Is Not Conservation Essentially the Quintessential Conservative Position?

When it comes down to the politically polarized issues about our environment, a good many people seem to be arguing about things outside their understanding.  It isn’t a new practice; it’s been going on for thousands of years–millions perhaps if you go back to the early beginnings of the hominids.  About 95% of our population is scientifically illiterate (according to Dr. Carl Sagan), and consequently fearful about what they don’t understand.

It is because of what they don’t know (and do not want to know), that they will presume to get their conclusions from other people.  The overwhelming majority are phobics, and as a large subset, get their opinions, not from research, or study, but from accepting the ideas presented to them by their bullies (dominators).  And as long as certain dominators are blinded by the prospects of a hugely profitable immediacy, the inability to postpone gratification, one of the basic character flaws found in individuals and societies as a whole, they will passionately pursue those profits, and support a campaign program of perception management to keep their phobic followers seeing everything as simple, and in some way similar to a pep-rally at a high school football game.  To them, it is just easier to see it as a game.  And during games, they will yell: “Hooray for our side!”

Some are not convinced, in the face of data they literally do not understand, that if we must err, it would be wiser to err on the side of caution.  Strangely enough, they have been convinced (which should give any reasonably bright person a clue to what is happening) that protecting the earth, air, and water in some natural way that can sustain life is some kind of communist plot. At the same time, the delusion has now spread so far as to insist conservation itself, which is the ultimate conservative position, is somehow a bad idea.

Furthermore, it is presumed bad by those who externalize good and bad to things outside themselves, especially if they do not understand them.  What makes it easy for dominators to benefit from such idiocy is the very nature of the phobics.  It is common for them to fear what is framed as “the opposition”, and fear it vehemently more so if it is not understood, or if at all, not very clearly.

And what irrational fear seems so profoundly expressed so loudly and so often?  What more so than the in-your-face insistence of an idea from someone seen to be of an opposing political or religious ideology?  In fact, since that very angst drives humans to become passionate about war, it appears that fears associated with threats they recognize (though not always rationally) to the fabric of their beliefs, will overwhelm even the fear of the loss of life and limb.  You’ve seen it in lots of places.  I’ve seen it on fields of battle.  You can find lots of evidence to support what I just said, if you’ll just look for it.

In the meantime, while incidences of melanoma continue to rise, while a glacier in Nova Scotia continues to melt risking thermal dynamic alterations to The Gulf Stream, while crude oil still leaks into the lower part of that Gulf Stream, while humans and their children have flammable liquids come into their homes through their kitchen faucets, since what was once thought to be an unlimited source of food in our oceans seen now to be endangered and very finite, while we continue to breathe air so unlike the air from just a mere century ago, people turn their backs to the problem, primarily because…they don’t even understand it?  And all of these things are happening whether anyone is willing to admit it, or not.

Oh, these issues are likely to bring sickness, pain, and death to some of the children and grandchildren of our people, but it is much easier to just not think about it than to risk the odd chance of becoming aware of the possibility that some things may have already gone too far.  And to turn our backs and not stand up to face these adversities is not a very responsible, or even a brave thing to do.  When others are seen to be not facing, and even hiding from things that could threaten them, it is often observed as the essence of cowardice, isn’t it?  Maybe we here in the home of the brave, should think about that a little bit.

I thought of some apparent confusions about irrational fearfulness and bravery the other day while looking at a photograph of a man carrying an AR-15 with him to the grocery store.  Imagine so many other people going to buy their daily bread without so much as a pocket knife on them.  Is it that they do not understand all the imminent dangers omni-present all around them?  Or instead, are they just enjoying the freedom that is found only in a peaceful mind?  And perhaps to some, is that not a peacefulness passing far beyond what others might have developed as skills, or ever made habits to even begin to understand?  Well, of course it is.

