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Study says conservatives respond to different kind of environmental messaging

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Conservatives and liberals share the same globe, but vastly different viewpoints on conservation. Image courtesy NASA.

Can we bridge the ideological divide on crucial conservation issues?

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — It’s astounding that environmental issues have become so politically polarized, with liberals generally favoring stronger environmental protection, while conservatives tend to reject efforts to preserve natural resources as government over-reach. Recent debates about global warming and the EPA’s ability to control greenhouse gases are a case in point.

It doesn’t really make sense. Toxic heavy metals in water, air pollution and the loss of biodiversity affect everyone equally and just by the nature of their fundamental philosophy, one would think that conservatives would want to conserve natural resources and the environment.

But new research from psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, suggest that conservative view on issues like deforestation and toxic waste may not be as intractable as assumed. It appears those viewpoints can be changed when the messaging about environmental stewardship are shifted to focus on the concepts of  of fending off threats to the “purity” and “sanctity” of Earth and our bodies. Continue reading

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Travel: U.S. eases access to Cuba

Fidel Castro and members of the East German Politburo view the border between East Germany and West Germany in this 1972 image from the German Federal Archive. (PHOTO VIA WIKIPEDIA).

Absurd U.S. policies echo totalitarian East German Cold War travel rules

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY —News about the U.S. easing travel restrictions to Cuba made me think back to when  I was growing up on U.S. Army bases in Germany.

The Cold War and the Iron Curtain around eastern Europe manifested in very tangible ways. West Berlin, technically part of West Germany, was completely surrounded by Communist East Germany, and we couldn’t just hop into a car or on to a train and go there at will.

Instead, traveling to Berlin involved making special reservations on a so-called duty train, intended mainly for U.S. soldiers and their families stationed in Berlin. The train left Frankfurt late at night and traveled through East Germany in the dark, to prevent Americans from “spying” on East Germany during daylight hours. Continue reading

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