Conservative Environmentalism

by Jonah Goldberg

Mark – I have no problem with what you mean by conservative environmentalism — or the Boy Scouts — but I think generally speaking conservatives shouldn’t embrace “conservative environmentalism” as a label. It suggest we’re buying into the assumptions and framing of the left (the problems with, say, “conservative socialism” capture my point pretty well) . If we’re going to harken back to days of yore (Teddy Roosevelt, the Bou Scouts etc) why not simply embrace the word “conservation”? It has a good connotation, a pleasing root word, a historical connectedness that we should all be able to appreciate and inherent to the concept is the idea that what is being “conserved” is still man’s — to do with as he deems best today or in many generations hence. Meanwhile, environmentalism is a true ism with a great deal of baggage we should not try to co-opt or play me-too games with. I could go on, but I think intuitively everyone gets what I mean.

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