Sunday, April 05, 2015

Conservative Values and Global Warming

Convincing people is a matter of addressing their values rather than one's own values. In addressing the conservatives on the matter of global warming, it is not enough to talk about maintaining a clean environment or protecting the planet. It is however possible to talk to them on this matter based on their beliefs and values, and I for one am willing to contribute one such effort, centered on the following conservative values: Responsibility, progress and family values.

Responsibility means not destroying what one cannot recreate. Responsibility means not leaving the world a worse place for oneself having been in it. Responsibility means being careful stewards of the world's resources and not blindly destroying irreplaceable treasure or flooding the atmosphere with gases that cause hurricanes and floods. A responsible person will do everything in his power to make sure that people's requirements are provided for in such a way as to leave the world a better and not a worse place for oneself having been in it.

Progress means moving from less efficient and brain-intensive technologies to more efficient and brain-intensive ones. This likewise means clean energy. Solar and hydrogen energy stand to fulfil people's energy needs at present and greater levels with vastly fewer destructive effects. Clean energy is progress in every way; and a true believer in progress will support clean energy.

Family values means leaving the world a better place for one's children than one has found it. It means creating for one's children a better future. This likewise means clean energy. It means moving energy production toward technologies that are less destructive to nature, so that one's children can have a livable world.

Two other conservative values – honesty and realism – require accepting reality and working with reality. And this means accepting, and working with, the reality of anthropogenic global warming. This reality was known to both the Soviet and the American scientists as early as 1950s. It became common knowledge in 1980s, when it should have been solved. Instead the problem has been denied, and now we are facing a much greater crisis than it should have ever been allowed to become.

What all this means is that clean energy is compatible with conservative values, and that a conservative true to conservative values will support clean energy. Ultimately even the entities supporting the denial of global warming, such as the oil industry, stand to benefit from clean energy conversion. Oil will last longer and will be used for higher-end goods such as plastics and pharmaceuticals, ultimately making more money for the oil companies.

Clean energy therefore makes every bit of sense according to conservative values and according to even the conservative vested interests. It is the responsible thing to do; it is the progress-generating thing to do; and it is the thing to do if one actually cares about one's family and its future. A conservative true to real conservative values will support clean energy conversion. And a conservative who is against such a conversion is not a true conservative.


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