Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Conservative vs Liberalist on the Environment

I mentioned before the need for immediate and comprehensive action on energy policy and the environment. It is typically taken for granted that the liberalists (and, by extension, the Democrat Party) are better at this than the conservatives and the GOP. I suppose they are, in some ways, but they are extremely similar and neither side is willing to make changes in the status quo. Effectively, when it comes down to the policies either side would actually enact, they both fall far short of the mark.

Yes, only one side of the American political spectrum is vigorously downplaying environmental and energy concerns (the GOP). Both sides are in bed with Big Oil and the rest of the fossil fuel industry and neither side is willing to tell anybody to wear a sweater in the winter instead of cranking up the heat. Anything less than continued high consumption of energy, continued consumption and growth, is seen as unamerican defeatism. Neither side is willing to cooperate internationally to aggressively reduce American emissions even as Americans consume 25% of the world's energy, approximately 5 times as much per capita as the world's average and twice as much per capita as European countries. Economic progress, falsely so-called, is seen as a justification for this refusal on both sides.

I mean, how much can you trust a politician who includes "clean coal" as an emissions reduction strategy (Obama does)? The most either side does is throw small bones. Biofuels? This cannot be an answer: not abundant enough. Tax credits for wind and solar: great, but this is a small bone. Etc etc. Again, in contrast to an explicit "do nothing" policy of certain administrations, Obama's energy policy is... better. But in comparison to the policies reality would seem to demand, it is woefully inadequate. Well, anyway, whatevs.

I bring this up because, according to the Œcumenist Patriarch, we Orthodox Christians ought to care about the environment. So I'm going to occasionally gripe about how we are all doomed.

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