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The Forum > Article Comments > Does 'Conservative Environmentalism' really unite? > Comments

Does 'Conservative Environmentalism' really unite? : Comments

By Stephen McGrail, published 20/6/2012

A review of Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously about the Planet by Roger Scruton (Atlantic Books, 2012)

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Well, yes it does. But particularly for progressive conservatism.
We live on just one planet, life boat Earth. Individualism is a misnomer; and or, can only be applied to the likes of Robinson Crusoe. Even so, Robinson needed another to help make his lonely life more tolerable.
[Ideology will have one half rowing the boat one way and the other, in the other direction? The end result? A life boat going round and round in ever diminishing circles!]
Individualists confer on themselves certain rights. The right to exploit or enslave others.
Individual wealth does not and never ever has created itself; but, is the product of many hands, minds; plus, the enterprise and innovation of others!
[Individualism, I believe, merely equates to chest thumping Extreme Capitalism/Egotism?]
If we could all actually live like true individualists, every man for himself, the survival of the fittest, the strongest, we could take so-called civil society, right back to the, I want I take, primitive stone age inside a single generation?
If we accept that climate change is real, then we need to set aside our differences and cooperate.
[Cooperative capitalism?]
Churning money through the economy may create an illusion of economic activity that might engender some behavioural change.
Increased poverty will work to reduce consumption; and or, increase the crime rate?
The very best solutions will be the ones that walk out the door; and prosper us all.
We must address real climate change!
There's not a green way, a blue way, a red way, or an individualist's denial way!
Just a right way.
The right way will arguably be the cheapest way, that even the poorest communities can also afford, and therefore, virtually walk out the door!
Posted by Rhrosty, Wednesday, 20 June 2012 11:29:07 AM
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"I would also add the patriotic climate change campaigns that have recently emerged which appeal more to national self-interest and pride."

What, like suppressing the name of the Carbon Tax and trying to portray it as a government hand-out to the underprivileged? How well is that working, do you think?

The first requirement for any government policy -- left or right, environmental or otherwise -- should be that its alleged benefits are rationally supported by objective evidence. And once we achieve that, there will be no need for a second requirement.
Posted by Jon J, Wednesday, 20 June 2012 11:53:44 AM
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I was one of the few conservative thinkers, small l liberal, who agreed with a carbon tax, but only if it were incorporated inside a single stand alone, entirely unavoidable expenditure/consumption/turnover/transaction tax, with no exclusions.
Our individual or corporate expenditure patterns equate exactly to our individual or corporate carbon footprint.
As an expenditure tax, it could be set at a surprisingly low rate, yet garner more revenue than the current convoluted complex system.
The very fact that it were unavoidable would entirely negate the need for compliance and their often onerous costs. Meaning, an averaged 7% could be returned to the bottom line in exchange for around 5%, collected via the banking fraternity and transferred overnight to consolidated revenue.
Moreover, virtually all the former taxes could be repealed, adding up to or around 30% to most Australian based bottom lines, and around an averaged 25% to household disposables.
Because there would be no need for reconciliation, immediately available for appropriation.
The larger revenue stream would not only cure the current structural deficit and Abbott's revenue black hole, but create quite massive, [comparative,] ongoing surpluses.
Half of the new surpluses could and should be invested in govt owned or financed decentralised alternative power provision, which would create work/wealth creation opportunities etc/etc. The other half could be invested in an income generating sovereign fund, which might invest in income earning exportable lower emission or lower cost alternative energy products/projects, which by the way, will also help address climate change.
In a world progressively starving for portable or liquid energy, energy suppliers/exporters can't lose!
[The additional annual trillions we could earn, as an energy supplier, could be progressively applied to completely abolishing tax?]
Or invested in part, in energy dependant high tech govt owned manufacture, say in defence products/R+D?
Posted by Rhrosty, Wednesday, 20 June 2012 12:12:33 PM
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Does 'Conservative Environmentalism' really unite?
How could it? It is too politically charged & it is intrinsically divisive because it is an "ism".

