhenius, and was he a big Democratic donor?

    Acknowledge the baseline concepts, take a seat at the grown-up table, and by all means debate policy and responses. Heck, it’s also pretty open to debate just how bad the problem will be, and if you even think any response at all is economically viable. But saying you’re a “skeptic” about the very existence of AGW is a misuse of that term. It would be like if the Left had tried to participate in nuclear disarmament talks during the Cold War by “debating” whether atomic bombs exist in the first place or that they were “skeptical” of the principle of fission itself.

    Comment by TTT — 4/21/2009 @ 10:12 am

  6. >Solar and wind are extremely effective when used properly.

    Are they cost effective over the long term and at mass levels? Do they provide the ongoing, immense power needs for this country?

    No, and they never will.

    Nothing beats nuke for this, and we should have been doing it decades ago (when the same people today screaming about “going green” and “reducing your carbon footprint” were the same ones protesting the use of nuclear power for energy).

    Smaller, individual uses of solar power (for home energy/heating, etc.)?

    Fine. Don’t try to force everyone in the nation use it - they’ll do it if they want to.

    Comment by Good Lt. — 4/21/2009 @ 10:38 am

  7. Dear Rick

    I must admit my first reaction to your headline was deep concern that somehow your wisdom had been hijacked but I now see that your concern’s do have some legitmacy.

    However your comments about the over riding regulations from the EPA from the late 70s is still true today if not more so. I am sorry but the easy environmentalism has been done and Lake Erie will not catch on fire and you can probably eat the fish.

    However the environmentalists in the name of preventing global warming have moved on to bigger fish if you will pardon the pun. I live in CA which is rapidly joining the Kool Aid crowd on global including my worthless “Republican” governor who I wish was Gray Davis so that at least the idiocy was expected. These people want to control our lives manage where we live and what we drive and I am sorry if my libertarian bent thinks that these people watermelons or “Green on othe outside and RED on the inside”

    Comment by Kevin Brown — 4/21/2009 @ 11:08 am

  8. Only had time to read part of your post, and once again you confound me. Hearing a conservative talk like this outside rank ideology is a breath of fresh air. Kudos again!

    I would add that Green is an irresistible force that is not owned by Obama or dems. It is, I think, a march of common sense, devoid of politics and powered by necessity. Bush and the GOP had the chance to embrace this common sense and make the investments necessary to exploit it in practice and for political gain. They chose otherwise.

    Comment by Mr. Stuck — 4/21/2009 @ 12:30 pm

  9. I viewed the “Drill here, Drill now” champions much the same way you laugh at Obama’s picayune budget cuts — a good sound bite, but ultimately a non-solution to a big problem. So Nuke Here, Nuke Now. I can get behind that.

    Comment by Scott — 4/21/2009 @ 1:22 pm

  10. Michael Reynolds- one more point about diesels: they last 3X as long as gasoline engines. Change the oil regularly, and you’ll get 500,000 miles out of your diesel Mercedes (like I did- and still driving it). Try getting that with a gasoline engine!

    Comment by lionheart — 4/21/2009 @ 1:44 pm

  11. Are they cost effective over the long term and at mass levels? Do they provide the ongoing, immense power needs for this country?

    What, is this supposed to be instant?

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/21/2009 @ 2:00 pm

  12. I’m a good conservative, and I ride a scooter to work whenever I can. It’s a personal decision, based on my desire for energy independence, saving a few bucks on fuel, and getting out in the fresh air. It’s a blast.

    There are plenty of us out there like me, that will agree with your point about “good, solid, conservative alternatives to their collectivist notions of paternalism and government control”.

    It is the gubmint control that is unacceptable.

    Comment by connertown — 4/21/2009 @ 2:57 pm

  13. I work in the environmental field and have done so for the past 20 years. I do not have a problem with any efforts to clean our air and waters. And the results of the environemtal efforts in this country to date show the effects. People need to remember the Monongahela river on fire in the 1970s. Lake Erie being declared a “Dead Zone” during the same period. Lead poisoning affecting chldren along highways throughout this country from lead based gasolines.

    Today, our lakes and rivers are cleaner than they have been in 150 years. Lake Erie is hosting Bass tournaments. One car from 1970 creates more emissions than 400 cars of similar make and model off the production lines of today. Lead is almost unheard of as a pollutant for virtually the entire country. And all of this improvement was done without affecting the industrial base of our country.

