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HUBRIS & HUMIDITY:

Antarctic Ozone Hole Could Close by 2050-Scientist (Michael Perry, September 17, 2002, Reuters)
The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica may close within 50 years as the level of destructive ozone-depleting CFCs in the atmosphere is now declining, one of the world's leading atmospheric scientists said Tuesday.

Paul Fraser with the Australian government's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said he had measured a decline in ozone-destroying gases since 2000.

"The major culprit in the production of the ozone hole is CFCs and they have started to decline in the lower atmosphere," Fraser told Reuters in an interview.

"We think the ozone hole will recover by about 2050," said Fraser, from CSIRO's atmospheric division and a lead author on a U.N. report on the ozone layer released Monday.
(The following is even less well thought out than the usual fare here, but it involves a question that''s been nagging at me and I need your help. I'd very much appreciate hearing what other folks have to say, either in the comments or by email.)

One of the most vexing issues for modern conservatism is its relationship to the environmental movement. On the one hand, no one who believes in a Created world and in the importance of conserving what has been handed to us by preceding generations can take lightly the damage Man does to Nature to no good purpose. It's easy enough to justify cutting down trees to build a house, but how justify clear cutting a forest and not replacing it? How justify punishing a common criminal who does violence to a few but not vigorously pursuing corporate polluters who do violence to the many?

If Republicans are to become the majority party again, as they were from the Civil War to the Great Depression, they will need to find ways to talk about and protect the environment. It's just too big an issue, especially among suburban voters, for the GOP to continue to ignore it.

But this story points up why the embrace will be so difficult. Even mainstream Environmentalism makes dangerous assumptions about the effect that Man can have on the environment and horribly underestimates the effect Man can have on his own society. The ideology of Environmentalism leads its adherents to advocate mammoth change to the culture in order to avert purely speculative dangers, thereby causing genuine destruction to avoid a mere specter. The dubious notion that mankind was causing a major "global warming", for instance, prompted them to call for various measures that taken together amount to a true assault on modern industry and which, most importantly, might have curtailed modernization in the Third World. It would be one thing to ban SUVs in America, we'd easily find replacements, but to try and steer a developing nation away from an economy based on fossil fuels might well sentence its people to years more poverty and suffering than they need face.

Human nature being what it is, conservatives who might support the goal of reducing Man's impact on the environment and might support reasonable steps in this direction, instead have their hackles raised by the extravagant claims and draconian solutions put forward by Environmentalists. Conservatives recognize in Environmentalism many of the traits of the other "-isms" discussed below and a genuine hatred of humanity. It doesn't take too finely tuned an ear to hear the voice of the exterminator lurking in discussions of " overpopulation" and sustainability.

What though might a conservative environmentalism look like? Here are a few ideas that might guide it (with apologies to Russell Kirk):
(1) Recognition that we are part of an eternal chain of being, that we owe a debt to those who handed our environment to us and an obligation to those we'll hand it on to, that how we discharge our duties to both ancestors and successors has moral implications.

(2) Maintenance of the variety of environments that Creation has to offer. This does not mean that every tree and blade of grass must be sacrosanct, but it does mean that every inch of space in America need not bear a strip mall.

(3) At all times, even as these goals are pursued, it must be recalled that Man has dominion over Nature and that every human life is more important than all non-human life. Only man is a moral creature and, therefore, only men have rights.

(4) Conservation must be compatible with private property rights and human freedoms. Where property is taken its owners must be fairly compensated. To the greatest extent possible, conservation should be private and allow for reasonable use. There's no inconsistency between saying that land has been preserved for the future and allowing folks to hunt, camp, fish, log, etc. on it. Nature is being saved so that it will be there for us to enjoy, not as some kind of totemic fetish.

(5) Distrust of large public works projects and commercial developments. Just as conservatives instinctively distrust those who would make sweeping changes to the culture, they should be skeptical of those who propose massive restructuring of the physical landscape.

