Republicans hate Mother Earth

June 24, 2009

I was on the phone today with a customer down in New Mexico. We got to talking about the weather, and how bizarre all of this rain is. He said this:

“It’s global warming, unless you are conservative, then it’s just ignored.”

Obviously, this kind of bothered me. Why is it that if you hold on to conservative ideals, it’s automatically assumed that you don’t care about the environment? I know it’s a tricky subject because there is so much different data available that supports all sides of the debate. Either way, I think it’s a stigma that should be destroyed, in my opinion. Thinking long term about our surroundings, preserving our resources and making life be long sustaining all seem like conservative ideals in my mind.

I know, in my generation it’s almost taboo to be conservative in your world view. I have many friends that are on the liberal side of things, and I don’t get butt-hurt about that at all. I just personally feel that, economically speaking, our country needs to hold ourselves more accountable to get ourselves out of this endless cycle of debt and over-spending. Conservatives, to me, fit into that plan better.



  1. In my opinion, the only people that actually think that Republicans don’t care about the environment are idiots that do no research and just regurgitate whatever the media puts in front of them.

    If you went out on the street and were able to talk to a large enough sample size of people, you would find that just as many “republicans” as “democrats” are well aware of climate change, and have a desire to do whatever they can to help society lessen it’s burden on the Earth. Most people are not educated enough on how it all works to know who is helping or hurting. Democrats have self interests just as much as Republicans do.

    I am however confused how that is related to the economic state and fiscal spending of our country as directly as you have linked it here. You seem to be implying that the way that Climate change will stop is if our government spends less money. I do agree that the national deficit is out of control. One thing I do want to point out is that the only time in the last 29 years that the deficit has gone down was from 1996 to 2001, which is when Clinton was in office. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he is directly responsible for it, but it does show that both sides are capable of spending and saving.

    As far as the idea of a “green and sustainable” society goes, If you want the world to change paths and stop polluting and burning its way through all the oil and ozone we have you are going to have to invest in people and technology to do so. The infrastructure doesn’t exist, Plain and simple. We are not going to be able to change anything with what we have, and I can’t help but feel like stopping spending and trying to just go with what we have could be catastrophic considering our roads and bridges are crumbling as it is, and our population growth exponentially increasing our dependency on energy sources that pollute and will one day run out.

    I feel like if McCain had won that his administration would also be spending a lot of money. It’s not a warm and fuzzy feeling, but I don’t see how there is any other way things could go. I am sure that democrats would be just as critical of them as the republicans are now. It’s inevitable for the opposition to say that they would be doing things better if they were in charge. The Bush administration spent quite a lot of money on war, and did very little for our countries infrastructure among other things.

    Both ends are guilty of fiscal irresponsibility, but I am glad that money is at least being spent domestically now.

  2. Yea, I wasn’t saying that conservatives are necessarily doing great, environmentally right now. I am merely pointing out that the philosophy of sustain, planning ahead, etc. etc. are conservative values and shouldn’t be ignored simply because it’s an issue that the left is pushing a bit more. If that makes sense. It was more a criticism of the right.

  3. Hey Josh. I really don’t mean to come across as a jerk, but since you are writing from a personal perspective, and given that you politically identify as a Conservative, I’m wondering how you feel you might personally respond to such an accusation as the one presented here. I know in the past you have told me that environmental issues don’t fall under your priority list, and have seem unconcerned about basic issues of waste/recycling and personal carbon emissions. Again, I’m not saying this to take issue with you personally, but if you are concerned about embodying Conservative values while also feeling that such a criticism as the one in that phone conversation is unwarranted, I suppose I would like to lovingly challenge you to examine the way in which you are addressing those criticisms in your own life. Do you feel that you are living out what you personally perceive to be conservative values on environmental conservation, and are aware of the ways in which you could improve? After all, the challenge is presented to all of us, regardless of our personal politics.

  4. I definitely understand what you are saying, Adam. We need to be the change we want to see, etc. etc. I have been trying to recycle more and more lately, and change my lifestyle somewhat, but that is not necessarily what I was addressing in this post. Just because I may not have everything together, doesn’t mean I don’t “care”. There are plenty of people in other political arenas that don’t “walk the talk” either.