    Can more improvement be made? Yes. But more importantly, improvements must be made outside of the US. The air we breathe today was air over Siberia not more than two weeks ago. Of all the countries who signed the Kyoto Accords, not one of them can compare their environmental and emission record since that signing to the evil US. And as you yourself stated, “cap and trade may prove to be one of the biggest boondoggles in the history of government - without reducing carbon emissions by one molecule.”

    I am not against going green but I am definitely reluctant to convert our entire industrial base on the promise of untried and unproven green technologies. I also do not see the merit in eliminating any drilling on or near the US. If you want to see complete and utter disregard for the environment, try visiting an oil drilling site in Nigeria or Liberia, or virtually any place you would like to name in the third world and even most places you could name in the West. The most stringent environmental laws and rules regarding drilling are in place here in the good ol’ USA.

    I am not against going green but I am most definitely against stupid policies, green or otherwise! We can go green - smartly, not blindly like we are in effect trying to do it now.

    Comment by SShiell — 4/21/2009 @ 3:17 pm

  14. I agree that we do need a certain amount of government regulations. But the left-wingers take regulation to extremes and the right-wingers eschew all regulations (obviously I grossly oversimplify.)

    Common sense regulations would be such a delightful breath of fresh air in today’s morass of regulations promulgated by the IRS, EPA, DOT, USDA, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I work daily with EPA air regulations and know how hopelessly mired everyone is in the task of trying to understand these conflicting, contradictory statutes.

    Here is a nice simple regulation for water: Put your discharge upstream of your intake. 7 words. It covers virtually every situation. Let each person or business deal with their situation as it is appropriate for them. If you cheat, you harm yourself. Positive feedback. It works every time.

    Analogous situations apply for air and soil. How remarkable would it be for all EPA regulations were they printed on one page? The same could apply to IRS as well as every other government agency.

    Comment by Wramblin' Wreck — 4/21/2009 @ 3:38 pm

  15. “I’ve read that the air and water in this country is cleaner than it was 20 years ago”

    After Bush? Oh noes! That can’t be!

    “a march of common sense”

    So when did a march of common sense turn into a crawl through inanity? Because I’m thinking that common sense would say that a ball hurdling through the universe at 35,000 mph with a 5 mile high atmosphere who’s outer crust is constantly being broken off and replaced isn’t much affected by car exhaust. Not the climate. Not the trajectory of the planet. Not much of anything except the people in the immediate area that have to breath the fumes. To think we’re changing the climate requires uncommon sense, and the latest polling I saw seems to finally agree with that assessment i.e. the majority of Americans are now AGW skeptics.

    Comment by EBJ — 4/21/2009 @ 4:41 pm

  16. This is a good article paraphrasing the history of environmentalism and the right, how it’s no longer associated with the “modern conservatives,” conservatives, that is, that you might find in Congress today. I believe your contradiction in conservation and conservatism is well thought out (see rep.org, Republicans for Environmental Protection for more).

    Now, at the risk of being lambasted, I think you miss the mark when you believe cap-and-trade to be a potentially disastrous boondogle. Sure, you can argue that the UN, tree-hugging liberals, and anti-capitalists want to intervene in our economy. Kyoto was a terrible document. But to lump cap-and-trade in the same boat a liberal searching for a capitalistic villain taking advantage of (insert your grievance here) is flat wrong. You make yourself just as bad as that anti-capitalist.

    First cap-and-trade is not as interventionist as you fear. What the EPA is currently advancing is interventionist, specifically its co2 regulations. The first cap-and-trade scenario to combat acid rain in the early 90s passed overwhelmingly in Congress (> or = to 85% voting in favor) and then signed by the first Bush. Cap-and-trade created a market. Sure, you could say the DOE’s stimulus funding into new technologies could be considered picking winners and losers (you could say the same thing for some defense spending), but a cap-and-trade lets the market decide.

    You flesh out some good criticism of the right and environmentalism, the left and its environmental agenda, but you miss the mark when you lump cap-and-trade into that category. Critics of it back in the 80s and early 90s believed that combating acid rain through cap-and-trade was going to cost over $1500 a year. It ended up costing 250$ a year (I forget the specific metric, but you can understand the point), and took less time to address than believed.

