Can one be a social conservative or member of the GOP and be an environmentalist? Although I’ve long argued what I believe to be the fundamental distinction between being an environmentalist and a conservationist – and perhaps that’s arguing the number of angelic beings dancing on the head of a pin – the obvious answer to the above question is a resounding yes. To me, it’s a rather silly question, but it’s one with legs. As with other social and cultural issues, the GOP’s environmental positioning has long been on the losing side of public sentiment, rhetoric and imagery. 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.