  5. Well Adam, I wish I could reply as well as Josh did to your question, but I am not very good at expressing my ideas on paper or on the internet. Basically I see where you come from, personally I feel that anyone who does not show interest in politics and look at both views and sides of the issues are wasting crucial time to improve humanity. Politics are complete bs but you have to enrich your mind and know what is relevant, most people do not even vote in this country, so I cant even see how we can get them to do simple things like not litter and recycle, etc. With that being said, for the rest of us that do show a natural curiousity about who controls and governs us, I would have to say that personally and realistically conservatives are not the ones that are the problem. True conservatives want to conserve hence the name, whether that be financially, morally, or in this case environmentally. The problem here lies within the roots of the republican party which has always been the party of big business. When the republican party started around the civil war, it was crucial for the party to decide which people they would represent, big business of the north or slave drivers and smaller, less prolific businesses of the south. As we all know most republicans were in the north until the 1960’s when the democratic party began civil rights. Without getting off topic and having a crude history lesson from me. What I am getting at is you have to know the nature of the party. The republican party has morphed with time, but one thing has stayed the same and that is loyalty to big business. TDR was a conservative who cared about the environment and also not letting big business get out of hand, that is why he was made vice president to McKinley. The idea was as vice president he would be spayed of political power, that is until McKinley died shortly after being elected. Teddy then went on to create the National Park System and level the playing field for business through his famous “Trust Busting”. TDR was a naturalist, environmentalist and a true conservative, he was hated by neo conservatives for being unfriendly to monopolies. Neo conservative ideals in todays age have been further strengthened. Big business cannot make as large of profit margins, and moving from petroleum to electricity or other such power sources will cut into these profits. If you have to replant trees as a lumber company to reduce your carbon footprint then it will cut into profits. Lobbyists for such large industries make sure that neo conservative senators and congressman are being supported and helped with re election, and conservatives who care about the environment are not. People think republicans do not care about the environment for one simple reason, it’s because the people they elect do not care about the environment. This is further wrapped around conservatives because some religious conservatives believe that we do not need to take care of the environment, because god gave it to us to screw up, and if we destroy it that just means we will have the end times as described in Revelation, hence fate has it for us to destroy the earth, and the sooner the better. I personally am a Christian and believe that god gave us a beautiful wonderful place to live and I will take care of it until he chooses what to do with us. If my dad gave me a car, I would keep it clean and well maintained, why can’t we do the same for the “big guy”, when he gives us a wonderful place to live. Basically conservatives are not the ones who do not care about the environment it is neo conservatives that do not care. I know many people will think I am full of crap but this is my real and true belief surrounding your question. I hope this helps and I hope I don’t offend anyone.

  6. It’s empirically obvious from legislative votes, talk show diatribes and Creationist dominion attitudes that many Republicans think the economy (i.e. paper dollars) is more important than the ecosystems that allow it to EXIST in the first place. They think nature is Man’s servant, not his keeper, which is the opposite of what science is showing us. They think a supernatural power is controlling their destiny, not the health of land, water and sky.

    They think income tax rates are far more pressing than the potential for global warming to ruin the entire blessed economy. No long-term thinking, just gimme my jobs and money and screw the rest. They’re always trying to inject “money this, money that” into policy debates while ignoring the science as a minor distraction.

    They develop conspiracies about the financial motives of environmentalists while ignoring the much bigger sums made by extractive industries. They assume everyone is obsessed with money as they are, so they can’t conceive of altruistic motives or long term environmental planning. And if they can’t find a spin to refute the science, they claim it’s part of the “NWO conspiracy” against their “God given right” to pillage nature for short-term gains.

    Hard-core Republicans are too proudly ignorant to have a rational set of environmental priorities. The last one who really gave a hoot about nature was Theodore Roosevelt, who had to use the Antiquities Act to override his party cronies. Nixon is cited as creating the EPA, but he didn’t do so with huge enthusiasm. Any President at that time would have done something similar under pressure from the growing environmental movement.

    To claim that modern conservatives are pro-nature is to ignore mountains of evidence to the contrary. Speaking of mountains, one of the biggest AGW deniers is also the guy who’s blasting off mountaintops to get coal (Massey Energy CEO). And the people siding with him are invariably Republicans. It’s long been clear that nature is low on their priority list, which makes them dangerously stupid.

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