A little tongue-in-cheek there in case you missed it. But everything these days seems to get blamed on climate change, rain, storms, snow, droughts, flooding, migration, violence, insecurity, depression, and bad hair. At some point it all becomes unbelievable and facile, and it’s regrettable when an otherwise serious scientific discussion morphs into a political charade. Chris Mooney, a politically left and perspicacious political journalist, has penned a thoughtful piece over at Mother Jones regarding the skeptical mind of conservatives and the modern role of science. Polls consistently reveal that conservatives and the political right are a skeptical bunch and far less inclined to believe in manmade climate change than are their liberal neighbors. Some have sought to blame this phenomena on conservative media, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, who indeed are prone to sowing seeds of doubt. But is that the root cause of conservative skepticism? Mooney isn’t buying it, Continue reading
Great article today by Brad Plumer of WaPo regarding my friend, Jonathan Adler, arguing why conservatives can also be environmentalists. Adler is a strong proponent of using private property rights to create the right incentives for promoting efficient and cost-effective conservation – taking a more libertarian approach as I discussed previously here. Adler has written extensively on free-market environmentalism. On climate change, something which many conservatives respond to about as well as swallowing a hair ball, Adler is fully consistent in his argument. Continue reading
Great discussion today in DC sponsored by the Conservation Leadership Council – carried by C-SPAN – on advancing principals of environmental stewardship through more bottom-up cooperative conservation as opposed to top-down regulatory approaches. The CLC has released a new report highlighting successful community-based projects aimed at conserving endangered species, enhancing water quality, and protecting fragile ocean resources through more public-private partnerships and market-based approaches. Lots of discussion about the need for deeper, more meaningful trust among the stakeholders and greater transparency in the development and use of environmental metrics to measure our progress. Numerous eNGOs, including EDF, TNC, NWF, NFWF, and other groups around the table. As always, Lynn Scarlett did a masterful job of facilitating the discussion, with Gale Norton and Ed Schafer, former Secretaries of DOI and USDA, at the table. My former boss at EPA, Ben Grumbles, President of U.S. Water Alliance, discusses the interconnectivity of local, regional and national water issues. (49:46 – 52:08) Other good minds contributing to the dialogue – Gary Burnett, Terry Fankhauser, Greg Schildwachter, Alex Echols, and Doug Domenech.