It seems apparent that a conservative environmentalism would be much different than Environmentalism in tone and in policy, yet it should serve to alleviate the legitimate concerns of voters that conservatism is nothing more than pro-business, pro-development, and anti-environment. A conservative environmentalism would still favor economic growth, but it would seek to check human appetite. It would be just as strictly law and order when it comes to polluters as it is when it comes to drug dealing. In all of this, it would bring conservative views on environmental issues into line with conservative views on social issues and restore some coherence and consistency in place of what has all to often in recent years been a tendency to petulantly oppose anything that Environmentalism supports and to take that opposition to extremes. Just because Environmentalists think spotted owls are more important than people does not require conservatives to actively seek their extinction, but this has often been the seeming reaction. A conservative environmentalism would provide a framework for considering such issues that would be independent of the lunatic Left and allow for a proactive rather than a reactive approach.

Any thoughts?


(Reviewed:)

Grade: (F)

  

Websites:

See also:

Orrin Judd (9 books reviewed)
Nature
Orrin Judd Links:

    -AUUTHOR SITE: Brothers Judd
    -BLOG: Brothers Judd Blog


    -BOOK SITE: Redefining Sovereighty (S&K Global)
    -BOOK BLOG: Redefining Sovereighty
    AUDIO INTERVIEW: Last Night's Show - Extreme Sovereignty! (Bruno Behrend, 3/30/06, Extreme Wisdom Radio, WKRS 1220 AM)
    -DISCUSSION: Redefining Sovereignty (Heritage Foundation, July 20, 2006)
    -PROFILE: Sovereignty Redefined (Edward B. Driscoll, Jr., 11/03/2005, Tech Central Station)
    -PROFILE: Brothers Judd Blog (Pajamas Media)
    -PROFILE: The Brothers Judd: The Adventure of Great Literature: Want more information on a book you've heard about? Your opportunities to learn about many good books have increased thanks to the Brothers Judd. The Brothers Judd use 21st century technology to share information about a medium that dates back over 3000 years: books. (Edward B. Driscoll, Jr., 1/16/02, Catholic Exchange)
    -INTERVIEWED: Is new media blogging out the old? (SHAWN MACOMBER, 10/24/04, Foster's Sunday Citizen)
    -INTERVIEWED: Protesters surprise pols at flag event (Tara Kyle and Alison Schmauch, February 18, 2002, The Dartmouth)
    -ESSAY: Bush's resolve already has paid dividends (Jack Kelly, 9/19/02, Jewish World Review)


    -INTERVIEW: One nation, under Allah: an interview with Robert Ferrigno: Orrin Judd interviews Robert Ferrigno, author of Prayers for the Assassin, a novel about the near future which posits a world where much of the United States has become an Islamic state (Orrin C. Judd, 3/20/06, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY: Dumb and Dumber: Revisiting Conservatives as the Stupid Party (Orrin C. Judd, 02/23/2005, Tech Central Station)
    -ESSAY: The Strange Death That No One Cares About (Orrin C. Judd, 1/27/05, Tech Central Station)
    -INTERVIEW: America's First War on Islamic Terror: an interview with Joshua E. London, author of America's Barbary Wars -- Victory in Tripoli : How America's War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation (Orrin C. Judd, 14 Nov 2005, Tech Central Station)
    -INTERVIEW: The Contest Between Taxeaters and Taxpayers: an interview with Steven Malanga, author of The New New Left : How American Politics Works Today (Orrin Judd, 7/20/05, Tech Central Station)
    -INTERVIEW: Present at the Transition: an interview with John Ehrman, author of The Eighties: America in the Age of Reagan (Orrin C. Judd, 6/10/05, Tech Central Station)
    -INTERVIEW: Loving Soren: Romancing the theological: Loving Soren is a romance novel with a twist, combining a learned and thoughtful presentation of religious and philosophical ideas, writes Orrin C. Judd in this interview with the book's author Caroline Coleman O'Neill (Orrin C. Judd, August 30, 2005, Spero Forum)
    -INTERVIEW: Celebrating Small Town America: An Interview with Jim Black (Orrin C. Judd, Southern Scribe Review)
    -INTERVIEW: Gilded Chamber author expounds on writing: Orrin Judd interviews Rebecca Kohn, author of The Gilded Chamber, a terrific historical novel that retells the story of Esther - and gathers some tips on writing (Orrin C. Judd, June 27, 2005, Spero Forum)
    -INTERVIEW: with Yann Martel, author of The Life of Pi (Orrin C. Judd, August 2002)
    -ESSAY: John Kerry's attention deficit disorder (Orrin Judd, March 15, 2004, Enter Stage Right)
    -REVIEW: The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Orrin C. Judd, March 1, 2002, Right Turns)
    -REVIEW: What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response by Bernard Lewis (Orrin C. Judd, February 15, 2002, Right Turns)


