Scott Pruitt, Man of the People

Scott Pruitt, the cabinet officer charged with dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency, generally travels first class to avoid people who say mean things to him at airports. This is costing American taxpayers a lot of money. It’s also insulating one more politician from the people he is supposed to represent. For example, The Washington Post […]

The Making of a Scapegoat

I am the father of four children and the grandfather, so far, of four grandchildren. They are the world to me, and each time I see the image of a parent’s anguished face outside a school – or anywhere else – wondering whether her child is still inside, whether he is alive or dead, my […]

NIMBY is Not a Four-Letter Word (Part 2)

Hey! You! Get off of my Coast (with apologies to the Rolling Stones) In these days of intense partisanship and Congressional gridlock, here’s a plan for bringing the representatives of both parties together: propose drilling for oil and gas in their coastal waters. Take the state of Maine, for example, which has a Republican senator […]

NIMBY is Not a Four-Letter Word (Part 1)

Many years ago, when I published a community newspaper in southeastern Pennsylvania, Wal-Mart announced it intended to build a super store just outside of town. For a number of reasons, we didn’t think this was a good idea, and so while our reporters were told to cover the story fully and fairly, our editorial page […]

Two Fables: Revolution by Evolution

Here are two political clichés we should reexamine: We might call the first the Populist Fable, in which the environmental movement is perceived as dominated by a backward looking band of tree-huggers who oppose all progress, put the welfare of snail darters above that of humans, and have little sympathy for the economic needs of […]