The Other Kind of Environmentalist

I am an environmentalist. I am. I primarily use two vehicles to go to work. One gets seventy miles per gallon. The other is a bicycle. Sometimes I walk to the market. Most of the lights in my house are fluorescent. My television rarely gets turned on; I read instead.

I am a *conservative * environmentalist. To me, that means that I would rather convince people that we should all doour part to take care of the environment. That means that I try to be a good example, not just a good debater.

When coworkers bring rollerblades to work so we can blade to lunch, I feel good. When people I know buy more fuel efficient vehicles, I hope that my example has helped them see the light. When people ask to peruse my bus schedule book in the hopes that they too could bus/bike in their commute, I know that I am doing well.

There is another kind of environmentalist – the liberal environmentalist. These are the people who want to tell others what to do, which they will not do themselves. “More people should use public transportation”, they state while driving themselves. “The high gas price is good. It will force people to use alternative energy”, they muse while still not using alternative fuels themselves.

This emphasizes the difference between the conservative environmentalist and the liberal. The conservative believes that each of us should individually decide for ourselves what we each can do for the environment. The liberal believes that we all must share the pain of being environmentally friendly, and would use the government’s power to enforce it, either directly through law or indirectly through tax.

More and more often I find the stark differences between these so-called environmentalists and myself. Nothing rings this more true than the rhetoric I have heard about T. Boone Pickens plan to supplant natural gas electricity generation with wind, and replace oil consumption with the saved natural gas.

“He got rich in oil, now he wants to get rich with alternative energy”, they state. “Corporations have no place in alternative energy”, they shrill. “He wants to steal our natural resource of wind”, they scream. To these so-called environmentalists, an alternative energy plan isn’t good unless the government is footing the bill with our tax dollars.

Is Mr. Picken’s plan for energy independence a good plan? I don’t know. But it is something that we should consider on its merits, not upon the identity of the man responsible for the plan.

These liberal environmentalists are increasingly letting down the façade of environmentalist “green” to let us see the communist “red” underneath. They scream that natural gas is only a temporary solution and we shouldn’t mess with it, since, after all, we can’t do everything.

Obviously these liberal environmentalists don’t live in my America. Because in my America we can.

We can employ judicious use of wind power

We can make new nuclear power plants

We can drill for more oil on our own soil

We can build electric cars

We can explore better battery technology

We can place more solar plants in the desert

We can build more hydroelectric dams

We can use more alternative fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel

And in my America … we … can … do the all of them, all at the same time.