I have been aware since the nineteen eighties that I have little in common with environmentalists, mainly because of their essentially exclusive interest. That is, environmentalists are essentially the heirs of segregationists. They focus on the characteristics of the environment, rather than the characteristics of people, to restrict public access and interaction.
My perception of conservation as bogus is more recent. To explain it, I should perhaps provide the context of my experience and the intent to do things differently going forward. After having been elected to a public office in the 1970s and offering my candidacy twice in the early 1980s, and after serving as an appointed official on a number of boards and committees and organizing a non-profit (that just celebrated its 35th year), I retired from local political action until I realized in 2014 that Glynn County was/is foundering. So, now, after five years of close attention and countless hours of monitoring meetings, I, as the organizer of the Sidney Lanier Environmental Advocacy Team, intend to be much more forceful and critical.
The word “advocacy” is intentional and designed to distinguish our interest from the exclusive environmentalists and the financially motivated conservationists. While one group is motivated by exclusive interest, the other is, like the consumers of the conserves on granny’s shelves, after immediate financial gain (in the form of evaded taxes and inflated land prices) and saving the goodies for exploitation later. None of them have the interests of the environment to avoid abuse in mind. That preventing abuse is the essence of good government does not even occur to them.
Environmentalists pimping the environment for economic gain are not much better. Indeed, to the extent they distract well-intentioned people with celebrations and conferences, they let the exploiters have their way.
Environmental advocacy takes into account that human beings are an integral part of the environment. And, we do not want them to be abused, either. Case in point, the effort to deprive the long-time owners of acreage on Saint Simons Island of access to their land by invalidating the dedication of public access back in 1940. Good stewards of the land should not be deprived because some Johnny-come-lately wants to make a buck.
For two versions of the matter see:
The plight of the residents of German Village on Saint Simons Island also deserves mention. For, in the name of environmental conservation, the neighborhood is threatened by an invasion of motor-boat toting recreaters with the blessing of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. (Note that because our coastal waters are too polluted to sustain commercial fishing, they have been designated for “recreational fishing”).