Re: “Anti-methanol group shares vision,” (TNT viewpoint, 5/8).
Before we canonize the Red Line activists, let’s look at how they behaved. It isn’t necessary to be a supporter of the methanol proposal to disagree with their practices.
For starters let’s consider how we would like public processes to work. If respectful give-and-take has a place here, demonizing Gov. Jay Inslee and Mayor Marilyn Strickland for having supported this idea before more information was available defies everyday expectations of civility. It’s Trumpish. And while the activists are calling for a “robust public debate,” it would be difficult to describe what was happening at the Red Line rallies as anything approaching that.
The presence of more conspirators is suggested when the Red Line team asserts that environmental impact statements routinely fail to advise against industrial projects. But an EIS is intended to reveal facts, not choose outcomes. Faulting the process for this is an example of a willingness to undermine data-based analysis to win a point. This tactic is routinely criticized when it’s used by climate change deniers, but here it’s OK.
Building community means acting in the spirit of the society we wish to bring about. We need a lot more of that.