Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Saving Environmentalism from Itself

G. Tracy Mehan has some thoughts on whether environmentalism as a credible movement is dying. He notes that environmentalism's troubles are due, in part, to its embrace of liberal politics and marginalization of conservative approaches to environmental problems. Environmentalism simply is not the political force it once was, because it's nothing more than another guise to advance socialism. National environmentalist activist groups, on the other hand, are nothing more than extensions of the Democratic Party.

In support of his argument, he cites an article by former National Wildlife Federation Mark van Puttenin the June BioScience.
[Many environmentalists] have the politics wrong and are reaping the consequences of having had them wrong for a long time. Although it is convenient to blame the anti-environment bent of the Bush Administration and hostile congressional leadership, environmental groups have significantly contributed to their own marginalization.
Mehan himself concludes:
Whether or not environmentalism is dead, dying, or in some kind of undead zombie state, new voices within the environmental and conservation movements are arguing for a wholly new kind of movement that entails recovering values of another, more conservative America. They point to a reinvention of environmentalism which might garner the support of both Red and Blue America.
The fact of the matter is that environmentalism sees a massive government as the solution to our environmental problems, when in truth, areas which government has controlled has suffered the worst pollution in the 20th century. Stalin's Soviet Russia was notorious for wreaking havoc across the countryside and leaving barren wastelands behind from which the Russian people are still attempting to recover.

The solution to our environmental problems lies in freeing up businesses and other innovators to pursue and develop new technologies at a faster pace than government ever could. By constantly hamstringing industries in the name of protecting the environment, we are actually harming it by hampering the technological progress that can help the environment. After all, all of our major technological innovations and leaps came from the ingenuity of entrepeneurs and individuals who took risks, not the government. The light bulb, the automobile, the airplane, the discovery of electricity; all of these fall under that category. So by freeing up the private sector, we increase the chances of another leap forward being made.

Furthermore, we should worry less about land being owned by private entities. When land is public property, it suffers what is known as the 'tragedy of the commons'. In other words, people will care for something a lot more if it is their own personal property, rather when everybody, and therefore nobody, owns it. If you just bought a brand new car, wouldn't you be a lot more careful with it than if it's an old beaten up rental car?

This is why forest fires keep breaking out in California; the government that runs the public land there tends to ignore the forests until a humongous blaze breaks out. The private companies which own forests and use them for timber, on the other hand, rely on the quality and health of that land for their profits, so they take good care of them, and have small, controlled fires now and then to ensure that it doesn't all happen in one uncontrollable inferno.


Blogger Sodon said...

Good post. While there is probably some danger in letting private companies do whatever they want with their waste, making the government control everything probably isn't the solution either. The fact is, we do need to protect the environment, which makes it sad that so much money is wasted on environmentalism which isn't really even helping.

Sun Jun 12, 03:53:00 PM EDT  

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