Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Crunchy Con Rand Paul: Republicans care just as deeply about the environment as Democrats

I am somewhat of a environmentalist, or at least a conservationist.  I do think we need to be good stewards of the earth and I like clean air and clean water and the outdoors and I want to preserve species from extension and preserve beautiful vistas and waterfalls and critical habitats and open spaces.  I believe man-made global warming is most likely a valid scientific theory.  I do think, however, that much of what is proposed to combat global warming is useless and much is silly symbolism. Some of it, such as corn-based ethanol, is actually terribly harmful to the environment. Properly inflating your tires when China is building a coal-fired plant a week is not going to accomplish much. Once CO2 is in the atmosphere it doesn't go away, so efforts to combat global warming must make sense and must be bold. I also don't want to surrender our liberty to unelected bureaucrats at the EPA and I don't want to scarifice jobs and ecomomic growth without a stingent cost-benefit analysis. I think positions taken by many conservatives on enviornmental issues is not only wrong, but politically suicidal.

I was pleased to come across this piece on Rand Paul. I am not sure how his enviornmentalism will translate into policy, but at least he does not come across as an enemy of the enviornment. What has been missing from envoronmental debate is a pro-growth, pro-market, pro-technology solution to environmental issues. All we have heard is the no-growth, bigger government solutions. I look forward to hearing more from Rand Paul on enrionmental policy. Rand Paul is looking better and better.

National Review Online,

“I’m a libertarian conservative who spends most of my free time outdoors,” he told the sold-out crowd. “I bike and hike and kayak, and I compost.” The audience, which was full of retired businessmen and lawyers, laughed as he made light of his bohemian ways. “In fact,” he continued, “I have a giant Sequoia I’m trying to grow in Kentucky.”

Paul’s unabashed crunchiness — the term was popularized by former National Review writer Rod Dreher to describe some conservatives’ taste for granola, Birkenstocks, and Mother Nature — wasn’t just a stylistic aside. He argued that his lifestyle is a reflection of his reform agenda for the GOP, which is founded on themes of local control, states’ rights, and free enterprise. He spoke about how the party needs to be a voice for those who love the environment but want the government to stop intruding in their lives and livelihoods. “When we as Republicans wake up and tell voters that we want to be the champion of the small farmer and the small businessman or woman, then we will thrive as a party,” he said. “Republicans care just as deeply about the environment as Democrats, but we also care about jobs.” (read more)

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