Tribal Nihilism

A recent study found that self-identified conservatives were less likely to buy a product, even if the purchase was cost-effective (i.e., better price or longer-lasting product), if it carried a label indicating that the item was good for the environment. This was true even if they had previously purchased the same item–an energy-efficient light-bulb, for example–when it didn’t carry the environmental endorsement.

Evidently, these political conservatives are so hostile to environmental protection measures, they will prefer–and purposely choose to purchase–products that increase environmental degradation.

Words fail.

Andrew Sullivan’s take on this study’s result is absolutely correct. “This is really a form of tribal nihilism. One party has become entirely about a posture, not a set of feasible policies. I can see no reason whatever that conservatism must mean destroying the environment – or refusing to do even small ameliorative things that can help…Snark is not a policy, although it may be a successful talk radio gimmick.’


  1. The tribal nihilists are still bitter and angry about Al Gore and everything he stands for. They have talked themselves into sincerely believing that GWB actually won that election. Remember hanging chads, Florida, Jeb, Katherine? I know…how CAN you forget? Al Gore is for environmental accountability, as are most other rational people. Because the nihilists are so opposed to him, they also oppose saving the only planet that they, and we, have! Makes no sense at all, of course.

  2. Al Gore is for environmental accountability like W. Bush is for fiscal restraint.

  3. John, a closed mind, unlike a rolling stone, does gather moss. Please read the blog again and seek the heart of the message and maybe your personal lightbulb, whichever form you prefer, will light up your world. And the blog and its message isn’t about lightbulbs, it is about closed minds and set-in-stone political party attitudes. It is also about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

  4. It’s nothing of the sort, JoAnn. It’s a study about having an agenda shoved down your throat. There are plenty of “environmentally friendly” products that just suck too. Didn’t see any control for that.

    Plus, there’s the easily questionable science which doesn’t back up CO2 being a cause of global warming.

    Keep your mercury bulbs in your house and please stop subsidizing them.

  5. Read the study and read the initial post. There is nothing in the study, implied, dependent or independent variable about issues being “shoved down your throat’, unless you just want to be a troll.

Comments are closed.