point, as often it is their oversight and determination alone thatrnprevent vested interests from evading the clear intent of environmentalrnlaws. If the criminal element reigns supreme, lawsrnwill be of little avail, as is the case in some African countriesrnwhere poaching is rampant.rnSeveral years ago, while I was visiting Georgia’s OkefenokeernWildlife Refuge, a resident told me how the alligators of thernrefuge once faced extinction from poachers. What savedrnthem, he said, was the single-minded determination of onernpark ranger who, at some risk to himself, put the poachers tornflight. Merely doing the minimum to collect his paycheckrnwould not have saved the gators. Something extra motivatedrnhim.rnBut despite their differences,rnboth real and imagined, therngenuine conservative and the genuinernenvironmentalist share pietyrntoward the same natural order, andrnlove of the land. Here they standrntogether on common ground.rnAnd whether that same something is present in millions ofrnother people will determine the fate of the environment. Consider,rnfor example, a group of teenagers in a car. Will they carryrntheir empty beer bottles home, or follow the easier course ofrntossing them out the window? Will a pesticide manufacturerrnact to delay production of a pesticide because of misgivingsrnabout its safety—especially if the letter of the law would allowrnhim to produce it and delay would cost him money? Will arnfarmer employ sound conservation practices on his land, evenrnthough they may be unprofitable in the short run? Will backpackersrnmake the effort to leave the wilderness as they found it?rnLaws can guide these decisions, but only character can providernthe strength to resist temptation to despoil.rnTrue, much that passes for conservatism today is more concernedrnwith cash than character, possessions more than posterity.rnIts only close attachment to the land is on the fairway andrnthe putting green at the country club. Environmental activistsrnrightly despise this type of conservatism, but the reason it is despicablernis that it really isn’t conservative.rnWhen 19th-century conservatives overreacted to the rise ofrntheir socialist and communist foes and embraced “rugged individualism”rnand the quest for personal gain, they forgot thatrncharacter, personhood, and true individuality will never flowerrnwithout the nurture of community. More than a few conservativesrnconcluded that Big Business—even unsavory monopolyrninterests spouting Social Darwinism—could do no wrong.rnRobber barons returned the favor by calling their greedrnconservatism.rnWith “conservatism” monopolized by monopolists, genuinernconservative sentiment cast about for a means of expression.rnOne was the Populist movement, which tried to protect the independentrnfarmer and rural economy. Among its spiritual descendantsrnare the “social issue” conservatives who sit in uneasyrnalliance with the corporate faction of the Republican coalition.rnOther populists reacted so strongly against “conservative” vestedrninterests that they articulated their concerns in socialistrnrhetoric. Many of the socialist-leaning members of today’s environmentalrncamp are part of this reaction. They are mistaken,rnhowever, if they think that community can be restored throughrna planned economy. It is tainted as much by sterile materialismrnand ambition as monopoly capitalism. Far from being opposites,rnboth plutocrat and planner try to monopolize wealth andrnpower. Thus when we see Big Business “conservatives” strugglernwith Big Government “liberals,” we merely witness a tangle ofrntentacles belonging to the same predatory Establishment.rnOne of many depressing examples of government-corporaterncollusion was the sale of advanced technology to the former SovietrnUnion, some of it with direct application to nuclearrnweaponry. Pure greed may be one explanation, but the mutualrnaffinity of monopolists, American and Soviet, could havernbeen another. In any case, concern for the environment or futurerngenerations was never an issue.rnClearly, it is imperative for genuine conservatives and environmentalistsrnto unite for their common goal. This is notrnto minimize real differences between the two groups, but bothrnneed to exchange ideas and arguments to overcome thesernbarriers.rnConservatives might listen to an environmentalist plea tornmodify their view of property rights. Specifically, the heirs ofrnBurke and Jefferson might expand their notion of these rightsrnto protect not only real estate, but also lungs and livers. Thernpoint is that uncontrolled industrial pollution is as deadly tornconservatives as anyone else. The rights on a plot of ground arernnot worth much if it is the plot where you are buried.rnOn the other hand, environmentalists should look past thernrhetorical excesses of the Christian right to see legitimate concernsrnof religious conservatives. The former need not share thernlatter’s religion to share the conservative’s misgivings aboutrndrugs, violence, and licentiousness. Admittedly, bringing Godrninto the equation is controversial, but it is necessary to do, for tornplunder the environment is to place ego above Creation andrneven the Creator. The religious sentiment commonly confirmedrnby the conservative is a needed corrective toward humilityrnand reverence. Its moral teachings prompt stewardship overrnthe land and its fauna and flora and concern for the well-beingrnof others, not the least of which are future generations.rnPatriotism is another conservative force for the environment,rnfor a man will surely think twice before injuring what he regardsrnas his Fatherland and Motherland. Of course scoundrels havernused patriotism as a cloak for warmongering and other vilernaims. But what good name haven’t scoundrels used andrnabused? The attachment to our native land is a deep and primalrntie; to forsake it is to be outcast and alienated.rnOne cause both conservatives and environmentalists shouldrnsupport is the protection and revival of the family farm. Jeffersonrnhailed it as a school of character where discipline, strongrnties of kin, and healthful living would produce good citizens.rn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn