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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Our Wonderful Environment

Don't you just love waking up in the morning and stepping outside to the wonderful aroma of fresh air, flowers and --well-- nature? I sure do. But like so many others --and there are millions of us-- that is not what we actually experience in the morning, or daytime, or evening, for that matter. We get the wonderful smell of pollution. I live in Las Vegas. You may live in Los Angeles, Houston, the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, or wherever. But it is all the same.. A brown cloud that you can see when you move above or beyond it. It just looks disgusting from that distance. But is made even worse when you know that you actually live in and breathe it on a daily basis.

My hometown of Chattanooga, TN is a perfect example of turning the country's most polluted city into its cleanest. It can be done; it has been done. Most importantly, it has to be done, everywhere.

But what happens if conservatives are in charge and a state wants to clean itself up? You get this. Chattanooga is a perfect example of where progressive ideals lead to cleaner air, water, land and a stronger economy. But conservatives will have none of that. Its the status quo or no quo. Even the most casual look into the automotive industry shows just how screwed up the conservative mind is. Toyota turned an environmentally sound idea into a very successful and profitable product; the Toyota Prius. But the Big Three fought it. It was the same tired business model for them. And what happened? They got left behind and were faced with playing that most infamous of games, Catch-up. But it was easier for them to lobby the government to prevent any changes in their business practices than to make the changes that were inevitable (and that they are now doing to catch up with Toyota). Unfortunately for all of us, they had a willing ally: The conservative Republican machine.

So we see that things can change for the better if progressive ideas are used to help the environment, it can be good for people like we see in Chattanooga, it can be better in products like cars, and it can be better in other areas as well, like energy. In all areas of the environment and the economy, prosperity can occur if change and new ideas are allowed to reign. We see solid, concrete evidence all around us every day.

Only one thing stands in the way of real and massive economic growth, real and sustainable environmental protection, and a more widespread sense of health and prosperity. That is conservatism.

Just how many times have very prominent conservative writers or pundits publicly derided "global warming"? How many times have they fought against any sort of environmental stewardship at all?

All this makes me wonder why.. Why do conservatives fight against any sort of environmental responsibility even if it means better economic growth and better general populational health? Do they fear that what happened with Chattanooga and Toyota might just happen with all other cities and car companies? Do they fear that it may spread to all other industries as well?

I don't know. I could never pretend to understand the idea that things are best the way they are and could never ever be improved upon by using new ideas.

The question then becomes why is conservatism beholden to old ideas which cause such obvious problems? That question, I think, is easily answered. Those who hold the most to be gained by changing nothing are the ones who guide conservative principles. The best proof of this is the area of conservatism I discuss the most, conservative Christianity. But that is a tangent I won't go into here.

So, the moral of the story is simple, if you want cleaner air, vote against any and all conservatives, no matter what their political party.

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