Not an Oxymoron: “Republicans for Environmental Protection” Speak out

April 12, 2011

It turns out there are still a small group of die-hard grownups left among the increasingly crazed and raving anti-science radicals of what once was a great political party in America.

Republicans for Environmental Protection released a statement on the eve of the budget deadline last week, making these pithy points:

“The failure of Congress to pass a budget and avoid a government shutdown is no longer the result of a legitimate debate about fiscal responsibility.

The failure is being perpetuated by House Republican leaders who have allowed themselves to be held hostage by theatrical malcontents pushing a radical agenda that has nothing to do with cutting wasteful government spending,..”

“True conservatives should realize that fiscal stewardship and environmental stewardship are two sides of the same coin. Both are required to fulfill our responsibility to future generations,

“House Republicans, and the Tea Party radicals leading them around by the nose, may want to return to the libertarian glory days when smog clouded our cities and rivers caught on fire, but most Americans—Republican, Democrat or independent—don’t. They want clean air and water, they support environmental protection laws, and they want Congress to quit playing politics with public health and let EPA do its job,..”

Today’s mindless, milling rabble of Beck-bores, dittoheads, Palin-ophiles, and Bachmanites like to call themselves “conservatives”, and pretend that they belong to any intellectual tradition other than the “know-nothing”, nativist and racist dregs of American history.  But what is the real history of the conservative tradition in regard to environmental protection?

Edmund Burke,  (1729 – 1797)

“Never, no, never, did Nature say one thing, and Wisdom say another.”
Third Letter on Regicide Peace, 1797

“Knowledge of those unalterable Relations which Providence has ordained that every thing should bear to every other…To these we should conform in good Earnest; and not think to force Nature, and the whole Order of her System, by a Compliance with our Pride, and Folly, to conform to our artificial Regulations.
“A Vindication of Natural Society, 1757

“Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation.”
New Nationalism speech, Ossowatomie, Kansas, August 31, 1910

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919)

“Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess, it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so.”
Seventh Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1907

“We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted…So any nation which in its youth lives only for the day, reaps without sowing, and consumes without husbanding, must expect the penalty of the prodigal whose labor could with difficulty find him the bare means of life.”
“Arbor Day – A Message to the School-Children of the United States” April 15, 1907

Russell Kirk (1919 – 1934)

“Nothing is more conservative than conservation”
Conservation Activism is a Healthy Sign, Baltimore Sun

“The modern spectacle of vanished forests and eroded lands, wasted petroleum and ruthless mining, national debts recklessly increased until they are repudiated, and continual revision of positive law, is evidence of what an age without veneration does to itself and its successors.”
The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot (1953)

“The resources of nature, like those of spirit, are running out, and all that a conscientious man can aspire to be is a literal conservative, hoarding what remains of culture and of natural wealth against the fierce appetites of modern life.”
The Conservative Mind

“There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.”
Confession of Faith Speech, Progressive National Convention

Barry Goldwater, (1919 – 1998)

“While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.”
“The Conscience of a Majority (1970)”

“At this sunset hour, the canyon walls are indescribably beautiful and I fear the magic of photography can never record what I see now. The tall spires near the canyon’s top and the walls of the canyon up there look as if God had reached out and swiped a brush of golden paint across them, gilding these rocks in the bright glow of the setting sun.”

“An Odyssey of the Green and Colorado Rivers,” 1940

“We are on the Colorado…that means something more to me than thoughts of electrical power or a harnessed river.”
“An Odyssey of the Green and Colorado Rivers,” 1940

“Well, once you’ve been in the Canyon and once you’ve sort of fallen in love with it, it never ends…it’s always been a fascinating place to me, in fact I’ve often said that if I ever had a mistress it would be the Grand Canyon.”
Boatman’s quarterly review, interview with Barry Goldwater, fall 1994

“My mother took us to services at the Episcopal church. Yet she always said that God was not just inside the four walls of a house of worship, but everywhere — in the rising sun over Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, a splash of water along the nearby Salt or Verde rivers, or clouds driving over the Estrella Mountains, south of downtown. I’ve always thought of God in those terms.”
“Goldwater” (1988)

