Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse!: GOP Environmentalist?

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." George Washington

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse, America!!

By Nicholas Meyeres

I've always been of the assumption that conservatives conserve. So, why are so many conservatives today not more conservationist-minded and therefore good stewards of the earth and her environment? After all, what is more conservative than producing less waste and responsibly disposing of said waste? It seems to me that purveyors of a wasteful and unnecessarily filthy earth would be the liberals of today, not the conservatives.

After all, a conservative strives to hold onto traditional attitudes and values about things in life, and as a result is cautious about most change. Similarly, if a conservationist wishes to protect the earth from harm or destruction- wouldn't it makes sense for conservatives to be the ones who want the environment to remain unharmed or unchanged by unneeded and unnecessary things that are indeed in our control? Not the few things out of our control, clearly, but those things we can affect in our own everyday lives?

Of course, as with everything, public perception changes the narrative and thus the reality of any one thing when it is distorted for personal or political gain. But I never personally understood popular conservative opinion when it came to the environment. Sure, some people go too far with their rhetoric and what they propose to do to fix the issue, but at the end of the day it is all the same for every one of us. In my mind this shouldn't even be a political or partisan issue since it effects us all the very same way.

Having said that, people that take it to the sometimes illogical extreme like some Global Warming alarmists of the day do tend to get under my skin, as well. I don't do well with the obvious hypocrisy of that level of person, or others who try to tell me that if I don't do exactly as they think I should the universe will implode. Like many Americans, if I am confronted with most ultimatums- especially ultimatums built from lies, half truths and fear mongering- I will generally go the other way even if I agree with what the end result may be. Still, it perplexes me at a fundemental level that it isn't ingrained into all conservatives to police themselves and their own back yards and communities thereby ensuring a safe and clean environment- not to mention a much more fiscally sound one!

In fact, the GOP's own online party platform in regard to Energy and the Environment states in part that we must:

•increase energy efficiency
•develop alternative fuels, particularly cellulosic ethanol, and vehicles that run on biofuels and electricity
•create permanent tax incentives for renewable energy technologies like wind, solar, geothermal and hydro- power.
•develop new technology to burn coal and liquefy it for use in power plants and vehicles that don't pollute.
•enact a "Climate Prize" for scientists who identify solutions to global warming

The platform even goes one step further by stating, "While the scope and longterm consequences of this are the subject of ongoing scientific research, common sense dictates that the United States should take measured and reasonable steps today to reduce any impact on the environment." So, that being the case, why don't we see more republicans who tow the party line require more from themselves in regard to the earth and the environment?

In truth, we CAN— and we probably should— address the risk of climate change based on sound science without succumbing to the no-growth radicalism that treats climate questions as dogma rather than as situations to be managed responsibly. But truth be told, this is all about personal responsibility and intergrity, not the other. And if modern day republicans want to be seen in that much more positive light, they need to be consistant all the way across the board- not just in parts.

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