Stephen Mulkey’s recent column, “It’s time to stop compromising on environment sustainability,” (Nov. 10) was alarming — not the goal, which is laudable, but the proposed methodology.

In Mulkey’s zeal to achieve environmental action by any means necessary, he would unapologetically attack many of our very basic freedoms.

His entire essay argues that the insufficiently pious on environmental change must be brought to heel, through extreme measures if necessary. “Apostasy” is the Great Sin, and correctives that trample basic liberties evidently are but a small price to pay.

Look at but one example of his chosen language: “the tyranny of democracy.” Only an Orwellian mindset would use this phraseology.

For most of our nation’s history, concepts such as freedom, self-determination and democracy were seen as fundamental tenets underpinning our government and society. Not to Mulkey. Not when people can make decisions he disagrees with. Not when possible outcomes conflict with his agenda. Any obstacles must be swept away for the “greater good.”

Mulkey’s later disparagement of capitalism comes with no small measure of irony.

Economic systems beginning with the letters “s” or “c” remain unmentioned, but the unstated is all too evident. This column appeared the same day the world was celebrating the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Recall that the wall was built not to keep people out from enjoying the anti-capitalist paradise, but to keep those in who might be inclined to give “the tyranny of democracy” a try.

Mulkey probably would recoil at the notion that his prescriptions have much in common with all repressive, totalitarian regimes throughout the ages; however, the evidence of history is incontrovertible. If you want to save the world, I will support you. If it means resorting to extreme authoritarianism advocated by Mulkey, count me out.

Scott Jones, of Waterville, is the assistant vice president for finance at Colby College.


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