The spokespeople against Measure C, which protects the watershed from deforestation, have unloaded a barrage of claims that bad things will happen if we do not cut down the oak woodlands.

It will be the end of the wine industry if we don’t deforest, and it will be bad for farmers if we protect their main source of water. There will be more traffic if we protect oak trees. The claims plastered all over are each and collectively ridiculous, and most voters with a functioning brain can see through this flak.

The other campaign that the anti-conservation forces are waging is taken right out of the playbook of the tobacco industry. When it became apparent that smoking caused cancer and other health problems, the tobacco industry stepped up advertising, and even had doctors endorse smoking in commercials. When the science became incontrovertible, they simply said that the science is not in, and we need more study. They denied the clear science and demanded more science.

This is the method that spokespeople against the watershed are using. First, they claim to want to protect the watershed. Then they deny that there is any science, when it has been piling up for decades. They claim that we should not do anything so radical as slowly stop chopping down watershed forests because harms (see above) will be done. Instead, they say, we should all study together until we have enough science that they are satisfied.

While they are delaying, they keep chopping down the forests. The logic and strategy is the same as the tobacco corporations used. The delay while they deforest is also clear; Stu Smith proposed that we have a Watershed Task Force to collaboratively study the situation. We checked that box almost two decades ago, with Mr. Smith being a leading obstructionist to taking action on that effort. Maybe he can just read the summary of the science from that effort to find the science he says is missing.

The anti-conservation, anti-environment, anti-science strategy of the anti-Measure C group is clear, unless you’ve been smoking something.

Randall Dunn


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