Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

April 17, 2013

Forum: Conservatives, conservation can mix

Rush Limbaugh calls me an “environmental wacko.”

I’m one of those people who believe in saving energy, preserving wild areas and treating the Earth as a finite resource that should be handled with care.

Rush seems to hate this. He likens me to a Nazi extremist. He says I don’t understand the world’s bounty, or the principles of supply and demand. Worse yet, he’s convinced I’m one of those “whining liberals” who use environmental scare tactics to push big government.

The funny thing is — in most areas of my life — I’m a fairly conservative guy.

I have particular difficulty relating to modern “liberal” or so-called “progressive” thought. Yet I have often found myself walking hand-in-hand with left-leaning Democrats in battles to protect our natural heritage.

I wonder why that is.

Shouldn’t more conservatives be conservationists and more conservationists be conservatives? After all, there are few things more “conservative” than protecting resources for future generations.

I know there are some on the so-called “political right” — whatever that is — who feel as I do.

ConservAmerica is a national grassroots organization that claims to be “the environmental conscience of the Grand Old Party.” Members believe we can preserve our environment and boost our economy at the same time. They want to resurrect the GOP’s once-strong conservation tradition.

It seems this would be something we could all support, but many Republican leaders - not to be confused with conservatives - don’t seem to be listening. They want to scrap laws that have cleaned up air and water, preserved natural areas, and prevented the extinction of native species.

What’s that all about?

Anybody with the smarts to get elected ought to be able to see that more — not less — needs to be done to defend the natural world our children and grandchildren will inherit.

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