Recklessly gambling with our children’s future

By Alan Apt

The Webster dictionary definition of Conservative and Conservator is someone who will be a protector or guardian and will tend to preserve established traditions.

Alan Apt is a modest person who downplays his many accomplishments as a writer, environmentalist, politician, and volunteer. Learn more about Alan.

The truly conservative Republican Parties of Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and even Ronald Reagan supported the preservation of public lands and the protection of our air and water.

The current GOP attacks on public land, and on the protection of clean air and water redefines the party as radicals who are disregarding established values. Too many fossil fuel state Democrats are also following suit. They are ignoring 70 to 80 percent of all Americans, including Republicans, who support public lands and environmental rules.

Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists say the climate is changing rapidly because of enormous increases in atmospheric carbon in the 19th and 20th centuries. Even if you believe it is part of a natural cycle, it should not be difficult to agree with scientists who say that human pollution is accelerating the unprecedented rate of change.

Former Republican officials from the Reagan and Bush administrations, George Schultz and Howard Baker, have begged Congress and Trump to implement a carbon tax on industry to slow emissions—and then give the taxes back to taxpayers—while rolling back Obama’s regulations on carbon emissions.

The Republican Congress simply wants to roll back the Obama emission measures on coal, slowing the transition to cleaner fuels.

Would a true conservative gamble with the future of our climate, coastlines, water supply, and ability to grow enough food?

I think most true conservatives are not gamblers, but would at least hedge their bets by backing badly needed clean energy jobs and the training to make them accessible to out-of-work coal miners and oil drillers. One in five new jobs is created by wind and solar energy.

Wall Street is also betraying our future by continuing to disproportionately fund fossil fuels, instead of renewable energy and the millions of more jobs that could be created.

Most unbiased scientists say we are recklessly gambling with our children’s and grandchildren’s future. They remind us how a non-partisan effort saved the ozone layer by banning damaging chemicals. A healthy clean-energy, job-abundant economy could make true conservatives out of all of us.

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What can we do? Here are important steps to take:

  • Become active in the Sierra ClubWilderness Society, Earthjustice, and other organizations concerned about the environment.
  • Learn more. Here are articles to start with:  TimeEsquire; and Scientific American.
  • Speak out. Visit, call and write your U.S. representatives and senators, and encourage your friends to do the same. Earthjustice and other organizations have websites where help is available for making phone calls and writing letters.