Why? Because their local old boys thought it would make money, and they thought they were so smart they could hire people who could make it work. As the NYTimes wrote, they were wrong. But it’s in the nature of old boy networks to think they know better. Because if they have worked their way up to be part of the old boys, they must be smarter or more hardworking, right?
So am I counselling despair? Not at all. What I am saying is that anyone who thinks there’s ever going to be a clean end to the local biomass plant will be waiting a long time, because there will always be old boys who think it will work and don’t care about anything health-related beyond the permits.
So what am I counselling? Carrots. The very same people who are adamant about building the biomass plant have provided us with the carrots needed to make sure it’s never built. I will spell out what I mean by that in following posts.
So does this mean reinforcing the old boy network? No, it means expanding it to include more of the community. I will spell out what I mean by that, too. Stay tuned.
To reiterate. There probably never will be a clean end to the biomass plant. Those who oppose it: keep doing that! Vigilance! But that’s not all. Because if that is all, you are using their own framing, and reinforcing the biomass supporters in their own minds. I will spell out what I mean by that, too.
You have to provide something better. Something that will produce energy and jobs and be cleaner. Fortunately, we know what that is: solar for south Georgia!
Update 20 May 2011: added links to some of the things I promised to spell out.