Smarter greens, please
Walter Russell Mead thinks this country needs a more effective environmentalist movement. Excerpt:
The United States and the world need a strong and intelligent environmental movement. We won’t get one until and unless the press stops flattering and indulging the pack of incompetents who currently lead it. Good (but poorly conceptualized) intentions linked to terminally stupid ideas and self defeating methods are a terrible curse. They steadily discredit environmentalism and push those who care about the environment away from real influence. I don’t actually enjoy tweaking the greens — but until the mainstream press gets on the case, somebody has to point the way.
One thing they can do, he says: “pick fights they can win,” e.g., engaging in activism to save vital fish species from extinction through overfishing.
Meanwhile, Roger Scruton argues that UK environmentalism is driven by concerns of the Left, whereas conservative environmentalists ought to be more outspoken for the things they care about. Excerpt:
Matters that trouble conservatives – the local food economy, Green belts, town planning, the countryside and the architectural heritage – are not widely seen as environmentally significant, since they are dismissed by left-leaning Greens as concerns of the ‘middle classes’. But it is the middle classes – in other words, those with a home and commitment to home – who have the greatest stake in a shared and sustainable environment, and what matters to them matters to all of us.
Do these matters trouble American conservatives? They should. I met the Prince of Wales this summer, and was inspired by his book “Harmony,” a deeply conservative book about why we should be conservationists and traditionalists. Anyway, Scruton has a more populist idea for conservative environmentalism. It’s very simple:
Of course we must reduce carbon emissions, and of course we must strive to obtain treaties that unite the nations around that goal. But the real need is for a rebirth in ordinary people of the motives that lead them to take care of things around them
Would something as simple as this work in America, to get more Americans interested in conservation and environmentalism? I think so.
[H/T: Niall Gooch]