Forget about them
If a child is reared to believe the sky is green, and the grass is blue, he will grow to believe it to be true.
The rank and file environmentalist shares the same concerns regarding the environment as we do. The only difference is, they have been force-fed lies, misinformation, and propaganda by the power-mongering leaders of their movement.
Environmentalism has become an industry: a self-perpetuating industry, in which crisis and apocalyptic forecasts are necessary to generate sufficient revenues to propel their agenda.
The stark difference between "them" and "us" has always been the manner in which each has approached truth, facts, and sound science. "We" have always attempted to rise above the temptation to employ the same tactics to win the debate.
Referring to environmentalists as communists is counterproductive and leaves the common/neutral person with the impression that both sides lack the character, ethics, and moral aptitude to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of trust.
Resign yourselves to the fact that the devoted environmentalist will not be persuaded by the truth. To launch a campaign to "educate" them is an exercise in futility.
Our target should and must be those who are open-minded and willing to accept the fact there are severe defects in the rigid, insensitive methods designed and implemented by the environmental community in regards to natural resource management.
We are witnessing an explosion of new and beneficial findings in all areas of natural resource management, from California's power crisis, to the 6 million acres of forest lost to fire in the 2000 fire season.
If we commit ourselves to contributing positive and sound solutions, we can guide policy decisions that will benefit not only our own industries, communities, and families, but our country.
It's time to move on, as President George W. Bush has suggested. Forget the environmentalists; they have become irrelevant in light of the new administration. They have lost their seat at the table, and the chairs are open. Let's not jeopardize out chance to fill those seats by employing the same confrontational and divisive rhetoric that has dominated natural resource issues for the past decade.
As the old adage goes, "He who lies down with dogs, will rise up with fleas."
Barbara Mossman has held a wide range of positions in government and in advocacy organizations addressing environment issues. She has been a self-employed logtrucker, freelance writer, speaker, events coordinator, and community volunteer.