Human life exists on this planet, as does lots of other kinds of life, due to delicate balances within nature itself.   Some want to believe all this life, all this nature, is the good work and good gifts to us from an unerringly good Deity, yet they would trash it?  Hardly makes sense when you think about it.  But to think about it and want to understand requires an effort.  Those who are lazy with ideas and only want to stand on those built by someone else, some authority they’ve acquiesced their rights to self-reliant thought processing, will not think about it without becoming irrational, thus angry and even hateful.  Peacefulness, a by-product of understanding, is not the business of those willing to be enslaved by their own misunderstandings.

So the fearful will be sedated by the empty promises of their dominators, and remain faithfully in hope of being lead to safety.  And absolutely nothing outside those empty promises will be of any long-term benefit to the phobics, or to their children.

“Stop worrying about these rumors you’re hearing about Agent Orange.  It’s just a defoliant, and cannot cause any harm to people or other animals.”
 ~ Lt. Commander (name withheld), Civil Engineer Corps, USN, 1969, just outside DaNang, Vietnam.  I remember it well.

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brett on September 20, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Well sir, if your goal was to call conservatives dumb, blind, nature hating cowards I congratulate you on your eloquent delivery. If however, you are eager to inspire thought, dialogue and change then I would suggest a different approach. I think the majority of conservatives would agree that we need to protect the environment. Where you lose the majority is when you say the government should dictate what type of lightbulb we use, or allow government to choose who wins and who loses as if by some chance they might know better than the general public.


    • Posted by thevanbrown on September 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      When considering many propositions, I am conservative. For example when the resolution was to take impulsive risks threatening the groundwater so that a few elitists could by theft make a quick profit by hydraulic fracturing, I stood in the defense of the status quo. Those who opposed me, those claiming their resolution would bring about a “progressive” change, were not conservative in thought, intent, or practice.

      On other propositions, especially matters of civil liberty, I often take a position similar to classical liberalism, the proponents of which were used to frame the Constitution, it’s Preamble, and the subsequent Bill of Rights that followed. If you wish to know what these framers were thinking, in other words, if you wish to move closer to an understanding of it, read the things they read. You can find a lot of well documented references in a highly praised academic work by Matthew Stewart entitled:

      “Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic”


  2. I understand your use of the terms “classical liberalism” and “conservative”. The two terms in their literal sense don’t reflect the two parties that claim them however. Both terms have been perverted equally by both parties and mean entirely different things now. Don’t you agree? Oh, and I left out lazy as well, I think that popped up too in your description. 😉 So I guess what I am asking is, are you or are you not attacking conservatives in the modern definition. It seems that is your intent.


  3. Posted by thevanbrown on September 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    My post had little in it to argue for, or against being a fiscal conservative, and neither was there an attack on the social conservatives in it, either. Those would be different arguments entirely. The point is rather simple: If a person is opposed to conservation; if their practices support taking impulsive environmental risks that could cause irreparable harm, then they are not acting in a conservative manner no matter what they call themselves.

    After all, a person who conserves nothing is not really a “conservative” in the sense of either the defense of the status quo, which does include the natural order of things and finite resources, does it not? Nor can we, without considerable stretch, presume their general attitude on the very subject of conservation be anything but disingenuous at best. And a person who fights against the very idea of conservation, when their monetary connections to those who are proposing impulsive risks, and do so even in the face of scientific concern, is a bit worse than just “not a conservative”, don’t you think?

    Before leaving office, Bill Clinton issued an executive order requiring several large power companies to comply to the regulations already in place with the EPA. This came after many years of fines, law suits and excessively arrogant non-compliance. One of the first things G. W. did in office was to rescind the order. Let it be noted that the beneficiaries of this decision was not the American people, but big coal and big oil that had donated significantly to his campaign.

    Another noticeable deviance from the spirit of conserving was Bush’s decision to allow the practice of hydraulic fracturing to be exempt from regulations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948, and subsequent amendments in 1972 (called “The Clean Water Act”), 1977, and 1987; The Safe Drinking Water Act, and The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976. Worthy of note regarding this decision is that at the time these exemptions were approved, several conflicts of interest are recognized:
    * The President, the Vice-President, and every single member of the cabinet were heavily invested in the petroleum industry;
    * The Vice-President chaired the committee that made the recommendations, with one to the principal companies to benefit from it being Halliburton–Cheney’s former company, in which he was, and is, significantly invested.