    Comment by sjohnson104 — 4/21/2009 @ 4:55 pm

  17. I’m glad that all of us (liberals, moderates and conservatives) see the need for a sustainable. Of course, the devil is in the detail. Honestly, I think a lot of the ‘ill-will’ stems from 70s and 80s identity policies (environmental protectors or long haired hippies versus ‘real’ Americans or rednecks). I think (hope) we have grown out of this!
    BTW, nukes have a lot of advantages but then there is the obvious disadvantage: Iron Mountain? As a nation we can pull this off. Don’t always get sidetracked by these wedge issues, please. I just insulated my house; saves money, energy and the environment.

    Comment by funny man — 4/21/2009 @ 9:25 pm

  18. Rick is again wondering around in the nonsense of political science instead of actual science. Makes more interesting, if tortured, reading. I’m always amazed at folks that presume to insert what they think into those of us that walked the streets of American in 1964 selling cans of Goldwater for 50 cents. What a bunch is BS about what conservatives of that time thought about the environment. Anyway…

    If anyone really wants to DO something about this one should support Simcox’s challenge of John McCain. You want your agenda advanced? Convince the emerging candidates.
    http://www.simcoxforsenate.com/index.php
    Rick, put your efforts where your mouth is. He’s currently working on his issues. Tell him what his issues should be. If you really, really want to change things then you’ll work with people like Simcox. McCain is vulnerable on the controlling issue of our times - energy.

    Carbon is the foundation of all that’s good on Earth. Energy is life. Cheap energy is prosperity. Controlling CO2 is suicide; if there is a crime against humanity, this is it. Go educate yourself. Go read up on abiotic energy. Go read about advances in nuclear energy. There simply is no way that green anything is sustainable. You’re just another journalist ignorant of science, the scientific method and have now delved into the arcane art of pandering.

    What do I care about a Senate race in AZ? Ridiculous.

    When you get your Nobel prize, come back and see me.

    ed.

    Comment by cedarhill — 4/22/2009 @ 4:33 am

  19. I’ve always felt that there was a difference between being a Conservationist and being an Environmentalist. I consider myself the former, and have disdain for the latter. A Conservationist loves nature, wants to preserve it, and ensure that we all are able to live with clean air and water for the purpose of a better life for humanity. An environmentalist looks at nature and sees it as superior to human beings, not at the service of human beings. An environmentalist sees human beings as corrupting nature and as the problem, and sees humanity as being in the service of nature.

    Nature needs to be preserved so that we can lead better lives and ensure that our posterity has the same benefits that we do today. Rick, you make some good points about Conservatives recoil to “going green”, but I have to disagree with your assessment on Carbon. The science just isn’t convincing enough for me to see Carbon as a problem. Carbon is the source of life and is naturally produced. There is little evidence to show that increases in carbon will cause any sort of problems. As far as energy independence, I think that in and of itself is a goal, but again for the purpose of serving humanity, not subjugate it. Conserving where we can for the purpose of getting energy independent is a noble goal — I do it when I can for selfish reasons, to save money. But to “go green” with non-proven technologies that have no appreciable cost benefit and actually are more expensive in the long run (e.g. ethanol) is foolish.

    Conservatives need to show that they care about nature, but should do it in a way so as to not fall in the trap of environmentalism.

    Comment by Sal — 4/22/2009 @ 5:49 am

  20. Why do we see red in “green”? Because we see the modern “environmental” movement as little more than the extension of Soviet Communism that it started out as. Of course, those under a certain age (i.e. those younger than I am) have no clue what Soviet Communism was.

    Sal captured my thoughts better than I can express them, but I do need to expand a bit on that. A private decision to follow the “conservationist 3 R’s” (reduce/reuse/recycle) is a good one for its own sake and for the sake of not depending on foreign despots. Mandates from above, especially in the name of a new state “religion”, tend to get a visceral negative reaction.

    As for carbon, you really should see the work done by Dr. Willie Soon. Carbon dioxide actually tends to be a lagging indicator, while solar radiation is a leading one.

    Comment by steveegg — 4/22/2009 @ 7:31 am

  21. Bi-partisanship is the best way to move forward on the environment. While I have more confidence in Obama’s “top down solutions” than others here may have, I acknowledge that they certainly won’t come cheap. This is a great area for Republicans to step up to the plate and work with the Democrats to help solve problems that will benefit all humanity and save money doing so in the process. However, this may not happen with ODS raging on the right.

