Jan 2007 President’s Corner
Enviro-Zealots and ‘The Me Generation’The next time you see a protest the media deems newsworthy, make sure you watch it. Why you ask? If you look closely you will see every ?anti-you-name-it? group in existence. They are all there just incase, and hoping to get exposure. Why the media is so infatuated with these people I don?t know. Perhaps it?s the old ?Controversy Sells Advertising? syndrome. Why is this important to us? It’s simple really. I believe we are experiencing the maturation of the 80?s ‘Me Generation’ types. The 80’s ‘Me Generation’ types are self-focused and could care less about others, or what is best for the entire community, as long as he/she gets their way. The timing seems right for many to be in positions of authority, and able to influence others who may not think it through due to their desire to do good.
Take this to the next level and you have the development of Me Organizations. You know who they are; you have seen them on TV. For example: There is a group of bicyclists in San Francisco who take pleasure in messing up the Friday night commutes about once per month. Why? Because they want bike paths everywhere and they believe that the rest of us should be riding bikes too. Never mind the fact that some of us can?t, or would prefer not to, that doesn?t matter to them. This is an example of what I will call the Enviro-Zealot Organization, self focused groups born out of the Me Generation.
Webster states Zealot “implies extreme or excessive devotion to a cause and vehement activity in its support”. In other words, they do not care to hear your opinion if it does not agree with theirs. There appears to be a number of organizations which fall under this self absorbed umbrella, one type being the Enviro-Zealots. These groups claim to be concerned for the environment, but their real agenda is imposing their beliefs on the rest of the community, regardless of what makes common sense, or what the best use of a community asset might be. This is not to say that all environmentalists fall under this label, because they do not. We all agree we must take better care of our environment, and many of us belong to such noble organizations.
In the case of airports, the Enviro-Zealots objective is to curtail airport operations, or close the airport. They site environmental reasons to do so, even if the truth is stretched. To them, the means justifies the end. It is a perfect cover for them, after all, who would question an environmentalist? We believe it is time to point out the differences between each, and we plan to do so in this publication as well as the CALPILOTS web site.
Have Enviro-Zealots infiltrated state and federal agencies? How else can one explain the red tape and time required to get a permit to cut trees around airports? When did trees become more important than the safety of people?
I believe the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), and the League to Save Tahoe to be Enviro-Zealot examples. Working with either is near impossible. At least the League to Save Tahoe has come out and stated their objective–close South Lake Tahoe Airport. It is good to know the adversary and in the case the Enviro-Zealots, it is time to expose them for what they really are.
Do you have an example of such organizations around your airport? Let us know and let?s expose them through education of others.
Editor’s Note: This article came from the Jan-Feb 2007 California Pilots Association bi-monthly newsletter the Airport Advocate.