Poll Shows Majority of Republicans Value Conservation
The presidential elections are just months away and “Republican VS Democrat” discussions are heating up. It’s rare that people ever find common ground in political debates but according to a new national poll there is one commonality that both the left and the right share- conservation. In a bipartisan poll conducted by the Nature Conservancy, four out of five Americans consider it to be patriotic to protect the earth’s natural resources.
“From Tea Party Republicans to liberal Democrats, overwhelming majorities of Americans of all political persuasions believe that ‘conserving the country’s natural resources — land, air and water — is patriotic.’”
Generally speaking, republicans are not known for being highly concerned with conserving the natural environment but this poll slightly suggests otherwise. The haziness of the word “conservation” and what it actually means to people is what leads me to question the validity of the results.
Most citizens of this country take pride in our nation’s landscapes, resources, and beauty. It provides families and whole communities with recreational activities and hold importance to our national culture and heritage. Anyone with even a mild interest in nature can agree that it is important to conserve air, water and land quality- but conservation is not exactly being touted on the republican side of the aisle.
For instance, the left side of the political spectrum understands that resources are finite and will eventually run out due to man-made destruction, pollution, overuse, and a growing population – thus the need for regulations on businesses and institutions. They also comprehend that renewable energy is an important factor in conserving resources moving forward and grasp the concept that sacrifices sometimes need to be made to ensure a healthy and prosperous nation for everyone to enjoy in the coming century. The right side however may admit they are for conservation but refuse or reject anything that would constitute real change and often attack federal agencies designed to protect the very things they claim to care for.
The poll also showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree that the economy is not in a tug of war with environmental issues and that we can have it all. A surprising 79% of those polled believe we can protect our land, air, and water resources AND have a strong booming economy simultaneously which is quite optimistic. In addition, almost 75% of the American electorate said “one of the things our government does best is protecting its history and natural beauty through national parks, forests, and other public lands.”
Regardless of political stance, conservation is perceived differently to each individual and it’s level of importance greatly differs from one individual to the another. While the poll does not exactly reflect the opinions of politicians or heads of government, it does show that most people share a common interest in basic conservation ideas. Whether that translates into changed policies or congressional action is still up for debate.
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