Tag Archives: conservation

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.’