I'm not a crazy, liberal hippie. I would never consider going vegan. I have been known to fight global warming by driving my non-fuel efficient car around for fun. To be honest, I don't even really recycle.
But I'm also not about to tell you man-made climate change doesn't exist and we shouldn't work to make clean energy more affordable. I would never suggest littering or waste is acceptable. I'll even acknowledge that animal abuse is a legitimate social problem. I'm not a science major, and I don't understand much, but I do understand the importance of conservation.
Taking care of the earth is not necessarily part of a radical, left-wing agenda. A middle ground exists between fanatical earth-worship and trashing the woods because you're too damn lazy to throw your cups away. A middle ground exists between the government enacting expensive, burdensome regulations and making no effort at all to find cleaner energy alternatives that are still affordable.
I'm sure most people are better qualified than I to talk about climate change, and I'm not about to lecture anyone about science. But at this point, only the most ignorant among us would insist that global warming doesn't exist whatsoever.
Now, what I do understand is the political environment. I'm aware of how the ever-intensifying party polarization that has characterized America for so long prevents change from happening.
Conservatives need to stop ignoring environmental concerns. We might make fun of earth-loving hippies (and I mean, making fun of things is pretty much my sense of humor, too). But at some point, problems must be faced and dealt with accordingly. At some point, conceding that you once had wrong opinions about environmentalism might benefit you.
The E.P.A might not be economically efficient, but we don't have to conflate bureaucracy with environmentalism in general. Free-market environmentalism is a real thing. Because markets can respond to needs faster than inefficient centralized planners, this movement could bring swift benefits to our overall health and well-being. Conservatives know this about markets, but we have to lead the way in promoting this alternative.
For their part, left-wing environmentalists must not alienate conservatives. This weekend's March For Science could have been a bipartisan push for efficient conservation policies, but it was really just another protest for liberal shills. Much like the Women's March alienated conservative, pro-life women, the March for Science alienates conservatives who care about environmental issues. Stereotyping every single conservative as anti-science and uneducated won't help liberals, either.
Conservatives must acknowledge the importance of taking care of the earth, but liberals also must acknowledge that their methods have not proven the most effective. Only when cooperation exists will meaningful changes happen for the environment.