Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lunch with James Buckley: A conservationist's conversation with a conservative 

My cousin had lunch the other day with the former Senator from New York and brother of WFB, James Buckley. They discussed many things, including muhlenberg's turtle. It reminded me that there was a day when conservation was a Republican issue. When did that change, and why? My hypothesis is that at some point in the 1960s conservationism merged with environmentalism, which in turn became perhaps the leading justification for the regulation of market capitalism.

But read the whole thing.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 14, 01:24:00 AM:

You got spammed, TH.

Anyway, Aldo Leopold said about conserving endangered species that the first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. I'd think conservatives could buy into that.

I think you could make the conservative case for fighting climate change as opposed to jumping into the brave new world of what double CO2 levels will get us.

Hunting and fishing is another possible place for overlap between conservatives and enviros. Also with evangelical conservatives concerned about stewardship of the nation/planet.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 14, 01:27:00 AM:

One more potential overlap - the "respectable Republican cloth coat" types, versus worshippers of unlimited consumption.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Fri Nov 14, 09:08:00 AM:

"I think you could make the conservative case for fighting climate change"

I don't think that many conservatives believe in climate change. Not polluting rivers and lakes or destroying forests or other natural resources makes sense, (every fool understands that you shouldn't shit where you eat, to use an old family redneck phrase) but drastic lifestyle changes in order to ward off something that may not even exist won't resonate.

Meeting halfway would be nice, too. Drilling in ANWR, for instance. Won't happen, though.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 14, 02:42:00 PM:

I used to contribute to the Nature Conservancy on the premise that they were not part of the Sierra Club anti-industry cabal. Not any more.

You're right that Conservation has been supplanted by an all encompassing Environmental Religion. It's even making outdoor recreation a political event. On my last winter trip to the Adirondacs I noticed that there were three types of people on the trail. Extreme Skiiers, Extreme Greens, and Regular Joes. The "extremes" wouldn't stop to talk to you and looked grim and determined, while the Regular Joes were enjoying themselves and would stop to chat. 20 years ago most people were Regular Joes and it was a joy to meet them on the trail.  

By Blogger togo, at Fri Nov 14, 07:54:00 PM:

I can't help but wonder how history might have been changed if Reagan had chosen James Buckley instead of
W's father for Veep.  

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