You might say that Republicans have no use for environmentalism, but that's evidently not entirely true and not where we're headed in the future.
Trump says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is going to warn the city of San Francisco that their homeless population is a threat to the environment which could threaten federal funding.
“They’re in serious violation,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “They have to clean it up. We can’t have our cities going to hell.”
Trump said the issue was an environmental one because “tremendous pollution”, including syringes used by homeless addicts to inject drugs, was flowing into the Pacific Ocean from Bay Area cities.
Earlier in the day, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson rejected requests from California for more money to fight homelessness, saying the Trump administration was already doing its part.
Combined with the Trump regime's refusal to allow certain Bahamians to travel to the United States after Hurricane Dorian completely destroyed whole cities, I think this says something about the future of conservative environmental policy.
The future of conservative environmental policy is to protect private property and capital, not the environment or necessarily humans.
Republicans may not believe in climate change, but climate change is coming for everyone including them and their reaction will not be to fight the causes of climate change. The conservative response to climate change, not just in the United States but around the world, will be authoritarian and nationalist.
The Trump regime has already cited environmental and humanitarian hazards while attempting to justify the construction of Trump's fake border "wall" and now they're using it to justify the criminalization of homelessness.
The conservative response to climate change and the wholesale displacement of populations or what could be described as climate refugees will be militarized borders and racist anti-immigration policies that cite stewardship of the environment.
My biggest concern is that a significant number of people will agree with that approach because blaming foreigners is easier than changing your personal habits or making small sacrifices like paying slightly higher taxes to pay for environmentally-friendly policies and infrastructure. Call it eco-fascism if you want.
I hope I'm wrong.
While writing this I remembered that Trump once asked the Scottish government to build a seawall to protect his golf resort. That's the future of conservative environmental policy.