- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"I know the value of the image of a prophet or saint leading the legions of the righteous. There is no question that Brower personifies the burgeoning power of the conservation movement to the public.
"This is to some extent as much a religious organization as an ordinary club. I think there is some possibility of gaining a million members by 1975. When a species becomes dominant, it can grow at a very rapid rate.
"Brower has both the virtues and the vices of a man with a belief in his own destiny. David is a great man but he does have a profound disregard for administrative details. I reject as a red herring the charge that he is riding us into bankruptcy but I do object to his end runs around the board.
"For instance, I support Brower's international program except for his timing. With our present cash-flow deficit, we couldn't do it now if we had five Dave Browers, five representative prophets. We're not doing what we should here in the United States because we have limited resources."
Maynard Munger Jr., candidate for the board of directors and, ironically, the son of a state highway commissioner, states the case against Brower's priorities and policies as articulately as any of the critics.
"There are two kinds of conservationists. The first is the ironfisted type: 'By God, there isn't going to be one inch more development.' The second is my kind. I believe we can accomplish as much by friendly persuasion. I don't believe in total capitulation of the enemy or pounding your shoe on the table. I don't believe we should be negative. I'm a realtor and I've never sold a house yet by being negative.
"This is how gentle persuasion works: you don't take on a public utility in public; you take them out to lunch in private. I believe in setting up a 'bad guy' so the good guy can come in and get what he wants. You send out a noisy rabble-rouser to stir up publicity. Then you say to your friend in government, 'Look, John, we'll make a deal. We'll get the shoe-banger out of your hair, and you get this program through the legislature.' "
Munger scores Brower's publishing program. "The Galapagos set costs $55," he points out. "That's the average income of the average African. Those books are beautiful, but no one can afford them. And should we become the Book of the Month Club anyway? I don't want the Sierra Club to be a sedentary National Geographic Society whose members just sit back and look at pretty pictures. Books are fine, but where's our book on Mineral King, on Lake Tahoe, on San Francisco Bay? Our publishing should be in concert with our conservation effort. I'd rather see us give the plates and everything, lock, stock and barrel, to some major publisher and underwrite his book to the extent of $50,000. We'd say, 'With just one condition. We want this book sent to every library, every legislator, and to every member of every county commission in the country. We want you to give Governor Reagan 30 free copies to autograph and send out to his friends.' "
His points made, Munger relents. "There's an awful lot of good in Dave," he admits. "He's a hell of a salesman. I've met only three genius salesmen in my lifetime, and he is one of them."
Paul Ehrlich is a humble, titleless Sierra Club member. He isn't a candidate for anything. But, as a specialist in human population at Stanford, he is one of the most respected young biologists in the nation. He is also author of The Population Bomb, published by Ballantine, a book unusually candid about the consequences of present population policies.