October 12, 2006
The stereotype of an environmental activist is the vegetarian, sandal wearing, multiple pierced liberal with no tolerance for a conservative government, and especially any type of environmental policy formulated by a conservative. It doesn’t matter how environmental a right leaning government could possibly be, it’s assumed by environmental groups that conservatives are more interested in the green of money than the green of nature. This, despite the fact that leading environmentalists crowned Brian Mulroney, a (Progressive) conservative, the greenest Prime Minister in Canadian history for his efforts to reduce acid rain, and his establishment of the South Moresby national park. Here is a case where the results of environmental plans are graded for their effectiveness. So while many would conclude Jean Chretien and Paul Martin as green Prime Ministers for advancing Canada’s willingnesss to embrace the Kyoto protocol, they fail the grade for a hollow promise whereby meeting targets to reduce greenhouse gases became quite clearly, an impossible undertaking.
Then, on the eve after drawing this cartoon I watched a great program on PBS hosted by Bill Moyers which investigated conservative attitudes towards the environment through evangelical Christians. It challenged the old notions that to be environmental, you have to be liberal. Here’s how the program is described:
A new holy war is growing within the conservative evangelical community, with implications for both the global environment and American politics. For years liberal Christians and others have made protection of the environment a moral commitment. Now a number of conservative evangelicals are joining the fight, arguing that man’s stewardship of the planet is a biblical imperative and calling for action to stop global warming.
But they are being met head-on by opposition from their traditional evangelical brethren who adamantly support the Bush administration in downplaying the threat of global warming and other environmental perils. The political stakes are high: Three out of every four white evangelical voters chose George W. Bush in 2004. “Is God Green?” explores how a serious split among conservative evangelicals over the environment and global warming could reshape American politics. For more on this documentary…