Friday, April 22, 2005

Happy Day, Earth!

One Cheer for Earth Day: yay.

The words "conservative" and "conservationist" sound like they ought to be synonyms. You'd think that, since my right head* is a conservative I would be some sort of an Environmentalist, but I'm not. That term has been pretty well captured by the Eco-Obstructionists and is probably beyond recovery.

This is a bit of a pity, actually. There is a strong conservative case to be made for good stewardship of the environment and there is a good libertarian case to be made for holding polluters responsible for the damage they do to other people. But most of the celebrated environmental issues tend to boil down to finding an infinite list of "environmental" objections to some activity one opposes (often for political reasons) and having absolutely no interest, whatsoever, in helping to find a way that the activity can proceed and the damage be avoided or mitigated.

There are, for instance, things that can be done to allow oil exploration and production in Alaska with minimal environmental damage. One example is moving heavy equipment only in the winter using roads built entirely of ice that thaw in the spring so you can schlepp stuff around without damaging the permafrost. Is this a celebrated environmentalist idea? Actually, no. They are all about preventing oil exploration altogether, the ice roads are someting the oil companies thought up with no help from the environmentalists.

There ought to be more non-left-wing "environmentalist" groups. There are a few. Here is one. But there should be more.

Yes, I have two heads. My left head is a libertarian. Being a Fusionist is occasionally irritating (and expensive when one is shopping for headgear) but, what are you gonna do?

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