    These decisions were not based on calculated risks, which might be considered a conservative way to take risks, but impulsive ones. And the results have not been, nor were they intended to be conservative. In fact, the world-wide scientific community was and remains concerned about these less than intelligent decisions. Since any benefit from them was to be for a small elite group at the expense of most of the rest of the population as well as nature itself, they were in fact, bandit decisions.

    You mentioned “…conservatives in the modern definition”, and the very icon of that, according to many of those who claim to be conservative, would be Ronald Reagan. His predecessor installed solar panels in the white house. One of Reagan’s first moves early in his presidency was to order the solar panels removed.

    And so it is fair for me to offer some criticism for what I consider to be a most inappropriate use of a term that should imply conservation, when in fact, by addressing your “…conservatives in the modern definition”, it does not. Have I answered the question to your satisfaction?


  4. Well, I must say that you were a bit over my head with this post, but I am a peaceful being and I recycle. I am conservative by nature, meaning I don’t waste and I care about nature more than the average bear, but I would never say I’m a “conservative,” because that denotes a political nature I do not agree with, per se. We have a struggle in our household because we believe in natural power (solar, water, wood), but haven’t invested in it ourselves and my husband works in power plants for a living. Sustainable living isn’t easy and takes effort and expense. Few know the facts you have outlined in your comments on this post. For me, I do my best with what I know and what I have art my disposal at the time. Sometimes, that disposable item is knowledge. For instance, my whole life I used trash service and didn’t give it a second thought. Then due to trash service problems out here in the boonies, I began recycling almost everything and now I feel guilty if I throw away one plastic water bottle! Information is power. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  5. Posted by little d on October 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Van I have read and reread this press several times and find it among your best to date. In my opinion, this press should be required reading for all American Students and Adults as it will stand them in front of a mirror and reflect an image they would expect to recognize but won’t.

    It should remind us that living in a world of institutionalized fraud, fraudulently presenting the truth is commonplace, not the exception. Precede with caution.

    It reminds or informs us just how easily we can be led astray when we trust those who have made it their business to inform, for we have no other options that are as easy as being informed by others. To know can require much effort, time and resources, and may present the curious with unreachable requirements in doing so, and so we are targets for misinformationist.

    Facing the fact that Society operates on trust and those that willfully deceive us are risking it all when they take advantage of it is another monumental lesson of interest.

    I thank you again for taking the time to construct such a rich observation, and sharing it with us. I appreciate your efforts here and anticipate the opportunities in continuing to learn from them. Press On.

    little d


    • Posted by thevanbrown on October 3, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      “…Facing the fact that Society operates on trust and those that willfully deceive us are risking it all when they take advantage of it is another monumental lesson of interest.”

      And the “all” that they risk is quite possibly something even they don’t understand. The risk of “being caught” in a deception is presumed to be low if those being deceived are not bright enough to recognize it. The greater risk, however, is not mere discovery, but that the resulting failures of delusional plans bring about a more serious undoing.


  6. Van, what I’m taking from this post is the absolute importance of being acutely aware of the agendas that people are bringing with them, especially on issues which we perceive to be above our heads or outside our realm of interest.

    For my part, I feel that social media is having a major role to play in pushing ideas that may well have little foundation but which literally go ‘viral’ and take on a ‘truth’ that is based on following as opposed to understanding. We all need to take responsibility for the ideas we support and espouse.


  7. would you mind or is it legal for me to share this article..I think it is great as usual and I know someone who would enjoy it…


    • Posted by thevanbrown on October 29, 2014 at 1:30 am

      Linda, of course you can share anything I’ve posted here. Just give them the links to what you’d want them to see. I’m honored you’d want to do that. Thank you.


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