Letter From The Editor
Over the past 25 years, the scientists and lawyers with the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN) have worked to bring about policies that would give communities and future generations a shot at a healthy and just future. We kept running into structural roadblocks. Why would environmental agencies ignore the science and further corporate interests rather than protect public health? We were stymied by the massive intransigence to adopt basic public health precepts like prevention and precaution. What we kept seeing were these systemic roadblocks to public health were actually designed into the system by corporate interests. Those corporations were following the playbook of Lewis Powell in his now infamous memo asserting the supremacy of the free market. That playbook mapped the way for corporations to hold government agencies captive through things like regulatory capture, deregulation and ever shrinking budgets.
As a response to these systemic roadblocks, SEHN partnering with True North Research, created a project called the Bold ReThink to address those fatal flaws. We were acutely aware that our children’s future was being eroded by the failure to act on the key crises of our day—climate change, the loss of biodiversity, racism, the rise of corporate power and the undermining of democracy. We recognize the systemic connections between many of those crises and are mobilizing to disrupt the forces that are at the root of those problems. But we are also seeking to be a wellspring of political imagination for the public good. Where can we intervene in the system to bring a moral clarity and advance policies that give future generations the world they deserve? What new institutions can we create? How do we rejigger the relationship between the economy and government? Joe Guth’s analysis is a place to start.
SEHN Executive Director