The Corner


On Arbor Day, Who Will Speak for the Trees?

Dr. Suess’s The Lorax, whence comes the title question, is socialist drivel of the most ignorant sort. But just because Theodore Geisel was a leftist dimwit who described the book as “straight propaganda” doesn’t mean trees are bad.

Conservatives too often have a blind spot on environmental issues, ceding them to anti-human nihilists and to Marxists for who environmentalism is merely an excuse to accumulate power over others. But “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” – and we glorify the Creator when we honor his creation.

Instead of picking Lenin’s Birthday for the occasion of Earth Day, environmentalists would have done better to piggy-back on Arbor Day, a distinctively American observance celebrated nationally on this last Friday in April. (Some states mark different dates, depending on the climate.) It was started in Nebraska 144 years ago and has spread organically, as it were, from the bottom up.

Arbor Day Stamp

My point is not to argue for or against any particular policy. Much of what the government attempts regarding conservation of nature is wrong-headed or downright harmful. But our critiques of job-destroying statist power-grabs will have more credibility with voters if conservatism internalizes – and routinely demonstrates – an appreciation of the imperative to care for and celebrate our patch of creation. The second verse of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” expresses the patriotic imperative of conservation:

My native country, thee,

Land of the noble free,

Thy name I love;

I love thy rocks and rills,

Thy woods and templed hills;

My heart with rapture thrills,

Like that above.

So plant a tree, take a hike, clean up the trash defacing your local creek. America needs you.


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