Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting the Word Out

I read something online the other day “courtesy” of the one special interest group. It had to do with conflict management.
On the website they talk about special interest groups whose objective is to increase OUTRAGE among other members of the community, encouraging them to take up causes against what they (the special interest group) perceives as dangerous. They champion their causes by spreading fear and misinformation and driving the point “Not In My Backyard.”   
The biggest complaint about this type of solution is that it is an end to all means. It makes the assumption that the community cannot think for itself (if presented with both sides of the information required) and forces people to align with these group or else! Usually the or else is something that is akin to a doomsday scenario. Who wouldn’t be AFRAID and ANGRY if you were told that industry was going to end in the destruction of everything that you know.
Most people are reasonable and are willing to listen to both sides of an argument and form their own opinion. Most of the chatter on the internet unfortunately is not a good source of unbiased information. It is best to visit some of the EPA websites and learn more about what research is being done to protect communities from the perceived dangers. However or unfortunately, when the government and other entities who are interested in finding out what is really happening are brandished as greedy/big business/un-understanding/in the pocket of; then the situation quickly dissolves into us versus them/those people. History shows that conflicts cannot be resolved this way.  It is time for meaningful dialogue.

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