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American Conservatism is conserving America. Conserving we the people and the land on which we live. Democrats have used environmentalism to give a generation of young voters a feeling of purpose, but it is time for Conservatives to demonstrate how conservation is something superior. People will sometimes use the terms synonymously but there are profound differences between the tradition of conservation and the religion of environmentalism.
Specifics vs. Abstractions
Conservation is a practical tradition of managing specific resources with specific goals in mind. Conservation is measuring the populations of animals, the conditions of habitats, the accessibility and utility of land, and actively managing it with a specific plan. When a species is threatened or endangered we make a plan to bring them back to a stable population so that we can enjoy that species in our ecosystems and our communities. The Bald Eagle, The Grizzle Bear, The Gray Wolf, only a few successes of looking at specific objectives and taking sensible goals to achieve them.
Environmentalism is an abstract exercise in virtue to the left. The Green New Deal is more about socialism than it is about the environment so why is that the “gold standard” of environmentalist ambition? Because the more vague environmentalism is the more regulatory power the government can demand and the more control regulators can wield. If the only thing Environmentalists care about is net carbon emissions they’d support a carbon tax as the one and only policy and push that 24/7. The socialism and the “environmental justice” and all the nonsense is not a sideshow of the movement but the point of the movement.
Outcomes vs Inputs
Conservation is an effort with an eye to outcomes. When a species is listed or an area designated as protected we are measuring that resource with an eye towards recovery. Conservation isn’t about passing pointless restrictions or arbitrary commands but making decisions that directly affect outcomes. If the duration of a hunting season is lengthened or shortened it is because that’ll change the number of animals killed and the number of animals left to move the population to the desired management level. The outcome and result of an action is the motivating factor for an action.
Environmentalism is about the inputs regardless of their effect and results. Banning straws made Starbucks use a new type of lid that has more plastic than the straw. It takes a gallon of fuel to farm a gallon of ethanol from corn. Banning plastic bags at the grocery store increases carbon emissions by producing reusable and makes consumers buy thicker plastic bags for trash bins. Do any of these undesirable outcomes matter to environmentalists? No. Environmentalism is not about what actually happens it is about signaling virtue and demonstrating how environmental someone is with symbolic gestures that have little to no impact on improving our natural world.
Activism vs. Protestation
Non-profit organizations have a long tradition of conserving our natural resources leading the way in front of the government. In 1942 there were as few as 200,000 turkeys in North America. Today, after the hard work of thousands of conservationists there are over 7 million turkeys in the United States. These turkeys didn’t come from conservationists storming football fields or shouting on college campuses. They came about because Americans rolled up their sleeves and got to work changing the world around them and making it a better place for the future.
Environmentalism is about protesting to demonstrate how noble you are. If environmentalists spent half the time they spend protesting actually working in the environment, they would do 100x more good than they are currently. Rallies and protests and marches and nonsense might feel good and feel like they are achieving things but the truth is that all the screeches of leftist environmentalists are not improving anything.
Concern vs. Catastrophe
Conservation is about keeping a vigilant lookout for problems. When a new threat comes up like Chronic Wasting Disease in deer Conservationists act to study and understand the disease to find solutions to it. These concerns are taken seriously and worked towards being managed. It isn’t a crisis and people don’t run through the streets as though it were the last days of Rome. They look at the problems and with a level head tackle it.
Environmentalism is an apocalyptic religion of doomsayers. The sky is always falling and the only solution is, of course, to give up freedom and empowering our governmental betters to run our lives for us from Washington. What good is freedom when we’re all dead so might as well give the Democrat tyrants total control because you should be too terrified to think about anything else. Panic yourself into a frenzy and then give power to liberals. That’s the message of environmentalism and it’s one of the darkest aspects to the movement.
Admire vs. Worship
Finally, I would say that Conservation is about loving nature and wanting to take care of it and admire it. To realize that God (or chance if that’s your god) blessed us with the most incredible world and that we can interact with the natural world in a way that allows us to enjoy it, utilize it, and pass it on to our children better than we found it.
Environmentalism is the worship of the environment and the hatred of humanity that is but a plague upon it. NBC set up a “climate confessional” where people can confess their SINS against the environment. To the neo-pagan liberal, the environment is god, and man is just a destructive sack of meat blighting it.
In Close, the next time you hear someone say that they vote for Democrats because they care about the environment use the opportunity to showcase how Republicans, the Party of Teddy Roosevelt, The Part of the Clean Air Act, The Party of the Clean Water Act, The Party on Conservation, does more for the natural world than Democrats ever dream of. Republicans have a long and noble tradition of conservation and we need to put that front and center to win with young voters who aren’t lost and gone forever. As they get older and wiser we can help them see that voting Red is voting Green.