Letters to the Editor
Does the Sierra Club Support the Environment or Just Democrats?
I recently joined the Sierra Club, due in part to the considerable assistance which your members Mike Mueller and Myrna Poticia have provided to our homeowner association regarding a problem we are having with South Suburban Park and Recreation District. It also made sense to me because of a lifelong interest and active involvement with environmental matters. I anticipated that the club would have a philosophical leaning towards the democratic Party; however, it has come as something of a surprise to discover that it is much more than that.
As is made clear by the front page summary in the (October/November) issue of the Peak and Prairie, the Club is an unabashed cheerleader for the Democratic Party, right down the line. It is hard to believe that in every instance the Club found the Democratic candidate to be the more appealing such that not one single Republican is deemed worthy of support. As a lifelong Republican, who does not always agree with everything the Party stands for, but which I find to be more in line with my beliefs on most issues, I find this disturbing. The question I am now asking myself is, "Did I join an environmental group, or did I join an arm of a political party whose policies I generally disagree with?"
Setting to one side the question of the obvious bias of the club, it seems to me that the political stance you are taking is not productive in terms of furthering environmental causes. In a state such as Colorado, which is mainly republican, it must be disadvantageous in trying to advance policies favorable to the environment with the majority of state and local legislators. Unquestionably, given your obvious political stance, most Republican politicians would see you as effectively being representatives of the opposing political party and not be inclined to listen to what you have to say. Wouldnt it be more effective to avoid taking sides and try to work with whomever is in power? I believe that most people, even politicians, are open to considering reasonable and logical proposals.
Finally, it is worth remembering that most of the great environmentalists in this country in the 20th century have been republicans, starting with Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot. I dont know what John Muirs politics were (if any), but doubt that he was a Democrat. On the other hand, much of the serious environmental damage done to our country has been the result of federal government programs (e.g., the Everglades, dam building) promoted by an activist, centrist, Democratic Party.
In conclusion, I must also add that I am a retired Petroleum Engineer and drive an SUV. So, with such an undesirable list of characteristics, you may want to chuck me out of the Club forthwith!
Peak & Prairie Editorial
A Message from the People
by Vincent Piturro, Editorial Staff, Peak & Prairie
The voters of Colorado have spoken, and they have sent mixed messages. While it is not exactly clear who the winners and losers are in the election, one thing that is glaringly evident is that Coloradoans have voted overwhelmingly for the environment. All environmental issues were passed, resoundingly, while the candidate races were very tight. This proves that regardless of party, the people of Colorado believe that environmental issues are crucial. Even though many of the candidate-elects dont have positive environmental records in the past, this should serve as a message to them, that when voting on the environment, they should be representing all of Colorado, not just the members of their particular party. Nature doesnt politicize. We should not politicize it.