For a long time the progressive side of western politics has largely owned the issues relating to the environment. (Apologies to Margaret Thatcher and Arnold Schwarzenegger.)
I predict that conservatives will become the best conservationists because conservatives care about conserving what is good.
Conservatives are often better at being humble about their responsibilities to the created world gifted to us (as I believe) through the evolutionary process from A God worshipped by most of the world’s people. As I wrote for the concluding words spoken at an international Islamic environmentalist conference in Bogor, Indonesia, about a decade ago: “God is green.”
How can progressive thinking which so often ridicules faith in God connect with the whole world on issues vital to the whole world.
Progressives are their own gods. They seem to think they themselves are omnisicient. In the real world, intellectual humility works better. This requires a balance of respect for past, present and future not trendy self-absorption.
Progressives cannot stop themselves from making the world worse by trying to change things which don’t need changing. Look at the way the Presumption of Innocence and the principle of Beyond Reasonable Doubt in Australia have gone out the door in Victoria’s shameful persecution of Cardinal George Pell.
Pell’s persecution was initiated by the same police who trashed my rights in the same court system where Pell suffered. The progressive side of Australian politics produced my sufferings at the hands of police when I wanted to combine environmental tree planting with memorial tree planting on vacant defence department land in my own neighbourhood. Interviewing me to hear my side of the story before locking in court action was never considered by them.
Progressives aren’t happy unless they are changing something, anything. This can mean they then toss out what is good from the past and feel that just because things have changed things will be better. They don’t always assess whether the change is needed. Consequently the heavy lifting on what really does need to change is frequently done by conservatives.
Does anyone who knows how America and the Democratic Party were tearing themselves apart in 1968, seriously think that Lyndon Johnson created a great society? But who can deny that it was Richard Nixon who gave America an Environmental Protection Agency?
In Australia, the White Australia policy was dismantled, Aboriginal people were first formally recognised as Australians and gay marriage became law under conservative governments.
This happened because conservatives can be better at freedom and openness and respect which are preconditions for the consensus essential for change.
Human fallibility has not ruined all of this world yet. I believe we can probably survive.
But we must find ways to come together to conserve.
In Australia right now that leadership job falls to conservative Scott Morrison not the apparatchiks of the Australian Labour Party.
The world is watching. The fires got their attention.
What will happen next?
Geoff Fox, 12 February, 2020, Melbourne