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Don't fret about your carbon footprint

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We have written several times about how unimpressed we are with the recycling fad which increasingly permeates our society. Today, we're going to write a bit more just the same.

Many of our conservative friends have latched onto the R-Train. "Conservative means conserve, right?" one asked me the other day. Another, holding out his plastic water bottle in demonstration, remarked that he "...didn't want to see this end up in a landfill." We fought the urge to ask, why not? We were at a party to cheer up a sick friend, and good taste recommended not pursuing what can become a highly charged topic in such a setting.

But now we will ask, why not? At our current rate we will have, in about 300 years, a total landfill area only about the size of Yellowstone Park. We see no landfills producing zombies or adversely affecting the water tables or local agriculture or industry or home life. Why not keep burying the trash?

A large part of conservatism certainly involves conserving various things and ideals. But that cannot mean that there isn't a necessary prioritizing of what we do. Fighting abortion, big government (which is, let's face it, greatly responsible for forcing recycling around our necks, which I think in itself makes the policy suspect), and the myriad factors of liberalism which threaten to tear our social fabric apart. To wit, the critical part of what we conserve must be our well being as a people along traditional lines. What we do with our garbage, while important, pales beside that. And it really goes without saying that what merits recycling, many metals, for example, get recycled as it is anyway.

So we say, screw carbon footprints. There are more important things to worry about than whether we incinerate our debris or put it in a hole in the ground. Unless and until you can prove beyond reasonable doubt that those things are substantially harmful to the human condition, society can live with them. That's conservative environmental policy in a nutshell.

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