Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Bringing a knife to a gun fight

I'm reminded of the old saying about don't bring a knife to a gun fight, or something along those lines, as I continue the exchange with Gary Jones. In this case I would be the one with the knife. Gary still takes great exception to my choice of articles to laud, but interestingly I think we both believe in ultimately the same thing, even if we do get there from different directions. Gary's summation is this... "To succeed modern environmentalism must distance itself from politics and focus on governance. Each political group has environmental objectives that can benefit from policy input by those who have given special attention to the whole subject. Facing the inherent conflicts between the needs of all the community and the places they inhabit and seeking creative ways to dynamically balance those needs is a worthy task and will result over time as political power changes hands in the greatest progress, the healthiest communities and environments, and reclaim environmentalism from the trash heap". I think Gary and I define politics a bit differently. To me, politics ultimately is the act of "seeking creative ways to dynamically balance those needs." The act of balancing, the art of listening, the work to find common ground is what interests me. I'm not interested in the politics that seeks to build coalitions only to retain or gain power. I'm interested in toning down the demonization, and increasing the understanding. That's a big reason why I developed the interest in land trusts. I think they are a way, that if used carefully, can balance the inherent tension between land ownership and wild places, between a need for houses and jobs and raw materials, and the need for nature to flourish. Yes, choices have to made. Absolutes may need compromise. But if we work to find that good, common ground we can make the greatest progress, and build the healthiest communities and environment.
Ok, enough of the philosophical yammering, I am in way over my head. Tomorrow I'm back with more postings on the doings in the world of Land Trusts. Gary, thank you for the debate. May I have my knife back?


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