REVIEW: As sustainable luck would have it |

REVIEW: As sustainable luck would have it

Chuck Jaffee
Special to Prospector

Editor's Note: The Bear River Land Trust is presenting "Rebels with a Cause" at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Nevada Theatre as a fundraiser.

Following the 72-minute film, BYLT's Executive Director Marty Coleman-Hunt, John Muir actor Reverend Don Baldwin and Greg Archbald, co-founder of The Trust for Public Land, will lead a 30-minute discussion of the current state of the environmental movement.

"They're unpaid and they're crazy and they will go the distance." This referred to people like two 80-year-old ladies who collected enough signatures for an initiative to get voted on.

It referred to a guy who spent a thousand hours across five years scrutinizing litigation-worthy details that big developers weren't following.

It involved regular citizens enlivened "to get the people interested and protective."

You can't just be crazy. You have to be crazy like a fox, like enlisting the help of local, state, and national politicians looking for favorable visibility and reelection. You have to travel many win-win paths, like showing ranchers and dairy farmers how they can keep their land for their families as well as for multitudes and generations of Americans.

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The documentary "Rebels with a Cause" unfolds a marvelous activist, environmentalist success story. It's more than a story.

It's history. It reaches back before the 1960s when environmentalists were referred to as conservationists – and were also referred to as one rung below communists (difficult to pinpoint what rungs they ring now).

It encompasses the first Earth Day in 1972 and the extension of a golden stretch of time in America that transcended an entrenched government attitude decrying "not a cent for scenery."

"Rebels with a Cause" concentrates on the hard-wrung establishment of the Point Reyes National Seashore and the incomparable stretch of saved land that became the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

It is far from trivial that so much entrusted land sits so close to the major urban area of San Francisco.

Big developers know that big money fuels the consumptive notion that growth is inevitable and growth is good. Big developers know that paving the way for one massive project churns the concrete for the next one.

"Rebels with a Cause" recognizes not only decades of perseverance, but also a substantive amount of luck in the timing and tenor of riding a wave of sense behind the scenery.

Do you want to better appreciate how citizens can shape the luck around an issue?

See "Rebels with a Cause." It's an engaging, well-constructed example.

Chuck Jaffee of Nevada City likes to plug people into the spirit of independent filmmakers. Find his other articles for The Union at


What: “Rebels with a Cause” – A benefit for Bear Yuba Land Trust

Where: Nevada Theatre, Nevada City

When: 7 to 9 p.m. April 13

Admission: $30, includes cocktail

Tickets: BYLT office, BriarPatch Co-op and The Bookseller

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