Reading over the thread at Music City Bloggers about mortgage foreclosures and such, I’m struck by a disparity I notice in the voices of the regulars there and in other online fora.

Why does it seem that so many of the people who get most passionate when it comes to matters of personal financial responsibility and conservation of fiscal resources are not equally passionate when it comes to environmental responsibility and conservation of natural resources?

If these people can applaud and embrace the concept of budgeting dollars and curbing consumption when it is out of scale with the economic resources available, why can’t they applaud and embrace the same principle when it comes to things like water, oil, clean air, trees, etc?

Is it because they don’t think of it as a personal responsibility? Is it because no one has told them convincingly enough that it’s the right thing to do?

You know what I think we need in the U.S.? We need a pro-environment activist who speaks from a conservative / Christian basis. Sort of like — no, scratch that, exactly like the Dave Ramsey of environmentalism.

Environmentalism vs. economics as personal responsibility

8 thoughts on “Environmentalism vs. economics as personal responsibility

  • August 24, 2007 at 8:57 am

    I’m guessing you’re probably right when you say that they don’t think of it as a personal responsibility, since it’s not their personal property.

  • August 24, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Yeah….I would love to see more crossover like that….

    I think there is a feeling within parts of the Christian community that if you are pro-environment, you must also be pro-abortion. I feel like my stance on one issue is supposed to decide my stance on other issues. With our current political culture, I don’t get to pick and choose according to each issue.

  • August 24, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    This is why I’m a libertarian.

    Because I believe in doing everything I can within the scope of my own ability. At the same time, I don’t believe in forcing actions upon others based on my worldview.

    My personal worldview includes the belief that an individual should be a steward of his or her world. My personal worldview also includes the belief that Jesus is God.

    Now, I’m sure you don’t want me pushing through laws about everyone worshipping Jesus. I certainly have NO desire to do that.

    By the same token I also have no desire to push through laws about environmental stewardship. What people do on their property is their business.

  • August 25, 2007 at 9:21 am

    So, if people want to slaughter hogs in the city free of health code requirements or grow their grass to its “natural” side and harbor disease carrying vermin and catch litter, then it’s okay because whatever people do on their property is strictly their business?

    My problem with the use of the word “libertarian” nowadays is that it provides no room for balance between the individual and the social, the private and the public (and government is not necessarily assumed in either of those latter terms). The idea that people are hermits and/or live hermetic lives a la libertarianism is a socially constructed frame.

  • August 25, 2007 at 11:07 am

    It’s interesting that you responded in this way because I very intentionally did not get into the legislation of environmentalism. I’m talking about having a sense of personal responsibility for a lifestyle of conservation. I’m saying that conservatives (look! it’s even in their name) often live a conservationist lifestyle when it comes to finances, but not when it comes to environment. I’m saying that for whatever reason, environmentalism is often dismissed as a liberal cause and is not embraced as a personal ethic by conservatives and Christians, when the latter, in fact, as you say, have good reason to feel a sense of stewardship and embrace a conservationist approach.

    I’m just mystified at the incongruity of it.

  • August 25, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I’m talking about having a sense of personal responsibility for a lifestyle of conservation.

    I guess that’s what I don’t get, though. Because I know MANY Christians (myself included) who do have a sense of personal responsibility for conservation.

    It’s just not something most of us are evangelical about, therefore the assumption seems to be that we don’t do it.

    I think it’s a common misperception that the folks out there who are “conservative” are doing all they can to exploit natural resources, and I just don’t think that’s the case.

    That’s probably why I went straight to legislation, because to me it’s in many ways the same bag of hammers–legislation is merely the next step following the assumption that others are not doing something “the correct way”.

  • August 26, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    Great post!!!! The folks over at creation cares have the ideological suasion, but not a single individual to make it a movement.

  • Pingback:Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » Can libertarians be green, or, if a tree falls in the forest and it doesn’t land on anyone’s private property does a libertarian care?

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