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- Sep 20, 2018
- SLU Posts
Which is very odd, in that conservatives, who are supposed to see the present as a link between the past and the future and to want to conserve what is good about the past to hand it on to future generations, might be expected to be particularly concerned about the prospect to rendering much of the planet uninhabitable in the foreseeable future.At a psychological level, "conservatives" by their very nature are more rooted in tradition, and adverse to change or adopting new ideas. Getting them to accept the massively disruptive paradigm of climate change is a tall order in itself. When that paradigm is tied to fearful scenarios of catastrophe, their natural inclination is to disbelieve. The cost of belief is simply too high.
I can see how the ecological catastrophes in the former Soviet Union are a direct consequence of Soviet political thinking -- the idea that the Communist Party could, and should, industrialise the Soviet Union, in accordance with its (mis)understanding of Marxist theories of history, and its idea that human creativity and technological ability could, if properly directed by the Communist Party, overcome all natural obstacles. There's a direct connection between the progressive dream that science can make the desert bloom and the reality of the Aral Sea drying up as a result. But the connection between conservatism, at least as traditionally understood, and such insouciance in the face of environmental catastrophe is less clear.
Then, of course, I've never regarded US "conservatives" as being anything of the sort.