    -REVIEW: of Redefining Sovereignty. Ed. by Orrin C. Judd. Mar. 2006. 520p. Smith & Kraus, $29.99 (Brendan Driscoll, Feb. 1, 2005, Booklist)
    -REVIEW: Changing the rules: a review of Redefining Sovereignty: The Battle for the Moral High Ground in a Changing World By Orrin C. Judd (Steven Martinovich, February 27, 2006, Enter Stage Right)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Enough with the globo-gab: a review of Redefining Sovereignty, Orrin C. Judd (MARK STEYN, 3/27/06, Maclean's)
    -ESSAY: Revisitation (David Warren, 3/12/06, Real Clear Politics)

Book-related and General Links:

    -ESSAY: For God So Loved the World: Call them God's Greens. Armed with Scripture and a righteous respect for nature, a host of religious groups have taken up the environmental fight and are waging holy war on behalf of an embattled creation. But, critics ask, is this a truly divine cause-or the devil's work? (Bruce Barcott, March 2001, Outside)
    -ESSAY: Birkenstocked Burkeans: Confessions of a granola conservative. (Rod Dreher, 7/12/2002, National Review)
    -ESSAY: Crunchy Cons: Picking up organic vegetables in your National Review tote bag. (Rod Dreher, September 30, 2002, National Review)
    -ESSAY: Crunchy Conservatism, Reconsidered: Of granola and First Principles. (Jonah Goldberg, October 8, 2002, National Review)
    -Conservatism: Green vs. Crunch (Ben Domenech, 9/25/02)
    -What the Republican Party needs (Paul Cella, September 14, 2002, Cella's Review)
    -A Patriotic, Pro-Family Conservation Program for the GOP (Steve Sailer)
    -I Fear the Following (James Lileks)
    Is green the new blue?: Rod Liddle says the Conservatives would be more successful if they were keener on conserving (Rod Liddle, 5/03/03, The Spectator)
    -ESSAY: Why Aren't Conservatives Conservationists? (Jeremy Beer, Spring 2002, Regeneration Quarterly)

Comments:

You're going to need to do better than this. If Global Warming is for real then I would have to say it's a hell of a lot more than a "mere specter." I would love for your proposition to turn out to be correct and for us to somehow be able to preserve our society much as it stands while still protecting ourselves from major environmental dangers, but you haven't come up with any real ideas for how individual people are supposed to act, how large groups are supposed to act, what kinds of laws should be put into effect regarding pollution, litter, recycling, etc., and so far your ideas look like a pipe dream.

And for heuwen's sake environmentalists don't think "spotted owls are more important than people." The reason for wanting to preserve spotted owls is of great importance to biologists as well as environmentalists; knowledge of how other species work is important for scientists in a number of ways, including things like finding vaccines for deadly diseases. Obviously they need species to stick around in order for this work to be done. Nuff said.

At least this review didn't contain any homophobia.

- Horoscho

- Sep-12-2006, 15:16

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