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Climate change and the role of government

  • by JW

“Markets and technology & innovation are better in terms of solving environmental issues.”


The Futures Forum blog explored the politics of climate change quite regularly:

Futures Forum: Climate Change: the film (2013)

Futures Forum: The continuing politicisation of the climate change debate (2014)

Futures Forum: “Climate science has been dragged into the American-style culture wars that are turning British intellectual life into a battlefield.” (2014)

Futures Forum: Climate change: the language of framing… “Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change” (2014)

Futures Forum: Climate Change: and growth on Radio 4 (2014)

Futures Forum: Climate change: “Conservatives don’t hate climate science. They hate the left’s climate solutions” (2015)

Futures Forum: Climate change: and the increased risks of global conflict … the evidence … (2015)

Futures Forum: Climate change: and the film ‘The Merchants of Doubt’ (2015)

Futures Forum: Climate change >>> This Changes Everything >>> film show and discussion (2015)


Some years later, and now the debate seems much less rancorous – with ‘climate change’ as pretty much universally accepted and with different perspectives on how to deal with it open to debate.

Here is a piece published today – together with a podcast discussion of the issues from the States:


How Conservatives Can Reclaim Narrative on Environment

“Conservative ideals are the best way to solve environmental issues,” says Benji Backer, founder of the right-leaning environmental advocacy group American Conservation Coalition.

Backer joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss how conservatives can take back the environmental conversation and advocate small-government solutions to climate issues.

Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.

Doug Blair: My guest today is Benji Backer, president and founder of the American Conservation Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing young people around environmental action through commonsense, market-based, and limited government ideals.

Backer: Well, look, I mean, the story of our organization really comes out of a belief that right-of-center conservative ideals on environmental issues are the best way to solve environmental issues, and that we are losing this issue in so many ways by allowing the policy ideas to be dominated by people in the left-of-center space.

As a lot of people know who are involved in the environmental space, markets and competition and capitalism and technology and innovation are better in terms of solving environmental issues than heavy-handed government regulation.

And that’s not to say that regulation doesn’t have a place in solving environmental issues. The government does have a role to play, and that’s why conservatives have led on it in the past with some smart, limited government ideals. But it’s really to say that private sector innovation and consumers and capitalism in a fully developed world with a free society can do more to protect the environment because you have a stake in the game.

If you’re a private land owner, you want to take care of your land. If you’re a consumer, you want to save money by lowering your energy costs. If you are a consumer that is trying to figure out how to get to work every day, you want a more fuel-efficient car that saves you money.

So there are ways to have people be a part of the conversation rather than just simply relying on the government to carry a regulation out. And that’s kind of where this conversation is missing.

You have the left of center dominating it and taking it completely to this alarmist mentality where it’s a federal government or international government ideal or nothing. And then you have the right-of-center side, which has great ideas in the market-based realm, completely staying silent. And that’s where we’ve realized at ACC that we need to step up and change the narrative…

How Conservatives Can Reclaim Narrative on Environment


Here’s their website:

American Conservation Coalition