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Outside the movement — and inside the system

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As an environmental scientist who has been working on related issues for 30 years, I’ve never felt myself a member of any "movement," and I would surmise that few of my practicing colleagues do either. On Earth Day, we’re generally out doing something besides marching in parades and selling T-shirts. If the "movement" as it is were to die, those of us persevering in the netherworld of environmental protection and remediation would probably do just fine.

I agree with Carl Pope of the Sierra Club that "environmentalism is a broad, diverse and robust movement" (HCN, 2/21/05: Where were the environmentalists when Libby needed them most?). It is also largely an underground movement, which, if you think about it, both literally and figuratively, is where it should start. Working within the system — as I have for most of my life — is hardly selling out on my principles: I’ve always felt that if you’re on the outside of the door, you have to move a lot to make even the smallest of difference on the hinge side. I have always chosen the hinge, where a proper leverage on the inside makes the door swing wider.

Mike Harding, Flight of Discovery
San Diego, California

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