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Re: E-M:/ Column supporting Harding



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Enviro-Mich message from <williamtobler@critterswoods.org>
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How is it possible that such two diametrically opposed views both be
correct?  Surely, one is mostly right and the other is mostly wrong.

When I line up Bob Wilson's comments with my own personal experiences, where
there is no question (in my mind) as to truth and accuracy, Bob Wilson's
views turn out to be wrong.

What do I believe is going on?  It's called "spin doctoring".  Articles are
written and published, and no one challenges what is written.  Shortly
after, it becomes "true" as far as history is concerned, but only because it
wasn't vigorously challenged with factual evidence.  And in many cases, one
"truth" is piled upon another "truth" until dismantling the whole false
story becomes monumental.

Ten years from now, few will remember Russ Harding.  If they look back into
the archives, they will read about what an enlightened time the 1990's were
in Michigan with regards to environmental protection.  After all, the MDEQ
Director received all of these wonderful awards and accolades from
organizations beyond reproach such as the Michigan legislature, and all this
other BS that Bob Wilson wrote about.

The newspapers create this nonsense and perpetuate this nonsense, and call
it news instead of fiction.




----- Original Message -----
From: "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
To: "Enviro-Mich" <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2002 1:08 PM
Subject: E-M:/ Column supporting Harding


> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> In today's Lansing State Journal there is a response Point of View to Rick
> John's column last week.  Bob Wilson, who works for the State Senate
> Republicans, wrote the piece.
>
> http://www.lsj.com/opinions/letters/021229_wilsptv_(deq).html
>
> I have a great deal of respect for Bob and believe he is absolutely
sincere
> in his comments, but disagree vehemently with his assessment of Harding,
and
> the whole Engler legacy. His points focus on and give kudos to Harding for
> the Clean Corporate Citizen and the Environmental Council of the States
> (ECOS), the national organization of state env. agency directors that
Sierra
> Club and other groups have found to be at the heart of efforts to weaken
> state environmental laws and enforcement nationwide.  Bob contends that
the
> work that Harding did in fact advanced the cause of environmental
> protection.  While most of Harding's supporters seem to suggest that
> weakening environmental protection is good for Michigan, Bob argues that
in
> fact this direction is better for the environment.
>
> This raises for me quite an interesting question -- are there two
realities
> that exist in a place like Lansing, or even more than two?  Mr. Harding's
> job depended on his boss and the powers in Lansing liking what he was
doing.
> When you line up detailed assessments of the Harding/Engler era contained
in
> a variety of places (see MEC's reports Dereliction of Duty at
> www.mecprotects.org and Dave Dempsey's article in the City Pulse in
Lansing
> http://www.city-pulse.org/021218/021218cover.html and most recently the
> whole debacle of Dow-gate) and compare them to the sweeping warm and
fuzzies
> that have emanated from both the Gov and Legislature, you have to wonder
> what is at work here. It is impossible to conclude that these facts, or
even
> these opinions, were given credence in the rarified air of the capitol.
But
> why?  Did they not hear the truth, or did they not wish to listen?  At a
> moment when the three TIME Magazine people of the year are
whistle-blowers,
> this question may fit right in with the key questions of our times, most
> notably what has gone wrong in our nation?
>
> Here are my thoughts.  First, as ideologues, those who have run the state
> for quite some time now have focused more on assuring that a program met
> their philosophical criteria than that it produced an actual, verifiable
> outcome.  The lack of legislative oversight of the on the ground
> implementation of the programs they rubber stamped and sent funds to (or
> removed funds from) may mean that the truth seldom leaked through.  For
> example, as far as we know, no lower level DEQ staff were ever given
> immunity to come in and speak about their concerns and experiences. The
> rather open silencing of DEQ staff should have sent up red flags for any
> legislators -- if you are doing the job you are supposed to do, then
> sunshine never hurts.
>
> Think of it -- if the information you receive is never objective and you
> take little time to verify it, you decide to assess the accuracy or truth
> based on who brings you the information.  Lobbyists, agency heads, and
> others with agendas that are hard to miss unless you choose to, are given
> all power to shape the debate.  As I was told 20 years ago by some enviros
> who have since moved on, in the legislature far too often the truth
doesn't
> matter.  It CAN matter, however, if those in positions of authority decide
> to make it matter.
>
> So we moved into an era of "Trust Me" -- some trusted Harding and Engler,
> for whatever reasons, and chose not to look behind the curtain.  Many have
> called recent times the "Information Age" -- whether or not this name
> applies, in fact it is very clear that we at some point entered the
> "Disinformation Age".  The veil is lifting on corporations and the get
rich
> quick schemes that have led our nation down an economic disaster course.
> Perhaps, with the exit of the Engler/Harding forces in just three days,
> there is a chance that the truth of the last 7 years could be brought out
as
> well.
>
> Anne Woiwode
>
>
>
> <<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->>
> Anne Woiwode, Staff Director, Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
> 109 East Grand River Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48906
> 517-484-2372; fax 517-484-3108  anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org
> visit the Mackinac Chapter on the web at http://michigan.sierraclub.org
>
>
>
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