· Reading Time: 2 minutes

Political Ideology and Legislation

     A growing number of Americans have reacted to an inundation of increasingly reckless political messages, by defining their affiliation to a political party as a part of their social identity (Dunlap, McCright , & Jerrod, 2016). This oftentimes results in an increased tendency to adamantly reject the policies supported by the opposing party, regardless of the facts inherent to the issues at hand. This should be of concern to individuals worried about environmental protection, the future of public lands, wilderness preservation, or various other topics being debated within the political arena.

     Cooperation among our people, particularly with regard to volatile and polarizing issues, remains imperative to continuing the American traditions of democracy, scientific discovery, innovation, and world leadership. It should be pointed out that this problem encompasses significantly greater perils than only the specific topics of wilderness preservation and public lands. Nevertheless, the campaign to sabotage the discussion over climate change and public land issues has been met with a stunning level of success in recent years (Antonio & Brulle, 2011).

     When the degree to which these issues are linked to wilderness preservation values is considered, those with concern for the future of American wildlands have a responsibility to remain vigilant in defending the facts, while also not allowing themselves to be lured into unproductive confrontations with those that are influenced by climate change denials and federal land eliminating doctrines. From my point of view, the attitudes resulting from these disputes have the potential to be a perilous threat to the future of American wilderness preservation laws. A potentially better method for achieving the objectives set forth by the Wilderness Act, could require an approach that listens with empathetic attention to the concerns of those with alternate value systems, while also asking thought provoking and appropriate questions, and then responding with a message that transmits the purpose and value of permanent wilderness preservation for all Americans. Execution of this task remains easier said, than done. 


Antonio, R. J., & Brulle, R. J. (2011). THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF POLITICS: Climate Change Denial and Political Polorization. The Socialogical Quarterly, 195-202.

Dunlap, R. E., McCright , A. M., & Jerrod, Y. H. (2016). The Political Divide on Climate Change: Partisan Polarization Widens in the U.S. Enviornment.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments