Conservatives and liberal/progressives find themselves in a queer kind of symmetrical stalemate on two key gargantuan public policy issues. I refer to anthropogenic climate change/fossil fuels on one hand, and on the other hand, abortion. These two key issues offset each other as far as being wins or losses for both sides.
On climate change conservatives have the edge by virtue of the fact that it is easier to defend the status quo than to change it. And on abortion the roles are reversed. On fossil fuel use all conservatives have to do is, like a winning football team that’s ahead on points in a game, just keep running the clock and just play ‘conservatively’, not taking wild chances as the opposing liberal team has to do if they want to have any chance to move the football and make inroads against the hugely entrenched present energy systems and just the sheer inertia in any society. All the conservative team has to do is disrupt and block the increasingly risky and desperate plays of the liberal-progressives as they try vainly to impose carbon taxes and legislate CO2 limits and all those other difficult things.
On abortion it’s the opposite story. All the liberals have to do is block any legislative attempts to limit or overturn abortion rights and keep the Supreme Court continuing to uphold Roe vs. Wade. Now the phenomenon of societal inertia is working, and probably will continue to work, in their favor.
So here is the litmus test of your conservative principles. If God or a superior invading alien army offered you the deal that you could win on abortion, but only at the cost of letting the liberal side win on fossil fuel termination, aborting fossil fuel use to ‘save’ the environment, with all of its negative economic repercussions…would you go for it? Saving all those unborn babies would require you to use Amtrak, uggh (no planes, remember, not much aviation fuel anymore), no long distance vacations, sky high electricity rates, using a bicycle mostly to commute around your neighborhood, much more expensive grocery prices (no more long distance trucking to bring you winter produce, because not much diesel anymore) and high unemployment (not as many fossil fueled businesses or jobs anymore) and a depressed stagnant 1910 level U.S. economy…would you still go for it, sacrificing most of your present day affluence and conveniences and luxuries? What would you do?
Oh, and another thing. This new deal would apply only to the Western developed countries. The developing countries, like China, India, etc. would be exempt from this because God or the aliens would subscribe to the carbon emissions protocol of the United Nations which would permit them to continue to grow economically, in compensation for their extremely low fossil fuel use through most of global industrial history, while America would have to put on the hair shirt and punish itself for its past profligate use of oil and coal. But all those babies from now on would be alive as compensation.
And this would also mean an end to America’s superpower status in the world. There couldn’t anymore be a fossil fuel powered military and China, maybe Russia, would become the dominant power and all America could rely on would be a citizen style militia getting around on bicycles to oppose a possible Chinese invasion. Kinda like the Vietnamese relied on bicycles on the Ho Chi Minh trail, so there would be quite a symmetry or irony there. America would have to sacrifice its superpower ego…guess how most conservatives would vote on that one. But if the American population accepted diminished world status the deal would be that the unborn babies would be alive. How would you vote? What’s more important to you?
Hold on, this is making my head spin, but the little purple alien in the hovering saucer is challenging me to make a choice. Drats! It’s just the neighbor kid with his drone again. I think I’ll blast it out of my airspace with my laser/phasers but first I’m going for an eco-friendly tasteless home brew (the only kind of brewskie available in a fossil fuel-free America, an America which wouldn’t stay free for long though) to mull this over now.