Am I Too Conservative?

I’ll admit that I am conservative. I like to conserve energy, conserve water, conserve money, conserve time and conserve effort. But am I too conservative?

Here is my little story.

I was pleased to hear a certain radio personality express his newfound appreciation for what climate change looks like on the day before the autumnal equinox. He went on to express another conservative opinion about the unsustainable debt held by many local councils. Again, I share his concern. Then he began to talk about another issue and the conservative stance the Green Party had taken on it. Three for three. Good one!

I called him up to congratulate him on his consistent conservative values and what I recognized in each case as the application of the “precautionary principle.” I had barely made my point when he vigorously questioned me on the third issue: the Green Party’s stance on fracking in Taranaki. From my perspective, the Green Party appears to be using the precautionary principle in its approach to fracking. This would appear to be a conservative position.

However, the radio personality accused me of something I did not catch because I was nervous talking on the radio. I suggested that international scientific research on fracking may be considered and that some data from the USA indicates problems associated with fracking. He insisted that no scientific data from anywhere outside of New Zealand should be considered at all. This would appear to be a radical position.

Then the radio personality said that a full, independent scientific analysis had been done to assess the effects of fracking around Taranaki and found no need whatsoever for any concern. He asked if that would be enough evidence for me. I told him that for me – being a conservative and supporter of the precautionary principle – I would seek a second opinion. This would appear to be a very conservative position.

The radio personality said “No, no, no.” For him a second opinion was not important. This would appear to be a non-conservative position. Then he hung up on me without even thanking me for my call or my compliment. What kind of a position is that?

Peace, Estwing