Thursday, June 26, 2008

Something fishy about new "conservation" group

That little kid in the Sixth Sense had knack for seeing “dead people.” I have a gift kinda like that, except totally different.

My gift is the ability to see through carefully named groups, usually with Palmetto Tree logos, that are totally the opposite of what they seem.

So when I first heard about “Citizens for Sound Conservation,” our state’s new “conservation” group, I was a little bit wary. Don’t we already have a few effective groups aimed at conserving our state’s natural splendor?

Like the Conservation Voters? The Coastal Conservation League? The Nature Conservancy of South Carolina? The SC Wildlife Federation?

There’s plenty of actual conservation groups out there, doing their part to protect our state’s natural resources for future generations. And I appreciate it, as I’m sure my little Petunia and Gervais Jr. will too.

So while I have an affinity for actual conservation organizations, something seems a little off about this group.

I checked the website, and the group was formed on Earth Day, by such notable South Carolina conservationists as … well, there was no one with any sort of conservation or environmental track record to speak of.

In fact, the organization has no board at all, so I guess the “citizens” portion of the name is purely speculative.

Still, the website had some great links to articles about the environment, such as “No reason we can’t get cheap oil – just drill!” and “Want to lower gas prices? Then drill,” and “Showing ‘intent’ to drill might just work wonders.

Then there’s “Global warming alarmists like high gas prices,” and “Conservation League should reveal whether it really wants a port.”

Most of the articles are pro-development, pro-new power plant, or pro-port expansion.

In fact, if there’s one thing that Citizens for Sound Conservation doesn't really advocate, it’s the preservation of South Carolina’s natural resources. It's almost as if the group was formed to oppose actual conservation groups.

But, of course, that's crazy talk.


Swamp Fox said...

The address in “Citizens for Sound Conservation” in Charleston is 1643 Savannah Hwy (, which is the same address as a Realtor in Charleston, Janie H. Brown (

That's not a surprise. Real estate developers are the most vocal opponents of sound growth policies in Greenville too. They yell loudly about the free market and personal property rights, but then they have no problem offloading the cost of roads, schools and other infrastructure, not to mention intangibles like congestion, on the public.

tammy said...

The site also lists a Columbia office:
Columbia Office
1340 Bull Street
Columbia, SC� 29201
Phone:� 803-799-9695
Fax: 803-771-8738

which is the SC Manufacturers Association.

Whose membership includes:

Yes. I'm sure they are REALLY looking to promote sound growth policies in SC.

Anonymous said...

And the S.C. Manufacturer's Office may or may not share a building with Bob McAlister -- the PR guy behind just about everything wrong in South Carolina.

Good job on this one. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

The organization is registered as a non-profit on the SC Secretary of State's website. The registered agent is Lewis F. Gossett, president of the SC Manufacturers Alliance. He also registered the Citizens for Sound Conservation Issue Awareness Committee two months later.

Anonymous said...

Denver Merrill is the spokesman for the new group. I'm sure the fact that he was the spokesman for SCRG is just a coincidence, too.

gervais said...

Good info Swamp, Tammy, and various anonymous persons. I might have to follow up on this one.

tammy said...

thanks for inspiring us to stand up for SC! :) t

Silence Dogood said...

Gervais, good work as usual. I think I would liken this to reverse for of the attack that I always dubbed the "negative endorser," that is the more old school tactic whereby you get a raving lunatic/name a more outcast group of society as being "for" the opposition ("Baby seal clubbers for McCain!). I have to appreciate the cunningness of this new version of the tactic though -

"STOP WEARING LEATHER IT HURTS SOME ANIMALS!" See fine print: Why not try baby seal skin instead?

You have to give them credit for the underhandedness.

Wondering said...

I keep waiting for your post about how wrong you were about the Tom Davis -- Catherine Ceips primary. Did I miss it somehow?

gervais said...


Anonymous said...

Denver Merrill is the spokesman for the new group. I'm sure the fact that he was the spokesman for SCRG is just a coincidence, too.

Well Mr. Merrill must just be a paid mouthpiece then. This "Conservation" group sent out mailers in the Lowcountry opposing candidates supported by the SCRG.
Merrill was nice enough on the phone but when pressed with informed questions of why and how he didn't have answers and seemed quite confused.