President Nixon has signed an executive order establishing the Environmental Quality Council. The President is chairman, and the Vice-President and six Cabinet members comprise the rest of the council. With Dr. Lee A. Du Bridge, the President's science adviser, serving as executive secretary, the council is to attack the threats to "the availability of good air and good water, of open spaces and even quiet neighborhoods."
We applaud the President's interest, but we have reservations about his approach, as we did about Mr. Johnson's "National Beauty" program, which we felt was superficial (SI, Dec. 11, 1967). The problems facing the council are complicated, and it simply does not have the ecological expertise to deal with them in depth. Further, some government agencies are in the vanguard of despoliation and it seems unlikely that the problems they have created will come in for full and frank criticism, much less correction.
We think an environmental council should be composed principally of scientists who have shown concern for man and his environment, men like Rene Dubos of Rockefeller University, Lionel A. Walford of the Fish and Wildlife Service and Paul Sears of Yale. Such a council should have the means and the freedom to conduct complete inquiries, and the right (even the duty) to make its findings and recommendations public. Once the council had spoken, it would be up to the President, his Administration and Congress to take action.
LADY WITH THE YIPS
Ben Hogan and Sam Snead may be interested to learn that you can get the yips in other sporting endeavors as readily as you can when putting (currently, Snead makes his short putts with a weird croquet-type swing, and Hogan doesn't make his at all, most of the time). At any rate, Mrs. Nancy Vonderheide Kleinman (SI, June 25, 1962 et seq.), twice winner of the women's World Target Archery championship, has been smitten with the Snead-Hogan syndrome while trying to put arrows on target. You would think that such uncertainty on the part of an archer might worry a spectator more than a contestant (a stray arrow tends to hurt more than a stray golf ball), but Mrs. Kleinman wasn't that bad. She just wasn't winning. "I built up this afraid-you're-going-to-miss attitude," she explains. "I had the freezing problem so bad I couldn't let go of an arrow [and doesn't that sound like Hogan over a five-foot putt?]. It was completely psychological."
Most archers and golfers who have the yips either give up or, like Hogan and Snead, hang on and doggedly keep trying. But Mrs. Kleinman did something entirely different. She switched over and began shooting arrows left-handed. And her bold experiment seems to be paying off. She recently won a major tournament in Brown County, Ind. and appears to be as good as she used to be right-handed. She is aiming now at her old world championship, which will be held in August in Ohio. If she wins, you might hear that Ben and Sam are out shopping for left-handed putters.
GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
Adult nonsense continues to dominate children's games (SCORECARD, May 26). In Glen Ellyn, Ill. a dispute between two boys' football leagues (for kids from 9 to 14) came to a head when an official of one group allegedly punched the president of the second group in the mouth. What was the squabble about? Recruiting, for God's sake.
For a couple of years now representatives of the two leagues have been competing for players to the extent of visiting boys at their homes to argue the advantage of one league over the other and even, in the case of a particularly glittering prospect (say, a bruising 12-year-old running back), promising a football jacket if the boy signed with the right group.