Historically, and today, conservatives minimize or ignore potentially serious problems (eg global climate change) until they are so serious that it is nearly impossible to do much good about them. And they are so adverse to government solutions - unless it props up monopolies and other practices benefitting business management - that they fail to understand that failure-of-government-to-act is quite often the problem.
adverse, adj. unfavorable, hostile (Wiktionary); An adverse ruling by the judge stymied our best hope of acquittal.
averse, adj. disinclined, unwilling, reluctant (also Wiktionary) cf.
Sherlock Holmes: "There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse
to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals." (Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter
For sure, conservatives give adverse treatment to lots of good-government legislation, but that is because they are averse
to government solutions, not adverse
to such solutions.
* * * *
Today's chronically misused jargon is "risk averse." Risk averse does not mean cautious. One is risk averse when confronted by two courses of action, one more risky than the other, she will not choose the riskier one unless it is also sufficiently (to her taste) more potentially lucrative. Short version: A risk averter is someone who demands payment for bearing risk.
Just ask Anthony Adverse.