A Response to Kirsten Burris in the TC

Kirsten Burris recently wrote a letter to the Times Call that took issue with another article that highlighted East Boulder County United’s protesting of the wrong house recently.

I would like to make a few points of my own about her response:

1 – “We will get into the detail of the article but would like to initially extend our thanks to its author for finally noticing things have become dangerous enough with the county’s intention to build an oil field” – No, actually. Nothing new was noticed. The piece was written because you guys had a childish temper tantrum, and you did it at the wrong house. The story is that you care more about looking dramatic than actually making a point. Classic use of condescension in your thank you.

2 – “The piece, which is a clear attempt to weaken the credibility of community members” – Again, no. It was an attempt to show how ridiculous East Boulder County United was in its protest strategy. And it was a successful attempt. Community members in general, who didn’t partake in this stunt, lost zero credibility.

3 – “The term “anti-fracking activists,” for example, is borrowed from the oil and gas industry’s public relations efforts.” – While OG may use it, they don’t own it nor did they create it. I use it all the time and have no association with OG. It is a true description of who you are, so you might as well own up to it.

4 – “It is designed to characterize the teachers, nurses, engineers, small business owners, and students as unrealistic radical activist” – Again, no it isn’t. It accurately describes those of you who pull stunts like this, regardless of what your daytime occupations might be (which are not at all being questioned nor belittled). Another classic redirect.

5 – “Fryar is either unaware or doesn’t care to remember that Jones is the same politician that stated, “We have said all along that drilling is part of the solution.” – My guess is that for this article, that information is irrelevant. There are a hundred other things that weren’t mentioned either, because this article focused on the sloppy, emotional tactics of EBCU.

6 – “Two people from the Boulder County Protectors met with the tenant. She’s new to the area, had no idea her landlord was a County Commissioner nor that Boulder County was in the process of being turned into an oil field. Fryar didn’t know this because he never took the time to speak with the tenant.” – Why am I skeptical that this conversation went exactly like the author describes? I’m sure those two members told the real story without the hyperbole and scare tactics that this group has a history of using. And again, why should Fryar speak to the tenant? The story is that you protested at the wrong house.

7 – “and the “threatening messages” were the same concerned words that community members have voiced since we began our unsuccessful moral appeal to the commissioners.” – Anyone really believe this little spin? Your group has a history, and it has not always been peaceful.

8 – “we met an entire neighborhood of people cheering for those standing up to the fossil fuel industry and learned that the key to generating concern from Fryar and the national press that picked up the story relates to marching on the rental properties of relevant politicians.” – You really think there is concern there? Again, the story was about your group protesting at the WRONG rental property of relevant politicians. And what does that say about your cause if you can’t generate concern based on actual “facts” and have to rely on an incredibly ignorant mistake by your leader? And believe me, the points you make are not cold, hard facts as you would like us to think.

9 – “Fires, explosions, fatalities” – One could almost hear the disgusting cheering from EBCU when the house in Firestone exploded, because now you could exploit that tragedy to make it seem like a regular occurrence to get support for your cause. Name one industry that has not had one fire, explosion or fatality in the course of its business? Let’s end flying, driving, even water purification if the consequences of an isolated incident are to shut the whole industry down.T

he sad thing is that these activist groups are right that this process should be nowhere near neighborhoods, and our dependence on fossil fuels absolutely ought to be reduced. The way they present their message, however, makes them look like entitled crybabies who will hold their breath and stomp their feet (at the wrong house) until they get their way. The ideal solution is somewhere between what OG is doing and what you want, so please quit your all or nothing emotional attempts at forcing everyone to agree with you or be protested.