As with so many other issues, it’s not people conservatives (and I’d wager lots of voters) are against—it’s the groups claiming to represent them…
I remember comedian George Carlin once said (approximately) that it was the height of hubris for humankind to think we have as much influence over the Earth in the cosmological long term as we presume, and that when we’re gone, the planet will simply “shake us off like a bad case of fleas.” Even if we did manage to accomplish something as incomprehensible as burning off the entire atmosphere within a few minutes, there is much of a scientific case for the Earth simply generating a new one and starting over as there is for it becoming Mars’ frigid, barren twin sister.
With that, I will now briefly but somewhat grudgingly wade into the cesspit I call “the whole Al Gore winning the Nobel Prize thing…”
As far as my personal philosophy goes, the guy is someone to be pitied more than anything else. Inasmuch as he has influence over the minds of many Americans (potentially to all of our detriment) and would seek a whole lot more, I am obliged to throw my two cents in.
I indicated as an aside last week in this space that Gore was a “propagandist and hypocrite of the highest order,” and I stand by that. His film “An Inconvenient Truth,” though moving, significant and (in some cases) educational, is a piece of propaganda that has been proven to be rife with inaccuracies. I find it dizzying that one of the far-Left’s most oft-spouted accusations against the current administration is their alleged attempts to inordinately frighten Americans relative to an enemy who has sworn to destroy us utterly and with all due speed, yet they would have us believe that we are a hair’s breadth from experiencing global catastrophes of biblical proportions any day now due to a history of abhorrently irresponsible stewardship of the planet – the evil, big business-supporting works of those on the Right being the primary cause.
As far as titillation on the part of some folks regarding Gore receiving the Nobel goes (which has given rise to the seemingly interminable, sycophantic media coverage), given the organization’s perspective and some of the award’s decidedly questionable recipients, a conscientious individual would have been well served to pull a Marlon Brando and refuse to accept the dubious honor.
Gore’s decision to take on the mantle of Captain Planet (rather than Captain Negrophile, Latinophile or Homophile, for example) notwithstanding, the most “inconvenient truth” I see in this silly saga is that issues of ecology, conservation and the environment – a.k.a. “green” issues, have been co-opted by the far-Left, much like the minority, feminist and gay rights concerns sarcastically indicated above.
The public relations problem that the political Right has with Green issues and the environmentally-conscious public is the same one they allowed to develop as regards minorities and women: They discarded the idea of courting these groups since they reasoned these were in the hip pocket of the far-Left. Many of them were, but the failure of the Right to define themselves to these groups only led to their deeper entanglement with the far-Left and the wholesale brainwashing of millions of conscientious advocates of civil rights and the environment, not to mention a far weaker constituency than they might otherwise have.
From “A green Christian conservative,” USA Today, April 24, 2006, by Rod Dreher, editorial writer and columnist for The Dallas Morning News and a former Senior Editor for the National Review:
“As both a conservative and an avid indoorsman, I’ve always seen it [Earth Day] as a high holy day for hippies, Whole Foods devotees, spotted-owl fetishists and sundry crunchy-granola types who believe that ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’ is the Eleventh Commandment.
But you know, I’ve got to wonder how much longer we on the right can justify an environmental philosophy that amounts to little more than sneering at liberal tree-huggers.”
Dreher has a point, of course; the Right has done little more than sneer at these folks for years. Much of this is probably due to the fact that many of them are de facto socialists after the lead of their political allies and thus are truly lost cause hip pocket-dwellers. Still, the reality remains: The onus is on the political Right to educate the public as to where they truly stand on these issues, rather than idly allowing the far-Left to propagandize growing numbers of Americans who see the brown clouds over their cities and are suffering significantly under the yoke of fossil fuel addiction.
In the case of minority, feminist and gay conservatives, it became a case of their having to take the initiative to support conservative interests and politicians, engendering derision from their respective “assigned” interest groups. The intellectually-sedated leaders of said conservative interests suddenly noticed that some were “coming around” and were beginning to influence others of their persuasions, due to their own experience and common sense rather than anything the GOP or conservative leaders did.
In the face of the misdirection employed by Gore and other like-minded people of influence, it would behoove the above conservative interests to put some resources into educating the public – disclosing the truth about sincere conservatives and their views on the environment. After all, the far-Left spares no expense when it comes to indoctrination and propaganda, so it’s only fair.
The “convenient” truth: Most conservatives are as concerned about environmental issues, if not more so, than their liberal counterparts given far-Left insinuation into places of political power and the cult of hypocrisy they represent. Many who are hunters and farmers actually have a far better understanding of ecosystems than rank-and-file political Greens.
Environmentally-conscious conservatives simply believe that innovative business, tax incentives and market demands will bring the necessary changes about, while political Greens believe or have been convinced that sweeping and stringent government regulation (read “empowering their socialist leaders”) is the only way to actualize their goals.
As with so many other issues (such as civil rights), it’s not people conservatives (and I’d wager lots of voters) are against, it’s the groups claiming to represent them being veritable Leninists that drives them into the opposing camp.
Many of these “green conservatives” occupy fly-over states in the Midwest and Southwest (where I reside) and are portrayed by the far-Left as heavily inbred, booger-pickin’ morons. Yet I know well-heeled conservatives who drive Priuses (or is it Priae?) and rail like independent conservative Fox News host Bill O’Reilly against families of 3 who insist upon purchasing Suburbans, Yukons and Excursions. These low-count electoral state folks wield massive collective power, however; this is why their marginalization is so important to the far-Left. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has quite a bit of extremely cogent and compelling information addressing these very issues, elucidating upon what environmentally-conscious conservatives believe on his website newt.org.
There are politicians on both sides of the aisle in Congress, individuals and business interests who (aside from using the environment as a propaganda tool) are invested in or beholden to powerful organizations whose bottom line precludes any earnest efforts being made in the way of environmental preservation. For example, the gastropodian pace of alternative fuel development hasn’t been due to private sector business or the scientific community being too indolent to find alternatives, it’s been due to stultification of such development by oil companies and internationally-invested people and groups from all over the developed world, including the United States.
Real change in this area – like so many other weighty domestic issues currently being addressed unilaterally by oligarchs and plutocrats in our government – will only come about through action taken by courageous individuals and bipartisan grass-roots level organizations.
Erik Rush is a New York-born columnist, author and speaker who lives in Colorado and is a Senior Writer for The New Media Journal. He also writes columns of sociopolitical fare for WorldNetDaily as well as dozens of nationally-distributed print and online news sources.