by Jim Caddell, published by OpEdNews.com
Main Entry: 1con 路ser 路va 路tive
Date: 14th century
1 : PRESERVATIVE
2 a : of or relating to a philosophy of conservatism b capitalized : of or constituting a political party professing the principles of conservatism : as (1) : of or constituting a party of the United Kingdom advocating support of established institutions (2) : PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE
3 a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : TRADITIONAL b : marked by moderation or caution <a conservative estimate> c : marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners <a conservative suit>
4 : of or relating to Conservative Judaism
- con 路ser 路va 路tive 路ly adverb
- con 路ser 路va 路tive 路ness noun
I will never understand why conservatives are against conservation. You would think that a conservative, tending to maintain existing conditions and marked by moderation or caution, would be 100% in favor of protecting air, water, wildlife, national resources, and wilderness areas. You'd think that conservatives would want to err on the side of caution on the global warming issue rather than risk flooding New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland, Miami, N'Awlins, and the rest of the world's coastal cities. You'd think that they would want to preserve a few untouched portions of the world's beauty for their children and grandchildren.
But no. Greed and short term profits seem to be driving this administration's environmental policies. And why not? Presidents don't need to plan more then four years ahead, so why not reward corporate sponsors now and blow off the planet's future? Leave the cleanup for the next poor sucker to get the job. It worked for Daddy, didn't it?
Junior will get away with it too. Global environmental threats take some time to develop, and by the time they do Bush will be remembered as the hero that built the American empire and made Iraq our 51st state. Here are some of the things Bush and his gang are getting away with while our attention is elsewhere:
It's no coincidence that the GOP's mascot is an endangered species.
To be fair, conservation and pollution controls are a new idea in human terms. In pre-industrial times we never had to worry about it. Peeing in the river was no big deal, because the river was big and people were few. If the drinking water in the next town downstream tastes a little funny, well, that was their problem. But now there are 6 billion people in the world. No matter where you live you know there is someone else living upstream from you. In the modern world we have to cooperate.
No one can predict the future with any accuracy, but with industry still trying to pee in our figurative river one can hazard a few educated guesses. A trickle of toxic chemicals are discharged here and there from a zillion factories and after a while the tap water starts to look and taste funny again. With a ten zillion smokestacks farting carcinogens here and greenhouse gasses there, the air looks and smells a little odd and high tide gets a little higher every day. Perhaps we'll develop treatments for the new cancers and other maladies resulting from increased pollution levels, or perhaps not. If we let the oil companies into the wildlife refuges, where will the wildlife take refuge? Has the road runner escaped the coyote all these years just to be poisoned by an oil spill? If we clearcut a few million acres of forest here and strip mine a mountain there, pretty soon the world will look like a parking lot and there will be nowhere to go on vacation except for Disney's Forest World, famous for its realistic TreeLifeTM forests and singing animatronic beavers.
Singing robot beavers? I just scared myself.
But seriously, if you haven't been to the woods lately, take your kids and go. The best argument for conservation is an hour in your nearest forest, listening to the wind through the trees, with the annoying sound of chainsaws in the distance.
If there isn't a wilderness area near you, then I've made my point.
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