A few weeks ago I wrote about some conservatives who are interested in addressing climate change and promoting renewable energy. Among the latter was an Atlanta tea party organization that is trying to get Georgia Power to add more solar power. Earlier this week, the leader of that group, Debbie Dooley, published an interesting op-ed on their efforts, and laid out the conservative case for more consumer-driven renewable energy. She also explained why her group was working with organizations like the Sierra Club.
This kind of cross-ideological cooperation tends to make both sides nervous. But there is no reason why conservative groups and more liberal environmental organizations shouldn’t work together where we agree. Nobody likes air pollution, and all parents want a better future for their children, so if we can advance those goals more effectively together, we should do it.
I don’t think for a moment that the Atlanta Tea Party and the Sierra Club - or EDF, for that matter - agree on most issues. I’m willing to bet that on the ten most debated questions facing the country right now, Ms. Dooley and I disagree on nine and a half of them. I’m sure she isn’t going to compromise her principles to work with environmentalists — and we won’t change our views to work with organizations like hers. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a civil discussion, find areas of agreement, and work together where it is possible.
I hope there are more right-left conversations about environmental issues to come. If we’re secure in our views, there’s no harm in talking. And maybe we can get some stuff done.