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 4/22/2009 @ 10:48 am

  22. Stevegg,
    since I’m German and also knew the former East Germany first hand, I’m puzzled as to the connection to ‘Environmentalists’. I can assure you they did not care about the environment at all.

    Comment by funny man — 4/22/2009 @ 2:09 pm

  23. Rick,
    “What do I care about a Senate race in AZ? Ridiculous.

    When you get your Nobel prize, come back and see me.

    ed.”

    Why should any of us care what happens outside our own states?

    I’ll tell you why, because those that are elected from other states pass legislation that has a direct effect on your life. I’m sure all the legislation that the “Bloviator-from-Taxachuts-its” has gotten passed has been a great benefit to you personally, right. I know that I have been affected by it and yet I don’t get to vote there. Even when I work there I have to pay taxes to the “Commonwealth” and I don’t get to vote in the “Commonwealth”.

    I think the point about getting any and all new faces of Republicans singing a different tune, and one that makes better sense than what was being sung for the last decade, would be a noble and correct cause to attend to.

    Comment by DBinNJ — 4/22/2009 @ 8:29 pm

  24. While I understand what you are saying about efforts that could be made on the environment by Republicans, the thing you have missed or perhaps not said this clearly enough for me is: The Left treats our environment as a religion and much of what they preach to our kids and to us is based more on pushing through an agenda than what is best for our environment.

    Example: When I was young, with parents that lived through the Depression, we were taught at home not to waste anything…food, power, clothing, water, etc. We were also taught to place trash where it belongs, keep the lakes clean, re-use paper and fabrics for other purposes, and to enjoy our land which is so plentiful in this country. Those are a few examples that come to mind. They were taught by people with real experience and common sense on matters pertaining to earth, conservation, and the environment.
    My parents and their parents were experts at simple conservation such as reusing food scraps on the farm, generating fertilizer from their cattle, making towels from feedsacks, etc.
    Somehow they didn’t need Obama or vast government to explain conservation nor the importance of the land to them.

    Move forward to today, literally, and my 8 year old daughter comes home and tells me she had an “Earth Day” assembly at school. She told us that the earth made the wind; the earth makes the plants grow, how not saving water hurts the Rain Forest….and on and on. Crock -o- crap.
    She is being force-fed propaganda from a government whose interest is more about power and wealth-spreading than about true and realistic means of conservation and respecting what God has given us.

    I think most “conservatives” know that most of the “green” movement and “earth day” propaganda of the last 3-4 decades is nothing more than an agenda–it is not a real sincerity in respecting the land and environment.
    THAT is what turns those of us “real conservationists” off– it is the Left’s attempts to bamboozle this country into energy production that doesn’t work and is costly to boot. As someone once said, the government has their hand in our pocket, in our cars, in our homes, over our children, and much more — most of which to fulfill a retention of power and an agenda.
    Until I see sincere efforts at rationale conservation and common sense approaches to energy–in the spirit of my parents and their parents–I will continue to be one of the “turned off” conservatives who abhors the untruthful attempts by the left to control lives in the name of the environment.

    Comment by sharprightturn — 4/22/2009 @ 8:36 pm

  25. Sal,
    Well said.

    Comment by sharprightturn — 4/22/2009 @ 8:40 pm

  26. [...] Why so anti-green, conservatives? - Rick Moran (Right Wing Nut House) [...]

    Pingback by Greatest Hits: April 23, 2009 | Whatever Is Right — 4/23/2009 @ 4:08 am

  27. Thursday morning links…

    Got MILFs? This from Iowa via Blair.
    If the NYT dies, would that be a bad thing? (h/t, Small Dead Porcupines)
    Disgraced sociopathic prof sues Columbia for $200 mill. Talk about truth and honor.
    Liberal icon Izzie Stone was a Soviet agent….

    Trackback by Maggie's Farm — 4/23/2009 @ 4:12 am

  28. Funny man, I’m sure you’re aware that the Soviets had a hand in several “environmental” groups and parties. The fact that the Communists have been the worst polluters just illustrates the difference between “conservationalists” and “environmentalists”.

    Comment by steveegg — 4/23/2009 @ 7:32 am

  29. Well said

    Indeed.

    Comment by Hugh Larious — 4/28/2009 @ 1:57 pm

  30. Well said

    Indeed.

    Comment by Hugh Larious — 4/28/2009 @ 2:01 pm

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