After another critical piece on the Growth Machine and the frozen politics of Florida, a reader who is a former environmental regulator wrote me, "How come you're so hard on these guys but so soft on the resource guys?" It is a good question and its underlying premise is true: there are plenty of examples where the mission of environmental regulators in government agencies is dissolved by the corrosive acid of careerism, incompetence, fearfulness, real political pressure and taking the easy way out.
But at the same time, there are also examples of outstanding scientists and regulators who fight, every working day, against the currents that pull agencies away from their missions. Would it be more helpful to them, if I spent more energy pushing back on their behalf than at the force behind the currents: dismal politics? There is zero coverage in the mainstream press of the push and pull within regulatory agencies, except when politics at the highest level clearly interfere with science. Maybe our readers will help me with this question.