Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Hard Bigotry of Environmentalists

I've started to venture out into the enviro blogosphere with my radical thoughts about the need for pragmatism. This should be fun!

One of the widely read blogs/websites in the DC Beltway (on enviro issues at least) is Gristmill.org
So, I checked out their blog and was not surprised to find yet another chapter in the increasingly coordinated attack on John McCain.

What really disturbed me about this post was that it was all about comparing McCain to Democrats who are all "far better" on the climate change issue -- this blind partisan idiocy drives me crazy. Its not politically hard for a liberal Democrat to support climate change -- ITS HARD FOR THEM TO SUPPORT A COMPROMISE BILL. Yet, the left has now started attacking even McCain's courage to engage in environmental issues because as the blog post notes, its only courage when you compare it to the other Republicans.

NEWS FLASH -- when Democrats had the Presidency AND the Congress -- they DID NOT pass massive pro-environmental legislation. This is not the neat, partisan issue that enviros want it to be.

All this got me thinking about why enviros want it to remain in their political domain. Think about it. When you are not fully engaged in an issue, you don't know all the acronyms, scientific advances and weaknesses -- let alone what the possible solutions might really be. Think of any environmental problem -- climate change, water or air pollution -- now think of what most enviro groups want to do to solve it? Radical, extremely costly, and unlikely actions seem to be their preferred choice. In any other issue, we understand that you can't go from 0 to 100 overnight -- but because so many Republicans and Independents have not been engaged in the environmental issue, it has been left to the far left to define it -- AND THEY HAVE.

The more diversity you have in an issue, the better the solutions/outcome are likely to be. So, I see the empty radical enviro promises of "solar power only" to fight climate change as actually a symptom of the weakness of the larger movement. Only when people from all walks of American political life get engaged in the issue will there be solutions that are even-handed, practical . . . and actually implemented!!

To read the Grist blog post that inspired this response, click here. I'm including my comment to the post just below.

Sara
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The Hard Bigotry of Environmentalists

I'm just so sick of having the liberal left pat themselves on the back for being so purely green -- meanwhile taking actions that guarantee that real, important steps forward are BLOCKED because a few Republicans might get some credit for working on an environmental issue.

The universal slogan of the far left enviro groups should be: "Making the Perfect the Enemy of the Good -- for our own good."

I was not surprised to see this post and many of the comments attack John McCain -- NOW that he's got the GOP nomination wrapped up. But please don't fool yourselves into believing that it has anything at all to do with actually getting climate change legislation passed or helping protect the planet. You see to do that, there is a necessary thing called COMPROMISE and BI-PARTISANSHIP -- and of course, anyone who engages in those dastardly things is automatically in league with polluters.

What doesn't get talked about NEARLY enough is how all the hyper-partisanship of the radical enviro groups (not all of enviros -- but many) destroys actual steps forward on environmental policy. Sure, you could say (as they do) that these "steps" are not perfect, and therefore, they prefer to just wait -- pumping up the issue in the media -- and, by the way FUNDRAISING LIKE CRAZY OFF OF IT, until there is so much overwhelming support that they get their "perfect bill".

Of course, if ANY of these people ever watched the PBS kids cartoon about how a bill becomes a law, they would know that purist, perfect policy DOESN'T PASS . . . because we have a system DESIGNED to be slow, thought out and requiring of COMPROMISE.

John McCain took a big step forward on the climate change issue for relatively little political gain and large political risk. If you are handing out "grades" for politicians and their "greenness" how about asking how many liberal Democrats ever did the same thing and told the leftist enviro groups that a compromise was needed to move the issue forward. It would be a short list indeed.

Sara Hessenflow Harper www.ecopragmatism.blogspot.com

1 comment:

  1. Well done, Sara. Keep up the good work. I work daily in the nuts & bolts of the ESA and CWA. I believe climate change legislation to be important; however, as you know, there are other issues-- conservation & natural resource issues that we face today (and for people like myself, tomorrow morning bright and early). Senator McCain has demonstrated that his understanding of conservation issues encompasses not only global warming, but proven support for our greatest of environmental laws-- ESA, CWA, CAA, NEPA. No other candidate can claim such a depth of understanding.

    Besides climate change, the Democrats do not venture beyond rhetoric of "environmental justice"-- their policies are confined by, as you say, the "Hard Bigotry of Environmentalists."

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