Meet the New Green Party: The GOP

Since the collapse of McCain's campaign, the Republican Party has been in trouble. At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, speakers like Rush Limbaugh pushed for a return to conservative principles to save the Party.

Up until now, these principles - fiscal responsibility and personal freedom - have been represented by big business, hands-off economics, and lower taxes.

But in our changing world, the only way for the Republican Party to return to their principles is for them to become environmentalists.

In the past, large profits were responsible and the greatest wealth bought the greatest freedom. But now we know that it's more complicated.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - in a report endorsed by all world governments and major scientific institutions - has confirmed that humanity is changing the climate for the worse. We must act soon or we'll ruin the resources our economies depend on.

But environmental programs cost money and impose regulations on people - why would Republicans support what they see as a liberal agenda item?

Because conservatives are responsible - and environmentalism is the core of modern responsibility.

Controlling how we affect the environment benefits us. Greener farming techniques could have prevented the 1930s Dust Bowl - or preserved modern fisheries. Recycling pollutants like fly ash saves money - it costs less and doesn't need to be cleaned out of rivers.

And right now, people - Democrats - are talking about a carbon cap and trade bill. Republicans have opposed it, but it's a conservative method of control, not a progressive one. Auctioning carbon permits will use a market mechanism that promotes personal choice, environmentalism, and reduces foreign influences.

All of this is, simply, responsible. Money spent now can - and will - save huge amounts in the future.

And environmentalism can cut taxes. One would think that conservatives would be first in line to put wind and solar power on the roof of every government building - they start earning money for themselves in less time than the War on Terror has lasted.

So there's fiscal responsibility - but can we protect our independence too?

If there's one thing the last century has taught us, it's that we have a connection with the Earth. This isn't tree-hugging philosophy here, just logic. The more our population grows, the more land and water we need to take from the natural world; kept artificially cheap by govenrment subsidies.

The simple fact is that freedom at the cost of the environment is not really freedom - not for long. We must work with our local systems to fulfill our wants, because that's the only way we'll be able to build a stable world. And shouldn't conservatives want stability? Shouldn't they be leading the charge for sustainable, local ways of life?

The Republican Party has become a supporter of disposible living that will ruin our people and country. Only environmentalism will recapture the people's trust and move the party forward.

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