EDITOR’S DESK: Sustainable skepticism
So why would anyone be skeptical about sustainability? That seemed to be the reaction I got when I started calling around this week about the Pikes Peak Area
Council of Governments (PPACG)'s “Regional Sustainability Draft Goals” plan.
Why, it's so special that - in a rarity for a PPACG press release - the public relations writer even used the word"exciting" to describe the chance for citizens to get involved.
From what I've come to understand, the whole idea came from a small "grassroots" group of people about a year ago and they've been working with government officials to shepherd it through. I don't know these people, but I'm sure they are very smart, because they've succeeded in a task that can often befuddle the rest of us, namely, getting bureaucracy to work for you. (For instance, elsewhere this week, neighbors in the 1700 block of West Colorado were wondering what agency to call to get rid of a dead raccoon that had been stinking up the street for about two weeks.)
Yes, I know, we need to be frugal with our natural resources and mindful of our energy use. Yes, I get it that federal grant applications nowadays all seem to include a rider calling for sustainable this, that or the other thing, so regional consistency has some merit. What I don't like, and never have, is when matters of public concern are basically kept from public view until their supporters have things all worked out the way they like. For example, before the "exciting" press release, the sustainable supporters had already quietly decided on key categories and the use of focus groups.
I don't mean to discourage anyone who wants to participate. I'm told it's still early in the process. I just don't want to hear about anyone raising questions like "What if I lose my job?"or "What will this all cost?" and being told something like "the debate is already over." Because then this process will be starting to smell worse than that raccoon.