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004

“What is a conservative after all but one who conserves, one who is committed to protecting and holding close the things by which we live…And we want to protect and conserve the land on which we live — our countryside, our rivers and mountains, our plains and meadows and forests. This is our patrimony. This is what we leave to our children. And our great moral responsibility is to leave it to them either as we found it or better than we found it.”
Remarks at dedication of National Geographic Society new headquarters building, June 19, 1984

“The Montreal Protocol is a model of cooperation. It is a product of the recognition and international consensus that ozone depletion is a global problem, both in terms of its causes and its effects. The protocol is the result of an extraordinary process of scientific study, negotiations among representatives of the business and environmental communities, and international diplomacy. It is a monumental achievement.”
Statement on signing the instrument of ratification of the Montreal Protocol on Ozone-Depleting Substances, April 5, 1988

“I believe in a sound, strong environmental policy that protects the health of our people and a wise stewardship of our nation’s natural resources.”
Radio address to nation on environmental and natural resources management, June 11, 1983

“I’m proud of having been one of the first to recognize that states and the federal government have a duty to protect our natural resources from the damaging effects of pollution that can accompany industrial development.”
Radio address to nation on environmental issues, July 14, 1984

Clearly, any of these statements would automatically disqualify these gentleman from membership in today’s GOP.

It will come as a particular surprise to Aunt Teabag and Uncle Dittohead, that Ronald Reagan was actually the Father of Cap and Trade, which was developed as a ‘market based” regulatory technique, and was successful in the roll back acid-rain pollution in the US, while simultaneously allowing electric prices to actually decrease.

Below, George Schultz, former Secretary of State under Reagan, in a July 19, 2010 interview, discusses Reagan’s support of the Montreal Protocol Treaty, the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions and America’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil.  He does the obligatory trash talking about the climate-hack, but other than that, it’s pretty straight.

7 Responses to “Not an Oxymoron: “Republicans for Environmental Protection” Speak out”

  1. neilrieck Says:

    I am surprised that most modern Conservatives and Republicans still don’t know that 100 years ago, the label “Conservative” used to mean conserve nature, air, and water. Today, people who hold these values today are labeled left-wing tree-huggers while “conservatives” appear to me to be nothing more than “carpet baggers”.
    quote: a derogatory term, suggesting opportunism and exploitation

    Right now I’m thinking Dick Cheney and Halliburton.

  2. livinginabox Says:

    It would be most interesting to compare voting records of REP vs GOP with Dirty Energy Money received to see what the degree of correlation is. I suspect a substantial difference.

    Put it another way: the US of A has the best politicians that Coal / Oil / Gas money can buy.

    We already know that Inhofe; Barton; Shimkus; Whitfield etc. have been bought, now what about the rest?

    What happened to integrity?

    I’m going to have a dig. ‘I may be some time’*.

    *(Captain Oates was suffering from frost bitten feet…. and asked to be left behind…. request was refused…. On the morning of March 17th 1912, during a blizzard, Oates told Scott he was ‘just going outside and may be some time’. He was never seen again.)

  3. philip64 Says:

    Among the conservatives listed here you might add Margaret Thatcher (herself a chemist, and therefore relatively knowledgeable about science): “No generation has a freehold on this Earth. All we have is a life tenancy with a full repairing lease”.

  4. otter17 Says:

    Ah, the famous meeting between President Roosevelt and John Muir at Yosemite.

    I can only imagine what Muir would think of today’s situation.

  5. […] For more from Theodore Roosevelt, Russell Kirk, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, George Schultz, check out: Not an Oxymoron: “Republicans for Environmental Protection” Speak out. […]

  6. […] For more from Theodore Roosevelt, Russell Kirk, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, George Schultz, check out: Not an Oxymoron: “Republicans for Environmental Protection” Speak out. […]

  7. […] reasons, I like to give them their due. The folks I’ve met from ConservAmerica, formerly Republicans for Environmental Protection are the kind of mainstream republicans that I grew up with.  There are solutions to environmental […]

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