What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.That's the quotation that came to mind when I read Jim Slocomb's article in the Island Guardian. Slocomb says he's speaking for himself, not the organizations he represents. He a long-time member of the Marine Resources Committee, formerly listed as a staff member of the Friends, and is working on the Town's SMP update. Despite not overtly referring to those organizations, he does implore the Council not to get "distracted by all the noise at street level." Take note of that folks. We're just "noise at street level," with the implication being that Jim Slocomb and all the high-and-mighty organizations he "participates in or works for" tower far above the noisy din caused by us street urchins.
From the great heights, Slocomb advises us to come to "grips with the balance between risk and reward," so let's examine his request from the standpoint of ecological risk. Like most people, I think Slocomb is terribly confused about ecological risk.
When we are sick, then taking medicine makes sense. It lowers our risk of continued illness and disease progression. Does it make sense to take medicine if we are well? Only if we are hypochondriacs, but for sane people, no. It makes no sense because we receive no disease-related risk-reduction benefit, and if we were to continue to take medicine, we would be accepting the risk of potential treatment side effects for no reason.
Eco-hypochondriacs are no different. They aren't really interested in the reality of risk and reward any more than health-centric hypochondriacs are. They lack the capacity to rationally comprehend their own risky behavior. If our ecological risk is already at de minimis levels, then it is not possible to lower risk below that, no matter what further "protections" are enacted. In that situation, when we try to do more, all we get are side effects and unintended consequences, the potential for which tends to increase risk.
Paraphrasing Woody Allen, when all risk is an illusion and it doesn't really exist, then we have definitely overpaid for "protection." Eco-hypochondriacs have "personal belief that our environment and therefore our way of life is dying the death of a thousand cuts" but little evidence originating from here to support their bad advice. It must be something about the grant-funded rarefied air they breathe.
That's what we believe down here at street level anyway.