A WOMAN'S ENVIRONMENT
By Sara McPeak
We've been consistently told by the left that women care about the
environment. That's probably true, and certainly doesn't exclude those
women who happen to be conservative. Conservative women are voicing a
strong (although largely unreported) interest in environmental
issues. The difference is that conservative women endorse an
environmentalism with free-market concepts at its core.
Competition is the key that will lead corporations to identify
environmental problems and to solve them for the good of their
corporations' bottom line, their public image, and their ability to
continue producing as a part of a global marketplace. But, if Al Gore is
allowed to place environmentalism in the hands of Washington
bureaucrats, conservative women foresee dismal failure akin to the
health care fiasco under Hillary.
Gore wants to portray the federal government as having a socialistic
conscience in the area of environmental problems but most conservative
women question the credibility and "concern" of most government
officials - based largely on past behavior. We've witnessed the
kowtowing of governmental officials to both corporations and
special-interest groups on environmental issues; government responds
to lobbying, not to actual environmental need. Responding in kind,
these corporations will then fill the re-election coffers of officials
or pay hefty fines for the privilege of continuing their pollution of
land, sea and air. And as a consequence no gains will be made in
cleaning the environment.
Gore is looking for a way to control our environment, while
conservative women are looking for a way to preserve our
environment. Control is the big difference between governmental
intervention and free-enterprise intervention in this critical problem.
Throughout this country's short life span, the federal government has
tried to take control in matters of the economic welfare of its
citizenry. In fact, in the 1970's there was such an abundance of
governmental control that Irving Kristol, in the fall of 1975 stated the
following in an interview entitled, "The Question of Liberty in
"Today there is a new class hostile to business in general,
and especially to large corporations. As a group, you find them mainly
in the very large and growing public sector and in the media^Å They share
a disinterest in personal wealth, a dislike for the free-market economy,
and a conviction that society may best be improved through greater
governmental participation in the country's economic life^Å They are the
media. They are the educational system. Their dislike for the
free-market economy originates in their inability to exercise much
influence over it so as to produce change. In its place they would
prefer a system in which there is a very large political component. This
is because the new class has a great deal of influence in politics.
Thus, through politics, they can exercise a direct and immediate
influence on the shape of our society and the direction of national
Gore is a representative of this same kind of thinking in the 90's; that
is, control and influence, rather than concern and change. If he held
any concern for change he would have accomplished more than merely
writing a book - a book that has been disputed by knowledgeable men in
the fields of scientific environmental research.
Women, conservative and liberal alike, want to see substantial progress.
The nurturing instinct in women intensifies their concern for clean air
and pesticide-free food for their families. As they bear the main
responsibility for providing their families with a wholesome
environment, this enhances their awareness of potential dangers. We do
not trust the government to solve environmental problems. Look at the
failure of welfare, the collusion of the judicial system with the
criminal, and most recently the selfish and irresponsible refusal by
Democratic party Senators to convict the President of an impeachable
offense. Democratic party members of the Senate, sliding down the
President's own slippery slope, have lost all credibility with the
A prime example of government's lack of incentive in cleaning the
environment is the Department of Agriculture. Due to lobbying
influences, farmers' incomes are protected by subsidies, while at the
same time their costly chemical damage
to the environment and to human and animal life is not curtailed. The
answer lies not in the Department of Agriculture, but in the very
corporations who supply these chemicals to the farmers. The answer lies
in their expertise and ability to find substitutes that will harm
neither animals nor humans.
Conservative women have faith in free enterprise as a real solution to
the environmental problems facing all of us, such as: chemicals and
waste products being dumped into our environment, global warming due to
ozone depletion and the loss of rain forests.
Conservative women believe that industry in a free-market atmosphere has
the best chance of identifying and solving environmental problems.
Corporations are driven to access as much of the public purchasing power
as they can. In order to do this, they recruit the best talent available
and devote a large part of their profits to research. It is this
research, devoted to the local environmental problems that plague each
individual corporation, which will bring success.
Environmental laws and regulations already exist and local residents and
local governments need to continue to bring pressure in their own
locales against any environmental abusers, be they farmers or
corporations, but this pressure will relate to explicit local problems
which can be exactly defined. In their book Free Market
Environmentalism, Terry Anderson and Donald Leal discuss the
regulatory treatment of the federal government as "applying uniform
treatment and quality standards" in regard to discharges into national
bodies of water. They say this makes little sense as some bodies of
water can easily assimilate the current emissions in their area while
others, such as "Boston Harbor - the nation's filthiest" should receive
different treatment by the federal government.
Where the federal government can only command, fine in generalities, and
apply uniform treatment, corporations can make their decisions to remedy
the problems that exist in their singular situations. Environmental
research industries will emerge as the demand for their expertise rises,
and they will in turn seek well-educated analysts for their high value
problem solving abilities. And in the new millennium conservative women
are counting on the corporate global economy to assure that these new
technologies, innovations, experiments, equipment and problem-solving
analysts will be brokered globally, in order to target and solve the
world-wide environmental problems.
This article copyright © 1999 by Sara McPeak, and may
not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its
author. All rights reserved.