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Re: let's build a unified movement, not fight each other

  Alan Watson wrote:
  > These regulators stand on platforms with their industrial 
  > partners and constantly defend the status quo as being 
  > 'safe' and 'sustainable'.  Environmentalists often have 
  > no option other than to discredit the regulators who put 
  > those arguments.  
  You have the option to attack the specific policy and provide sound
  reasons why you are opposed to whatever regulatory is taking place. 
  But when you attack them as a group, you are in effect practicing
  bigotry whether you like to admit it or not.  I can say that all
  activists are liars based on a few idiot PR moves - it is no more true
  than saying all industrial plant managers have horns.  I can say all
  activists are violent by using a few known and documented examples -
  but 99+% aren't.  If the activist resorts to this type of denigration,
  when only a few politicians and industry brown-nosers are involved,
  then you are insulting and demoralizing a whole bunch of people who
  spend a lot of time working on the side of the environment.
  > Of course we can congratulate them 
  > on the relatively rare (in the UK) times that they take 
  > positive action to protect the environment - but most of 
  > the time they are in a deeply compromised position with 
  > industry and vested interests being far too influential.
  I truly think you need to spend a couple of days in the life of a
  regulatory engineer.  See the mounds of paperwork they have to contend
  with, the idiot consultants making false promises, the factories
  begging to have their permit placed at the head of the queue, the plant
  managers crying about a fine for an infraction that could have cost the
  plant far worse in terms of worker and community health, and the
  politicians who scream every time a valued business neighbor is
  squeezed too hard.  I don't think you really know what these people do,
  nor how they do, how much crud they have to wade through, and how
  futile they feel the effort is sometimes.  The system encourages people
  to leave early, causing a turn-over and retraining that is maddening on
  those that choose to stay and doggedly try to make a difference.  
  And of course, they make a bloody fortune being there too. :<)
  I've got a lot of friends in various state and federal agencies; they
  work on everything from air quality research to outlining watershed
  protection to protecting endangered species.  Next time you get to the
  US, I'll introduce you to a few, and you can tell them how little their
  efforts mean.
  Sam McClintock