Parker Donham slams group in letter to his Alma Mater - Putney School, Vermont

Letter by Parker Donham
Putney School, Vermont
Summer, 2005

I'm sitting in my living room at Kempt Head, Nova Scotia, watching the same blizzard that hammered Peter Coombs in Connecticut yesterday. I divide my time between my home of 34 years in Cape Breton (an island Putney School introduced me to) and Halifax, a pleasant university and government town, where I also keep a bedroom and an office.

I left journalism three years ago to start a communications consulting business. My main client is a provincial agency charged with cleaning up a huge contaminated site at Sydney, Nova Scotia, where 100 years of steel and coke production left more than a million tons of contaminated soil and sediments.

Governments botched early cleanup attempts, then passed the buck, and the search for solutions, to a highly empowered citizen's group. This experiment in social engineering had mixed results, and brought more delay.

The community is fed up, and wants to get on with the cleanup. So do we. Ironically, the main obstacle is a tiny, often abusive, band of environmentalists, for whom this terrible story has been such a tremendous organizing tool that they cling to it ferociously.

In my experience, there is a brand of environmentalism that shares with George W Bush the dangerous belief that God is on their side, thereby justifying any tactic, including flagrant lying and chronic disregard for the people whose lives they injure. Very troubling. More at have a 2-1/2-year-old granddaughter, Maggie, who is the apple of my eye, and her two younger brothers, Josh and Jacob, are also just swell. Their mom and dad work at a L'Arche Community near here. My other son, a woodcarver, lives in Halifax with his wife, so I get to see them all whenever I want. What a lucky guy!