In a recent column, Ed Beem’s dismay at the full-page ad – signed by many once-prominent “environmentalists” – supporting CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola & Hydro Quebec’s drive to shove New England Clean Energy Connect down the throats of Maine people, is an indicator that he remains an idealist.

Many Forecaster readers are too young to recall the decades-long Maine Spruce Budworm Program that became the largest/longest aerial insecticide spray program in the world, financed largely with taxpayers’ money on behalf of the large corporations that then owned much of Maine’s land and Legislature. Many of the ad’s signers played leading roles in advancing that unscientific and ill-considered boondoggle in the face of opposition by those living in Northern Maine. Others were leaders of environmental organizations that largely sat that struggle out, declining a controversy, presumably to avoid appearing too radical and/or offending donors.

It took direct citizen engagement and public education, inspired by naturalist and writer Mitch Lansky and manifested through the grassroots organizing of Protect our Environment from Sprayed Toxins (P.E.S.T.), to finally end that ill-considered and environmentally imprudent program.

Bo Yerxa