March 14th, 2007
I hear that John Gormley was on the radio the other day talking about the environment. He was evidently discussing the antics of environmental guru David Suzuki and also talking about “eco-terrorists” (his word not mine), the extremists of the environmental movement.
Now Gormley in his usual colorful way was making a very serious point. The political left tend to view environmental issues very differently from those at the center of the spectrum.
Small “c” conservatives tend to view the environment from the perspective of property rights. Pollution is viewed as a violation of other people’s freedom to enjoy their own property, air, water and land. Conservation is emphasized out of respect for other people’s fundamental rights.
History shows that the environment fares far better in nations with strong, free market economies. Reckless disregard for the environment in eastern Europe under the communists or pollution in present day China shows just how “green” socialist governments are in practice.
The political left tends to view the environment through two lenses: Some view environment as an excuse to regulate business. Business is evil. Therefore, environmental regulation is used to keep those evil capitalists down. Others approach the issue from more of a metaphysical/religious perspective.
Left wing activists who view the environment from a quasi-religious perspective tend to be the most extreme. They believe that people really have no more rights than trees and animals. They believe in “mother earth”. The goal of these environmentalists is to return the earth to its primitive, original state, according to some of their more strident rhetoric.
Now, all three groups I’ve mentioned support protecting the environment. However, the end goal of each of the three groups is different. Protecting the environment means different things to different people. Canada needs to take practical and realistic steps to protect the environment.
I’m all for protecting the environment but, let’s make sure that we don’t wipe out hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process.
I’m Brad Trost your MP for Saskatoon-Humboldt. I welcome your feedback, contact my offices anytime.