Some people see climate change as a liberal cause.
But David Jenkins, president of the nonprofit group Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, says it should be a top priority for conservatives too.
Jenkins: “We have a moral responsibility to be good stewards of our environment and to protect the interest of future generations … and that’s what conservatism is about. It’s doing what’s responsible to protect society now and in the future.”
Jenkins says over the years, fossil fuel companies and far-right libertarians have pushed Republicans away from the issue. He says by doing so, they’ve left the issue to Democrats, some of whom call for solutions that many conservative lawmakers oppose, such as the Green New Deal.
“When we conservatives fail to engage constructively on the environment and fail to produce real solutions, then by default, all the proposed solutions come from the left.”
A decade ago I visited a dusty shanty town in India’s capital New Delhi to interview a remarkable Australian family.
Mark and Cathy Delaney had left Brisbane suburbia to settle among the urban poor and explore a different way of living.
Their sons Tom, now 22, and Oscar, now 17, were born in India and have spent much of their lives there.
They lived in a small brick room in a densely populated slum on Delhi’s sprawling outskirts. They had no running water, no TV, no fridge and no washing machine. Meals were eaten sitting on the floor and they shared a tiny squat toilet with their landlords. The family’s possessions were kept in a few steel trunks.
But the Delaneys spoke passionately about the personal fulfilment and deep friendships they had found in the slum.
“The longer we’ve stayed here, the more we can see the positive effect it has had on us as people,” Cathy Delaney told me at the time.
This week the Delaney family were in the news again.
Mark, Cathy and Oscar, who returned to Australia in April, were arrested with eight others at a climate change protest at the Brisbane offices of GHD, an engineering contractor linked to the construction of infrastructure for the Adani coal mine.
The protesters were calling on the firm to do no further work to facilitate the controversial Adani project.
“We have tried talking calmly to politicians, participating in the political process, doing education work in schools and churches, even writing a book. Now there seems to be no other option but to engage in civil disobedience … the time has come for ordinary Australians to say enough is enough.” Mark Delaney
Janne Utriainen, his wife and four daughters are tackling climate change in their own way: they’ve moved to a remote location in northern Lapland where they live off the land: they fish, hunt, pick berries, keep sheep and chickens and grow some vegetables.
Janne believes that climate change is caused by overconsumption – so in order to save the planet, he believes we should all consume less and waste less.
The family does have electricity but they don’t have running water in the house: they use water from a lake for cooking and washing clothes.
Could adopting a sustainable lifestyle be a solution for climate change?
It was bound to happen: A surge in wildfires across the province.
Until this week, it had been a relatively quiet fire season in British Columbia. And then hot weather rolled in.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, across the province, 32 new fires have sparked to life in the last seven days, including nine in the past 48 hours.