“It was all too easy to blame the Green movement’s failures on business and ‘neoconservative ideologues.’ We now know, after seven years of a progressive president and a 2014 midterm election that returned control of both houses of Congress to the right, that those ideological conservatives and industry interests are here to stay. Greens have fought the ‘war’ against them to paralysis, and the planet is paying the price. It’s time to try something else.”

“So what went wrong? What took us from a place where Republicans could take the lead on environmental solutions to a place where Republicans can barely admit that there are such things as environmental problems? What happened is what I refer to as the Great Estrangement, a hard tack to the right by conservatives, a drift to the left by Greens, and the disastrous transformation of the environment from common cause to divisive wedge.”
        Chapter 2, It Wasn’t Always This Way, A Brief History of Conservation and the Right

“These three strains of market fundamentalism (the beliefs that environmental protection is inconsistent with economic growth, that virtually all regulation is socialistic, and that property rights are nearly absolute) were powerful levers that pried many conservatives loose from the conservation movement they had been part of for a century. The good news is that each of them bears within itself the seeds of a future reconciliation, because each is at odds with the underlying principles of conservatism, and clashes irreconcilably with the even stronger instinct that tells all true conservatives that nature is about something more than price.”
        Chapter 5, Market Fundamentalism, The Antienvironmental Orthodoxy of the Right

“The principle that gave conservatism its name is the same one that gave conservation its name, and is the principle that most powerfully pushes its adherents into the Green camp. The principled conservative has an obligation to prudently husband all of a society’s resources: the civic capital that consists of the society’s institutions and laws, the national wealth and productive capacity that is its economic capital, and its natural resources. The conservative takes the long view of society and believes he or she has a duty to limit present consumption with a view to the interests of future generations. Looked at this way, there is nothing remotely conservative about saving a few bucks now by dumping carbon into the atmosphere or garbage into the ocean, and leaving future generations to deal with the consequences.”
        Chapter 8, Getting to Green, Step One: Reconnecting Conservatives with Conservation

“Walter Lippmann wrote that ‘the notion that political beliefs are logically determined collapses like a pricked balloon’ once you consider the biographical and human factors of the people who hold those beliefs. If we can acknowledge and work with these human factors, challenging the particular belief without challenging people’s deeper value systems and identities, then there is a real prospect that certain strongly held counterfactuals, like climate-change denial, will themselves pop like a pricked balloon and assume their proper role as a historic aberration.”
        Chapter 9, Is Conservative Environmentalism Really Possible?

“But just as political utopians of all persuasions have learned to work with what they have, so must environmentalists. Andrei Sakharov, from the perspective of the gulag in 1975, wrote that ‘the reality of the contemporary world is complex with many planes. It is a fantastic mix of tragedy, irreparable misfortune, apathy, prejudices and ignorance, plus dynamism, selflessness, hope and intelligence.’ This great truth could have been uttered in 975, and it will be true in 2175. We had better get used to it. If we build an environmental ethic that requires a new man, if we accept that ecological systems cannot function with a dominant species in which avarice and ignorance are in a perpetual struggle with selflessness and wisdom, then we had better get ourselves a new planet.”
        Chapter 10, Getting to Green, Step Two: A Philosophy That Puts People First

“The credibility crisis from which the Green movement suffers cannot be blamed solely on the misinformation campaigns of climate deniers and other critics. Green NGOs themselves have contributed to the climate of skepticism through their long practice of indulging in alarmist predictions, exaggerations, and misleading claims that Nicholas Kristof, a friend of the Green movement, compared to car alarms, which after a while become just an irritating background noise.”
        Chapter 11, Getting to Green, Step Three: Reforming the Green Movement

“Whether we get there through a utilitarian calculus or through a moral imperative, the result is the same: we owe the future consideration and restraint, and must make our best efforts to figure out how much. We can disagree about how much restraint, but cannot disagree about the imperative of sustainability: it is never sufficient to point to a decline in our present consumption or wealth as a reason to avoid the prudent protection of the planet’s ability to supply our future inputs and absorb our future outputs. This is what sustainability means, and it is devastating to market fundamentalism, which views lost jobs or higher costs for business as determinative reasons for declining to act in the interests of the planet’s future.”
        Chapter 13, Center Green