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Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
North County Times
November 2, 1998


We have it great here in San Diego County, truly one of the finest places to live in the world. We enjoy a quality of life that most would envy, why then are we so intent on messing it up in the name of a misguided sense of prosperity? Tomorrow a very important election will take place. This election will be a referendum on how much is enough.

I realize that people have a great deal involved with the issues before us. Some I agree with, others I don't. What bothers me is the imbalance of the whole process. Now I'm not talking about the Browns and the Greens, what I'm talking about is man against nature. All of us, against all of it. Kind of like the story of David and Goliath, only this time David is the bad guy, and instead of one stone he throws thousands...daily.

Many folks believe that money makes the world go round, which is only true if we accept it as such. Once upon a time Americans had a reverence for land. There was a pride associated with stewardship, that did not involve selling out to the highest bidder. There was an understanding that put well-being before profits. Where is the America of my grandparents?

Growth has become a self-perpetuating ideology that is far from sustainable. It requires more where there is none, while creating an ever increasing burden on future generations. We can not go on at our current pace and still expect even a fraction of our current good fortune twenty years from now.

Case in point: The Rural Heritage and Watershed Initiative. I get the whole economics conversation. I too would be bummed if one of my investments didn't pay off. Just look at the global stock market. I also understand that some people believe that the government is trying to take their land. The question is, are they small farmers or land speculators? What I don't get is why people feel that ownership of a piece of the planet is anything other then a convenient form of tyranny.

Proponents of the development ideology have no place for anything other than their individual interests. When Mountain Lions look at your dog, kill them. Gnatcatchers nesting where you want to build tract homes, grade and fill first, ask questions later. For anyone to think that the issues before us are about anything other than the pursuit of the almighty dollar they are wrong. There is no profit in biodiversity so the concrete jihad rumbles on.

Manchester wants to build a wall of towers in Oceanside. I think this is a clear example of what I identify as Baywatch mentality, bigger is better regardless of the vacuum at the center. Does Oceanside need this project? Absolutely not. The people of Oceanside need more than just another pretty bauble tossed in their direction. What they need is what all of us need, an alternative to the collective suicide we are inflicting upon ourselves.

Tomorrow we have a chance to say no to big box development and yes to open space. We have a chance to say no to the politics of consumption and yes to visionaries such as Barbara Boxer, Jerry Harmon, and Dennis Holz. But most importantly we have a chance to be heard. It is time we stopped living in the past and look to the future. Please vote.

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