I am a firm believer in ideological consistency, regardless of one’s ideology. I think such consistency demonstrates intellectual honesty and true belief and/or adherence to the chosen ideology. Few things are more frustrating to me in a debate than when someone who holds a certain position does not hold to another which logically flows from the first, for no apparent reason other than preference.
Many people who self-identify as ideologically liberal subscribe to what most would call “environmentalism.” I do not want to get too bogged down with what exactly environmentalism is, but suffice it to say for my purposes, environmentalism is an ideology which thinks we should do what we can (including using the force and power of government) to keep the Earth clean and free from pollutants, reduce greenhouse gasses, pursue renewable resources, recycle existing materials, preserve green spaces, reduce deforestation, reduce resource usage, and anything else commonly known as “green.”
Most people who self-identify as ideologically liberal also support the concept of no-fault divorce, see no issue with sex outside of marriage (in fact they take it as normal), have no issue with unwed pregnancy (in fact they sometime applaud it), and other sorts of hallmarks of the sexual revolution. By contrast they tend to view traditional sexual mores as ranging between old fashioned (or archaic) to oppressive to intolerant to irrelevant in the modern world.
So, what does environmentalism have to do with liberal sexual mores? To put it simply: I do not believe the two are sufficiently ideologically consistent for the same person to hold to both.
I came to this conclusion while driving around my neighborhood and the surrounding area. In a few places near my house, large tracts of land are being (or have been) cleared of trees and green spaces in order to make room for more houses to be built. As we speak, new neighborhoods are being constructed where woodland used to be and I wondered why all this new housing is suddenly needed.
Now, obviously population growth is certainly a cause for the need for more housing, but there is also another cause for it too: the break down of the traditional nuclear (and married) family.
How did I arrive at this conclusion? I think it is pretty well known that fewer and fewer people are getting married, the divorce rate is remaining at approximately fifty percent (50%), and unwed pregnancy is becoming increasingly common. Once upon a time, a man and woman would get married and have kids and they all would live in the same home. All would use the same electricity, gas, and water and the same green space. Nowadays it is increasingly common for mom and dad to live in different houses. As a result, in order to accommodate these separate homes, as opposed to a single home for the family unit, to house these “families”, approximately twice as much green and/or wooded space has to be destroyed, approximately twice as much water is used, approximately twice as much gas and/or electricity is used, and approximately twice as much building materials are needed for construction of the new homes, not to mention more gasoline needed and the additional wear and tear on one’s car for the transportation of the children between the parents.
Ironically, those who consider themselves “conservative” (and support traditional family values) generally would not consider themselves “green” or environmentalists, but their views on the family are just that. Therefore, if one believes environmentalism to be important, one must abandon the more liberal views of the family, otherwise one would be very obviously ideologically inconsistent. If one is truly “green,” he must also oppose the deterioration of the traditional nuclear family by divorce, unwed pregnancy, and other similar sorts of things as they are all adversely affecting our environment.
Of course, as I have mentioned on this blog, I have a Christian worldview which, I think rather consistently, embraces both stewardship, care, and concern for the environment as our role in God’s creation as well as the view that children ought to be conceived in a marriage of a mother and father.