Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kathleen Parker: "Conservation ... should be part of our foreign policy"

This may be a sustainablog first: linking to a column at the very conservative While most of the writers there bring out feelings in me ranging from anger to a vague sense of creepiness, I've got to admit that I'm kind of becoming a fan of Kathleen Parker. Early in September, I pointed to a column of hers touting compact fluorescent light bulbs at Treehugger; tonight, I'm finally getting to a column of hers pushing energy conservation. Parker's definitely taking the "energy independence" approach in this column, and mocks Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez's dramatic speech at the UN (you know... the one in which he called Dubya "the Devil") as evidence that we need to rely less on foreign countries for our energy supply. I won't get into her characterizations of Latin American leftists -- I was kind of impressed with Chavez's bold statements -- but I'm happy to see her pushing conservation at a national and individual level. She even notes that she's traded in an SUV for a Prius, and praises Laurie David's The Solution is You!

It's so easy to write off conservatives (I'm as guilty as anyone), especially when we tend to see a lot more of Ann Coulter and James Dobson than we do of center-right figures like Parker. I'm never going to agree with the nationalism implicit in the early part of this column, but clearly there's common ground. Is that enough? I'd like to think so, as I am impressed by the ideas I hear coming from some evangelicals, the "energy hawks," and green Republicans. Certainly, there will be disagreements, but there also seems like a lot of opportunity...

I'm meandering a bit tonight... maybe ruminating is a better word. Are we doing enough to capitalize on these shared concerns? Do the Teddy Roosevelt Republicans still exist? Or, am I just buying the rhetoric?

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