What motivates "ordinary people" in their "everyday circumstances" is neither confrontation nor self denial, but the desire for a better life (which could include a simpler life if that could be seen as a more attractive option).

"Scruton advocates a greater role for "ordinary people", retreating from the global back to the local, and shifting power from the state to 'civil associations' (as distinct from NGOs)"

.. but

# "how do we overcome problems often faced when seeking to derive .. solutions from the reasoning of rational individuals & .. collective rationality"


# because "some public goods must be provided by the state.
# "The focus on common-resource management challenges is (also) important."

The image emerges of a collaboration (NOT a 'top-down solution') between state as a provider of a common resource (ie NOT private property) & ordinary local people in their everyday circumstances "seeing their own surroundings as 'home'", & "applying small-scale & negotiated remedies" to improve their lives in "work that both supports and expresses the low impact life".

I would agree also with Rhrosty who says that "The right way will arguably be the cheapest way that even the poorest communities can also afford." & that "the very best solutions will be the ones that walk out the door and prosper us all".

... SO, what say you all about this?
Posted by landrights4all, Wednesday, 20 June 2012 2:16:31 PM
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Ultimately the only permanent conservation is likely to come from the conservative side of politics.

Look at this way: the left is big on locking up large stretches of OZ in national parks.So we could easily make the mistake of thinking if you want to preserve the environment you should vote for one of the left leaning groups.

But the left is also:
big on world govt (with voting rights apportioned according to national population).
big on the redistribution of wealth.
big on Oz being culpable for any woe that afflicts the non-developed world.

And the left is also:
soft on border controls.
soft on population control.
And cream-cheese-soft on standing up to UN bodies.

So what do you think will happen when some future world body says:
“We’ve just had a major natural disaster in country X and a good portion of it’s people can longer live on their land. We the world body have decided they must be relocated. Oz your share of the intake is 10,000,000 (for starters) Please resettle these as close as possible to your existing major cities”

Here’s a hint:
Goodbye, goodbye national parks
Hello, hello new mega cities and mega food producing areas.
Posted by SPQR, Wednesday, 20 June 2012 3:08:55 PM
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Decentralisation is an absolute essential, if we would actually address climate change. The NBN will assist with that as will the roll out of very rapid rail.
Today I heard a Minister advocate for a transition to a cap and trade carbon trading scheme. He claimed that the Europeans are transferring, [churning,] around 140 billion euro per, as part of their cap and trade?
Certainly, various brokerage firms are making billions, and there are also many billions required, for the veritable army of bureaucrats, required to police, what patently remains a fundamentally flawed scheme?
Of 27 countries, only six have recorded an actual reductions in Co2 emission, the rest have recorded rises, some as high as 20%?
It seems economic contraction, is the only real reason for any reported reduction?
The only ones recording a significant success from the trade, are the rolling in it brokerage firms, which as one might expect, are the most strident advocates of this, over 20 years old, fundamentally flawed carbon reduction paradigm.
It's a market based mechanism seen to be spectacularly unsuccessful!
And demonstrates the Author's contention, that some market based mechanisms simply do not work and or, ought to be replaced by a state based paradigm?
My choice, given we keep our highly complex multi tiered tax system? Would be for a cap and tax paradigm.
Put in a carbon cap that progressively lowers year in year out, and then, only tax the carbon component above the cap, with progressively more punitive tax!
We need both a carrot and a stick.
The carrot would be, being able to avoid any carbon tax whatsoever, via innovation and or a progressive change to alternative carbon free/neutral power or production?
The stick would be an eternally rising and increasingly punitive, above cap, tax component, that might well cause recalcitrant led industries, to simply shut shop and allow other competing for market share, more efficient better led entities, to take their previous customers?
More carrot for entrepreneurial innovators; and or, a market competition based mechanism that might actually work?
Posted by Rhrosty, Wednesday, 20 June 2012 4:37:59 PM
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