Robert Eckart: When The Little Dog Bites – October 8, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Note: In previous installments, the writer documented what he believes are counterproductive threats by letterhead environmentalists, specifically the Environmental Protection Information Center. – Ed.

Finally, a comment of sensibility needs to be made regarding the action EPIC has taken to block the straightening of Highway 101.

I don’t know anyone who lives or visits Humboldt County that is not proud of those trees and their magnificence. I, and many conscious and environmentally active humans like myself, routinely stop at the parking area of Richardson Grove and do exactly what EPIC recommends on its website, namely:

“Feel its sacred spirit; it is a place for contemplation, for healing, for renewal, for communion with the divine. Know the place. Experience its energy.”

This is great. I close my eyes and breathe deeply. Good for the heart, good for the lungs and good for the soul. But I can’t help but wonder, occasionally, how the families of all the scores of people maimed over the years in that narrow stretch of 101 feel about it when they pull over there.

Does not the value of a human life count in your cosmology of environmentalism?

According to the grove ranger, five to 10 of these giants blow down each year. According to crash records obtained from Caltrans, under a freedom of information act request, there is an average of one serious vehicle accident occuring monthly.

Unless we are too dumb to handle this information, let’s maybe put some contemplation into the math, how about?

As a conscious person with my eyes wide open, I can only pray that the advances in green technology and cleaner energy will be enough to meet the challenges humanity is now facing – as we struggle with planetary CO2 rising off the charts.

A large number of these technological advances are being birthed right here in California. As it stands, almost none of these new technologies will be developed to production scale in our state primarily because of the negative effect of these same greenwashed predatory lawyers.

I, like a lot of educated and busy folks, notice these things but sit back with some lackadaisical disconnection from this great challenge, since, other than sorting my own recycling, what more can one person do? It’s a world problem, after all!

On the other hand, when a band of arrogant and self-serving lawyers comes to the village and essentially threatens our volunteers that they will sue us if we attempt to protect ourselves by weed whacking the tall grass and non native invasive species growing between the tracks in the middle of our village – this is where a thinking man in the hills of California is challenged to action.

As we locally face our predicament in Fort Seward, I doubt that any of these EPIC lawyers have heard the call of a pygmy owl in fire distress, nor ever had to cut a fire break to defend his house in the face of a rapidly advancing wildfire. If they had, they might have recognized the moment when they crossed the line of integrity.

My guess is that, most likely, the slop in the lawsuit trough has just been so sweet and piled so high that they missed it.

At the end of The Wizard of Oz, there was a critical moment when the little dog Toto took a bite of the Wizard’s leg and tugged the curtain back. Seeing his posterior was exposed, he shouted: “Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain…” Luckily for all the inhabitants of Oz, they could finally see the machinery of his scam.

Just like the Wizard, who also started out meaning well, I believe that EPIC has lost its bearings and needs public light shed on the mechanics of their alleged “court sealed” settlements and anti-democratic behavior, not to mention its bookkeeping and vats of green dye.

Robert Eckart is a Fort Seward community member.

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