What leads some people to take irresponsible risks for unsustainable rewards?

Starting in the 1980s, researcher Bob Goldman surveyed elite athletes and found that 50% of them asserted that they would take a drug that would kill them within five years if it got them an Olympic gold medal. Goldman conducted the survey biannually for the next decade – and the results were consistent.

Interestingly, a newer survey (February 2009 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine) reports that less than 1% of the population at large would make that self-destructive deal.

How does that have anything to do with the environment?
Let me explain.

Our economy and environment has been victimized by an aggressive group of financial athletes (and their enablers) who energetically go for the gold, ignoring the all-too-likely consequences of their irresponsible risk taking. Here in East Hampton, people who have learned from these traumatic events (financial meltdown, Fukushima, BP oil disaster) and question the prudence of trading public wellbeing for private wealth are told to just “suck it up.”

If you own property on the ocean, bay, Fort Pond or Lake Montauk, you know what you are facing. As others play fast and loose in their quest for quick gold, your family’s property and health are being put at risk from more erosion, more water degradation, overwhelmed septic infrastructure, overwhelmed traffic infrastructure, and more environmental deterioration.

Many in East Hampton feel powerless to oppose this well financed, irresponsible risk taking. Nothing could be further from the truth. For more than 40 years, CCOM has been – and will continue to be – your boots on the ground, coupling volunteer action with professional science, law and due diligence to keep Montauk progressing into a healthy, sustainable, safe future.

You have the power to take a stand for prudent, conservative environmental stewardship. We will help you. Support CCOM with your membership, work and donations.

Bob Stern
President, CCOM