Questions about presentation

To the editor:

On July 10, I attended a program by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy hoping to learn to place conservation easements on farm land.

I was disappointed instead to hear a simplistic and condescending defense of the oil and natural gas industry. WRLC’s PowerPoint presentation essentially argued that we must learn to collaborate with the oil and natural gas industry because every social conflict is equivalent to a “fight” which produces a fight or flight reaction and causes the human mind to shut down. Of course this is absurd – the abolitionist, labor, civil rights and environmental movements were often slow, thoughtful and creative in their tactics.

I was even more disappointed when I found that David Cooperrider, referenced in the presentation as an expert on human behavior, is the Fairmount Minerals chair of organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve University. Fairmount Minerals makes specialty sand products for the oil and natural gas industry through its Santrol division. Instead of a useful presentation, I was being scolded for disagreeing by an industry spokesperson. Sadly, its becoming harder to trust nonprofit organizations, and I hope the media will cover the gas drilling issue more critically in the future.

Jonathan Smuck