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Posted on Apr 22, 2008 in Across the US, Activism, Conservatism, Spending

Going Green without Government Mandates, the Real Solution

Since today is Earth Day, I figured that I would take this opportunity to make a post that is political in nature, but also addresses a bigger challenge that the United States is facing.

Obviously there is enormous support behind the movement that is striving to eradicate global warming and I give them a lot of credit. They have done a great job mobilizing and I have no doubt that their reach is now into the millions.

I’m not going to try and argue against global warming. I’m not a scientist nor will I try to pretend that I am.

But what I will continually argue against is the use of government mandates to try and address global warming and the other ecological problems we’re facing.

Even those mandates that have been praised by many on the Left (like those relating to Ethanol), have only later been proven to be more harmful to the environment than the products they were aiming to replace.

Furthermore, CNN.com is even reporting that this energy-by-corn-ogasm has also created problems for world food prices:

Those battling global warming by promoting biofuels may unintentionally be adding to skyrocketing world food prices, creating what one expert calls “a silent tsunami” in developing nations.

The rising prices are “threatening to plunge more than 100 million people on every continent into hunger,” Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations’ World Food Program, said on the agency’s Web site Tuesday.

The article continues:

Producing fuel from plant crops is supposed to be greener than drilling for oil, and biofuels generally burn cleaner, too. But the global biofuels industry now stands accused of a list of side effects that are said to be damaging lives, especially of the world’s poorest people.

The drive for more biofuels means more investment is going into those crops, meaning less land and less investment going in for food crops, causing a massive conflict and resulting in rising prices, which is having a huge negative impact, especially on developing countries,” said Clare Oxborrow, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth.

Is this really a trend that we want to see continue?

As it stands now, the United States has used corn as the save-all-product, when in reality it is something that is just over-subsidized and keeps better, healthier and cheaper products from coming into the United States in higher quantities. Furthermore, it drives up the prices of things like sugar – courtesy of some unfair government regulations.

I think the track record for government mandates on all of these energy and eco-projects have shown to be complete failures that have wasted tons of money and left the environment worse than it was originally.

The answer to me seems simple: government mandates simply don’t work.

I’m sure I’ve just upset a lot of environmentalists out there, but I truly believe that choice could be the best solution for making the environment better – not the government.

Just look at the environmental movement that is sweeping across the country today.

These people aren’t motivated by government mandates, but instead are motivated by knowing that they can do something that will help make the world a better place, and for some there is also the added benefit of knowing that they can save some money.

If there were no mandates in the next 10 years, would the environmentalist progression slow down? I don’t think so.

This movement is growing on its own, so why should the government get in the way of that?

With fuel prices soaring, I’ve even seen many far-right conservatives purchase hybrid vehicles, simply because they are more economical.

Furthermore, I don’t see any reason why any homes built in the future won’t be made to be as energy efficient as possible.

Even those who think that global warming is a complete myth and nothing should be done, will still buy into the efficiency argument, simply because it is more economical.

I think that all of this will lead to a mentality shift amongst the next generation, who will also see the advantages of being Earth conscious, and be able to make these decisions on their own.

CNN.com has a few pages showing how people can “go green,” without having the government telling them how to do it. I urge everyone to check these out and consider some of the options.

Even I, DC Republican, have started to adapt some of these “green ideas” into my world.

I don’t do it because I’m a raging environmentalist, but because I see no harm in making the world a cleaner, greener place, while saving myself some money at the same time.
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