The reason is simple: when we accept or adopt a label it becomes part of our identity.
Many years back when I started Enviro(ish), I started it on a principle in the wake of this truth. I proposed that we should not get hung up on the label and just do eco-friendly things in our day-to-day. This is still true, in part...meaning yes, please continue to do eco-friendly things. With the way 2020 is going, here's hoping some people reading this don't leave their lights and faucets on and put recyclables in the trash out of spite. But I digress.
As my Enviro(ish) conversation has continued, and as the systemic nature of the climate crisis has reared its ugliness, and seeped more deeply into our collective conscious, I've been spending more time thinking whether my theory of change of Enviro(ish) is really enough. Is it the only thing that matters? That answer is no. It's no longer "do eco-friendly things and don't worry about being labeled an environmentalist." I fervently believe now it is "do eco-friendly things and embrace being an environmentalist."
Nearly every conservative I know in real life enjoys hunting, fishing, visiting our national parks and/or getting outside in nature. Newsflash: this makes you an environmentalist. In this starkly regressive period of the Trump Administration on all the issues I care about most, there is a bright spot. Do you remember when Congressman Chaffetz (R-UT) tried to sell of 3.3 million acres of public land and utterly failed? I do. I have posted before about how the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act were passed on a bipartisan basis, but I feel the need to remind people these foundational laws for environmental protection were signed by a Republican President. Environmental protection use to be universally agreed upon. (And while I have you here, President Nixon also started the Environmental Protection Agency.)
(Read more after the jump)