Sara Chambers' My Turn that appeared in the Jan. 31 Juneau Empire jumps on a political bandwagon that is totally crowded with ultraconservatives. Like a well-heeled producer, she champions the film "Not Evil Just Wrong," a film made with real-estate money by an Irish filmmaking couple. It was shown at a weekly Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon recently.
Chambers is CEO for the First Things First Alaska Foundation and a one-time Assembly member.
If you visit the FTFAF's Web site, what you read in their welcome is in reference to environmental groups, i.e., " ... propaganda efforts are orchestrated primarily outside Alaska, but they are also coordinated with organizations inside the state. Their agenda is to prohibit all reasonable natural resource use and development under the misguided notion that 'environmental protection' can only be achieved by locking up Alaska's lands. This deliberate misinterpretation of facts on the positive effects of thoughtful and sustainable development denies our communities economic viability and sustainability."
Chambers also sees herself as some kind of a heroine fighter for our free enterprise system as she states, "One of the chief enemies of free enterprise in the world is radical environmentalism."
In her article, Chambers disrespects various environmental groups and specifically Oceana and their scientist, Dr. Jeffery Short. In spite of her dissent, it is interesting to note, according to Oceana's Web site, that "Dr. Jeffrey Short was the leading chemist for the governments of Alaska and the United States following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, and has guided numerous studies about the distribution, persistence and effects of oil on the ecosystem. He worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service for three decades before coming to Oceana, where he now serves as the Pacific science director."
Short is most definitely a scientist I want in Southeast Alaska, and many more like him to work for sustainable environmental goals. Short is only one of many who are dedicated to protecting not only Alaska's environment but that of our entire planet.
I certainly sleep better at night knowing these numerous environmental groups are organized and taking on a myriad of really complex issues, such as the horrific Exxon Valdez oil spill and the ensuing environmental disaster - even though FTFAF and their current CEO may well disagree with me.
Alan R. Munro