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The summer has been a time for reflection for me as Official Spokesperson for Save Our Rivers Society. It was a tough election to lose and I think all involved on the losing side have had much to reflect upon. Now is the time to plan.

It doesn’t take the brains of a Mensa to see that the environmental movement is split into many ways. I’m not talking of the shameful departure of Dr David Suzuki but of the splits within the movement that have long existed.

Those splits, often encouraged by governments, are not bad things in themselves. There are countless points of contact between environmentalists and issues to be concerned about. I must admit that until recent months I thought we should be trying to put together a coalition but I see now it can’t work.

We at Save Our Rivers Society were blessed indeed to have as allies in the recent fight, the Wilderness Committee and their spokespersons, Joe Foy and Gwen Barlee with whom I shared many a speaker’s podium. But WC has a broad mandate and it might have been that other priorities would have made it impossible for them to fight our fight as comrades. Similarly, with our mandate at SORS we might find that our resources were stretched too thin to help WC in a particular issue. But this makes this point – what if environmental activists simply got one coordinating point so that, for example, when WC would like support, the coordinator could canvas other groups and see what help they could spare.

Here’s a hypothetical way it might work. Suppose the Wilderness Committee was unable to commit as a group to SORS fight because they had too many irons in the fire. A coordinator would be able to call WC and say – “here are rallies we’ve put together. Can you spare Joe or Gwen Barlee for a speech on such and such a day?” In other words, a coordinator would not in any way interfere with the mandates of other organizations or connote a coalition or amalgamation – integration might be the better word – but would provide sort of a clearing house so that we can all help each other out when we’re able to and to the extaent we can and still satisfy our respective mandates.

The next four years will be the roughest in my memory. All of us in the environmental field will be fighting both governments on a number of battlegrounds. What a plus for us if every army in the field could get a bit of help here and there.

This does in fact happen but not, in my view, on a wide enough basis.

An idea whose time has come?

Or another dud?

At the very least it’s worth looking at.

One Response to “The Battle has barely begun V”

  1. Evil Eye says:

    Rafe, we do live in evil times as the present lot in power, abetted by the mainstream media, have little to fear as the news is massaged in such a way that the populace overlook the frightening details.

    The ‘Eye’ has other fish to fry, but always follows the dreadful run-of-river projects.

    I pity the likes of Berman and Suzuki, who now seem to have spent their ‘green’ credentials to suit their political masters – shame on them.

    It will take more than speeches to change this government and I’m afraid the only means to get the Campbell’s and his lickspittals to listen is the scare him and them and scare them silly.

    A massive public demon station during the Olympics would do the trick!

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