Thursday, March 20, 2008

When Politicians Express Concern for the Environment Mixed with Love for Ronald Reagan

You’ve heard them; don’t claim you never watch Fox ‘News’. Reagan is the last anointed prophet of American conservatives. Presidential candidates have proclaimed his virtues for months. Some paused for a moment at the grave of William F. Buckley, but that moment has past.

Here in The Mail* I find Steve Nelson recalling some of that sobering stuff we like to call history: “To reduce our dependence on imported oil, in 1977 a national goal was set (with bipartisan support) to derive twenty per cent of our energy from renewable sources and conservation by the year 2000. Toward that end the Solar Energy Research Institute was established, in Colorado, along with four regional centers ... to help foster commercialization and adoption of alternative technologies and practices. When Ronald Reagan took office, he slashed the institute’s budget, ordered the four centers shut (on Christmas Eve), allowed tax incentives for renewables to lapse, and, for good measure, removed the solar panels that Carter had installed on the roof of the White House.”

How does being conservative lead to the fervent embrace of Oil at the expense of all other energy sources? Are there really any actual conservatives left in American politics?

*The New Yorker, Mar.24,2008, p. 5. Yes, the print magazine.

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