David Brower’s Letter

by Dave Brower


Chuck McGrady has asked me to repudiate your “Whither the Sierra Club?” article, but, with no knowledge of your sources, I have no basis for correcting any of its data. I think the objecting members of the Board can repudiate these on their own, if they wish. Chuck has also drafted a letter that I will soon sign that calls for renewed civility within the Club. I stand by this call for disagreement without disrespect and would hope to see this idea spread beyond the Club as well. You will not however, soon find me challenging the right of members of the press to express their opinions, simply because they are inflammatory and controversial. I will confirm that you quoted me accurately and I only regret that your kindness fell heavily on me and not at all on some others. You know that I did not ask for your article or contribute to it, though I too have been unsettled by some recent (and some not-so-recent) developments in the Sierra Club. I guess that I am able to forgive more easily than some, including my wife Anne, who has yet to forgive the Gang of ’69 who fired me as Executive Director.

While I am not comfortable with many of your allegations against past, present, and future members of the Board, we all know (or should) that such politicking and backstabbing is not without precedent on the Board of Directors, especially in recent years. In last year’s officer elections, I thought I would win, but lost by 2 votes. I learned from a member of the Board that in that vote, Carl Pope lobbied against me, saying that my election would make him nervous. It shouldn’t have, as I said, I am able to forgive when given the opportunity.

You correctly pointed out that this year’s election brought me more support only in theory. Now, because of an article I did not write, Laura said I should withdraw my candidacy entirely. Even this is a step up from Phil Berry who never wanted me to run in the first place. I have come to expect this from Phil, who has spent the last 30 years ridiculing most of the things I wanted to do, most recently on sparing the National Forests. As usual, his wife is with him on this and when Michele was President, she and Carl Pope juggled the ballot statement for endorsing the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act so that supporters of it had to vote No to endorse. The measure narrowly lost in the member voting. The following year, unfettered by such hooliganism, the measure to call for an end commercial logging on public lands passed two to one. But Phil also ridiculed my being nominated (3 times) for the Nobel Peace Prize, and then I got the Blue Planet Prize (from Japan; $400K), so I won’t fuss too much more.

Which brings us to the state of my presidential campaign today. Chuck says he “has” 9 or 10 votes, which doesn’t leave many for me. I’m not greedy, all I ask is for as many as it takes (8) to give the Sierra Club one last shot before I close the book on my 65 years of service. Whatever the election results, the Club is in dramatic need of a spiritual and structural overhaul that allows our Board to be leaders in helping direct the substance, not merely the procedures of the Sierra Club. I have seen enough of the Club fiddling while the Earth burns to last several lifetimes. Several hundred lifetimes before my own, the prophet Isaiah made a statement that the country’s largest environmental group would do well to address:

“Thou hast multiplied the nation, but not increased the joy.” We have indeed multiplied the membership and the budget, but where is the vision, the passion, the joy? Let’s quit our bitching and get on to creating some joy on the planet.

October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?
Ben Debney
Guns, Trump and Mental Illness
Pepe Escobar
The NATO-Russia Face Off in Syria
Yoav Litvin
Israeli Occupation for Dummies
Lawrence Davidson
Deep Poverty in America: the On-Going Tradition of Not Caring
Thomas Knapp
War Party’s New Line: Vladimir Putin is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Brandon Jordan
Sowing the Seeds of War in Uruguay
Binoy Kampmark
Imperilled by Unfree Trade: the TPP on Environment and Labor
John McMurtry
The Canadian Elections: Cover-Up and Steal (Again)
Anthony Papa
Coming Home: an Open Letter to 6,000 Soon-to-be-Released Drug War Prisoners From an Ex-Con
Ramzy Baroud
Listen to Syrians: The Media Jackals and the People’s Narrative
Norman Pollack
Heart of Darkness: A Two-Way Street
Gilbert Mercier
Will Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite Militias Defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq?
John Stanton
Vietnam 2.0 and California Dreamin’ in Ukraine
William John Cox
The Pornography of Hatred
October 07, 2015
Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Witness to a Troubled Saint-Making: Junipero Serra and the Theology of Failure
Luciana Bohne
The Double-Speak of American Civilian Humanitarianism
Joyce Nelson
TPP: Big Pharma’s Big Deal
Jonathan Cook
Israel Lights the Touchpaper at Al-Aqsa Again
Joseph Natoli
The Wreckage in Sight We Fail To See
Piero Gleijeses
Cuba’s Jorge Risquet: the Brother I Never Had
Andrew Stewart
Do #BlackLivesMatter to Dunkin’ Donuts?
Rajesh Makwana
#GlobalGoals? The Truth About Poverty and How to Address It
Joan Berezin
Elections 2016: A New Opening or Business as Usual?
Dave Randle
The Man Who Sold Motown to the World
Adam Bartley
“Shameless”: Hillary Clinton, Human Rights and China
Binoy Kampmark
The Killings in Oregon: Business as Usual
Harvey Wasserman
Why Bernie and Hillary Must Address America’s Dying Nuke Reactors
Tom H. Hastings
Unarmed Cops and a Can-do Culture of Nonviolence
October 06, 2015
Vijay Prashad
Afghanistan, the Terrible War: Money for Nothing
Mike Whitney
How Putin will Win in Syria
Paul Street
Yes, There is an Imperialist Ruling Class
Paul Craig Roberts
American Vice
Kathy Kelly
Bombing Hospitals: 22 People Killed by US Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
Ron Jacobs
Patti Smith and the Beauty of Memory
David Macaray
Coal Executive Finally Brought Up on Criminal Charges
Norman Pollack
Cold War Rhetoric: The Kept Intelligentsia
Cecil Brown
The Firing This Time: School Shootings and James Baldwin’s Final Message
Roger Annis
The Canadian Election and the Global Climate Crisis
W. T. Whitney
Why is the US Government Persecuting IFCO/Pastors for Peace Humanitarian Organization?
Jesse Jackson
Alabama’s New Jim Crow Far From Subtle
Joe Ramsey
After Umpqua: Does America Have a Gun Problem….or a Dying Capitalist Empire Problem?
Murray Dobbin
Rise Up, Precariat! Cheap Labour is Over
October 05, 2015
Michael Hudson
Parasites in the Body Economic: the Disasters of Neoliberalism
Patrick Cockburn
Why We Should Welcome Russia’s Entry Into Syrian War