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This Is What Elite Privilege And Hypocrisy Look Like

The Language of an Elite PhD and Professional Planner Is Instructive

Conservationist calls her colleagues “bought” and DEP program “propaganda”

On June 3, I got an unsolicited email from someone I didn’t know.

The email complimented me and asked a series of detailed good questions on my May 19 post about the NESE pipeline. The author wrote:

Your analysis of the big picture policy implications for New Jersey should induce panic in our environmental community.

I think your analysis also presents an organizing opportunity specific to bolstering state’s powers under the CWA. I’m not sure what this should look like, which is why I’m writing you. […]

With gratitude to you for your analysis, and for sticking your neck out.

Heather’s email stated she was a PhD, a professional planner, and head of the Lower Raritan Watershed Group. She was obviously familiar with my blog posts, if not all my work.

Without any background research on who Heather was, I substantively responded in good faith to her email – including at least 3 more of her replies that followed up with more questions – with detailed replies to what I thought were good and honest questions.

My replies were blunt, making it abundantly clear of my ideology and my loathing for NJ conservation groups and environmental leaders as either sold out corporate whores, incompetent, and worse.

This email dialogue included links to several of my prior posts, such that Heather – who approached me unsolicited – could clearly understand my “approach”, my past, and where I was coming from. In fact, I shared brutally honest personal assessments and very personal information with her.

So, to put it mildly, I was shocked to receive a response by Heather to my email complaining about the fact I learned that billionaire Peter Kellogg had more than doubled his financial support of NJ Audubon.

Heather’s reply to me provided detailed information and her personal assessments of Kellogg and DEP’s “conservation leadership program”.

Not surprisingly, after I’ve called out that corruption, Heather now wants her views and comments withdrawn. She does not want to be known as the source for my critical post.

Heather just emailed me to request that her words be deleted from my post:

While this is all true, I do sustain “hope” in the Chris Hedge’s sense of “holding out the possibility that we can touch and transform the souls of others.” (thanks for the suggestion that I track this down, btw).  I do maintain ties with these people and am in fact working to advance an urban habitat connectivity agenda with some of them, an agenda that is consistent with the LRWP’s commitment to Environmental Justice/Social Justice. I have hope that on an individual level some of them will eventually hold up a torch at the state level for what is right.

[…] As I was the most outspoken of the group on these things, the quote will no doubt be traced directly back to me if you could find your way to deleting my entire quotation I would appreciate that even more



Sorry Ms. Heather, it doesn’t work that way. As I replied:

My policy is to correct fact errors when I am made aware of them. Accordingly, I revised the attendees as you note below.

But sorry, if folks don’t ask – before providing it – that information is provided to me in confidence or off the record, then I don’t retract factually accurate materials that do not name individuals or represent ad hominem attacks.

Live and learn, I guess.

I also should have told her she obviously KNEW that I was including our emails in my posts, because I specifically included emails in the text of my June 3 post. After that June 3 post – which obviously revealed the I was including our email conversation in posts – Heather continued to send me emails – without any request for confidentiality or off the record status.

Not surprisingly, my reply really pissed Heather off!

It’s not surprising that Heather is embarrassed by her participation in this corruption. And for sharing her honest opinions with me. But that’s not my fault.

[update: I understand Heather’s plight – she called the DEP/Kellogg “leadership” program “propaganda” and said he colleagues were “bought”. Heather wrote (you can go back and read the complete text in my prior post):

Our cohort was wined and dined. And not just on propaganda. Kellog knows how to treat folks right. It’s delightful up there….Almost to a person the folks in my cohort are timid, and/or were already bought before participation in the program.

~~~ end update]

Ms. Heather, an elite PhD “conservationist” – trained by DEP in all forms of psychological manipulation and a licensed professional planner to boot – didn’t mince words in her reply to me.

Heather wrote:

Live and learn? More like hack journalism and basic asshole “principles” on your part.

At no point during our exchanges did you indicate that you might use my words in your material.

Basic personal and professional courtesy would include communicating, even as a tagline on your emails, that any communication w/ you is fair game for your material.

Some of us are trying to build a New Jersey environmental community on collaboration, mutual cooperation, transparency. You are a negative rebel. Screw you, Wolfe.

Did you get that? Heather touts her support of “transparency”. But at the same time she wants to keep the DEP program and her involvement in it secret. That’s classic hypocrisy.

“Asshole? “Screw you”? How nice. How professional.

And how can Heather seek “collaboration” and “mutual cooperation” with corrupt colleagues she called “bought”?

So much for what Heather seeks as “transparency”.

Thank you, lovely Ms. Heather! [BTW, I never said I was, nor do I pretend to be a “journalist”.]

I would never toast a real source (i.e. a government whistleblower) who actually took a career risk in providing information to me in confidence.

But a well fed “conservationist” who attends DEP billionaire funded soirees and calls her DEP program “propaganda” and her  colleagues “bought”?

No problem!


Take your hypocritical “collaboration, mutual cooperation, transparency” and shove it!.

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