Yes, Yes and A Caution

DougJ at Balloon Juice wants to know. Do self-styled “reasonable conservatives” like the ones called out at the Parent Blog here 1) believe in evolution? and 2) believe that the average temperature on earth has increased over the past 30 years? Well, I think I’m a closer to a “reasonable conservative” than a lot of other labels that I might attach to myself, even though there are others who adopt that label for themselves but think that I’m some kind of a screaming liberal.

So the answer to DougJ’s questions are: “Yes and yes.” There is overwhelming evidence of both. The unstated follow-up to the second question is, “Does that global warming have an anthropic cause”? My  answer to that is that it looks like yes, industry has a significant share of the causes of that warming, but it’s hard to tell for sure. But even if it turns out that industry has functionally no effect on the climate and what we’re seeing happening is simply a normal sort of global climate change, it’s not a bad idea for the nations of the world, individually and collectively, to consider what can be done to reduce the impact of pollution on the environment.

DougJ seems to think that most of the writers at the Parent Blog are perilously close to wingnuttery and expresses reservations about one of my very favorite bloggers, Doug Mataconis of Outside the Beltway. These people are reasonable, they are not wingnuts. They do think differently about things than you do, but they will listen to what you have to say and offer substantial reasons why they disagree with you, generally in polite terms. DougJ also seems relatively insensitive to the idea that conservatives might from time to time be willing to tap in to libertarian ideas and that libertarianism is fundamentally different from conservatism but there is still something of a common vocabulary permitting ideological engagement and not infrequent identification of common objectives.

These things being continuuae rather than quantae, a sophisticated understanding of where “reasonable conservatives” are coming from will require taking on both the communitarian and moral underpinnings of conservatism and the ideological and idealistic goals of libertariansim. What DougJ perceives as “reasonability” may well be the nexus of some of those commonalities with his own outlook on life and encountering people articulating those common ideas without injecting contempt into their expression of it.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.