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World Watch, Kicking Dirt on Three Big Greenies

By Peter Carlson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 23, 2004; Page C03

Environmentalists around the world are buzzing over a controversial article printed in the November-December issue of World Watch, the magazine published by the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington-based enviro group.

The article, "A Challenge to Conservationists," is a scathing attack on the rich and powerful "Big Three" environmental groups -- World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy. Author Mac Chapin, an anthropologist who has worked with indigenous people for 35 years, accuses the three groups of cozying up to their corporate donors and governmental partners while ignoring the native peoples whose cause they once championed.

Former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams's life in a hippie campground in Australia is detailed in the latest Esquire. (Richard Patterson -- AP)

"The large international [groups] are allying themselves with forces that are destroying the world's remaining ecosystems," Chapin writes, "while ignoring or even opposing those forces that are attempting to save them from destruction."

Chapin's long and carefully argued essay is so incendiary that World Watch felt obliged to publish an "Editor's Note" promising that the Big Three would get a chance to respond in the upcoming January-February issue.

Anyone who donates to these groups should probably read both issues before writing any more checks.

Ricky Williams's End Run

Last summer, Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams failed a drug test for the third time -- testing positive for marijuana -- and the National Football League announced that he'd be fined $750,000 and suspended for the first four games of the season. Williams announced that he'd rather smoke dope than play football and, at the tender age of 27, he retired and dropped out of sight.

But writer Chris Jones found Williams living in a tent at "the Arts Factory," a hippie campground in Australia. His report of the encounter, which appears in the December Esquire, makes for bizarre reading.

Jones shared a bong with Williams and his friend, "a mystic hermit named Steven, who lives in the swamps." Williams inhales deeply and frequently, but he says it wasn't the weed that persuaded him to quit football -- it was "The Americanization of Emily," a 1964 antiwar movie starring Julie Andrews, which taught him the wisdom of dropping out of the rat race.

This is bad news for football fans. The NFL can fight dope through drug testing. But no test has yet been devised that can tell if a player has fallen under the pernicious influence of a dangerous subversive like Julie Andrews.

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