I'm an Eco-Groovy Republican

- for the Grateful Web

Its funny, environmental issues are actually what began to sway me in the other 'right' direction. I moved to the Florida Keys in the mid 80's and saw many people lose use of their land through environmental regulation - and not be compensated. The government was using the environment issues to essentially seize people's property without paying for it. I didn't believe that could happen in America, so it was a shock.

A lot of it was based on bad science - there were the "hippie liberal" marine biologists who believed any sneeze hurt the environment. So they went into overkill - attempting to ban almost everything. People panicked, afraid they'd lose their property rights, which created a building boom. Within a few years, we went from having the lowest rate of growth in the state to having the HIGHEST.

With proper planning and a more balanced approach that never would've happened. But, worst of all, the precedents that were set at that time still allow the government to "take" land without just compensation. To me, that is really an issue that should be a LIBERAL one, frankly. The government should never have the power to do that, even for a good cause (it's usually a "good cause" that results in loss of liberties...take the "war on terror", for instance). Yet, liberals stood by and did nothing because it supposedly conflicted with protecting the environment, though it really doesn't.

So, what you're seeing now is kind of a backlash to that environmental extremism and over-regulation. It often didn't work, like here, actually causing MORE damage. Just because someone doesn't embrace a particular regulation doesn't mean they're anti-environment. It's got to make sense...