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Dear environmentalists: reel in your outrage

Feb 1, 2018 4:00 AM

Letter writers Lindi Doud ("Tsk, tsk, New Times," Jan. 25) and Odile Ayral ("The hypocrisy of night access to open space," Jan. 25), who want people to stop picking up seashells and stop climbing mountains at night, respectively, seem like nice progressive people with great concern for the environment. This is admirable.

Two words: Please stop.

These kinds of assaults on normal human behavior are exactly what makes people despise environmentalists. Irritated voters then turn to Republicans in a misguided quest for "freedom" (which is real, genuine freedom, if you're a billionaire or a multinational corporation. Not so much if you're a woman, brown, gay, poor, middle class, Muslim, or a marijuana patient).

Don't like the environmental impact of picking up seashells? OK: How would you like an oil platform the size of an aircraft carrier parked a few hundred yards off Morro Bay? People startling wildlife on the mountain? How about a 1,500 unit condo development there instead?

These are the things that happen when Republicans get power. And Republicans get power when people perceive that the nanny state is out of hand.

Accomplishing difficult-but-good things, like banning plastic bags, requires spending political capital. We don't get political capital by chastising people for picking up cherished keepsakes of a lovely day at the beach.

Sean Shealy

San Luis Obispo