Featured republicEn: Former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth

about 3 years ago

ClimateEye editor Chelsea Henderson had the pleasure of speaking to former New York Congresswoman and cat enthusiast Nan Hayworth, who has one of the best #TeddyFace photos to date and is an all around kindred spirit. Nan is pragmatically passionate about the environment, serves on the board of ConservAmerica and we are happy she has decided to get En with us!

What is your environmental philosophy?

I passionately believe it is our responsibility to collectively work to minimize our carbon footprint. That's how we are going to make a difference. We really have to focus on conserving the resources we have.

How do we spread this message to other conservatives and to people who think we are anti environment?

As a lifelong Republican, of course I want my party to take environmental issues to heart and act responsibly on them. Part of the challenge is there is so much structural opposition among those most involved with the environmental movement. Somehow we have earned the reputation of being the anti-environmental party, and working together, we need to fix that. I feel strongly that those who are passionate about the environment should embrace a conservative approach. After all, we are trying to ensure government spends responsibly when it comes to environmental protection. As it is right now, so many financial resources are wasted, and it's the environment that pays the ultimate price.

How can we build a thriving eco-right community?

If you care about a strong environment, you should support Republicans. They are the party that can make sure we have the resources to protect it. I believe there are great numbers of people who want to protect the environment but may not agree with the options currently on the table. We need to spread the work but also brand our efforts as a long-term investment. The policy options you at republicEn and others are promoting make a lot more sense than the status quo. Once people begin to discover this, they will find you, find and join us! It's about preserving what we love best about this country.

What do we need to do to convince your former colleagues that there are conservative approaches to solving climate change and other environmental issues?

Many Members of Congress personally believe in protecting the environment. But politically, they don't get credit for the work they do. Let's be honest, the environmental groups don't always promote their good deeds. These groups and others that are emerging need do as much as they can to make it beneficial for Members of Congress to be advocates for environmental protection.

What role should the federal government play in environmental protection?

The founding fathers were sensible. Constitutionally, it is reasonable to have federal control over what the states and locals can and cannot do. Our air and water cross state lines, and as a result, it's reasonable for the federal government to be involved in air and water protection. But there are certain aspects that can be handled at a local level. We can be more inclusive. For example, we need to be more sensitive to the concerns of family farmers, local land uses, and water regulation. We can listen more closely to and coordinate with communities. Policies could be rationalized in accordance with the best science. Overall, we need to bring down the level of hysteria on all sides in order to help make the debate more productive.

Our hearty thanks to Nan Hayworth for a riveting conversation!

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