AmericanFarm.com

UM website not appropriate forum (Editorial)

(Jan. 13, 2014) Dr. Bill Dennison admits to an admiration of Dr. Seuss.
He has turned to the fictional character for a blistering attack on the poultry industry.
Dr. Dennison is a professor of marine science and vice president for science applications at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
His expertise, his web site reports, is in “coastal ecosystem ecology, the ecophysiology of marine science, and bioindicators in nearshore environments assessing ecoystem health.”
He has written, and posted on the web, a blog which he has entitled “How Big Chicken Stole Chesapeake Bay ” penned in the fashion of the Dr. Seuss stories.
“I have always loved the Christmas classic, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ by Dr. Seuss,” he wrote as an introduction
“I consider the best part of the story to be when the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes, representing his redemption.
“I look forward to when the poultry industry on the Delmarva Peninsula can continue to prosper while retaining the ecological integrity of Chesapeake Bay, in short, having its heart grow three sizes.”
Dennison’s tale begins this way:
“Every Who over in Delmarva loved Chesapeake a lot. But Big Chicken who lived in the middle of Delmarva, did not.The Big Chicken hated Chesapeake! The whole Chesapeake Bay!”
The Big Chicken then begins to steal the Bay’s bounty — the grasses, the fish, the clams, the oysters, and carry them away on a skipjack.
He expects the Whos who occupy the Bay watershed to lament the loss but is surprised when in the distance he hears sounds that are “merry, very.”
“The agreement came,” Dennison writes. “Somehow or other it came just the same.”
The reference, obviously, is to the pending implementation of the controversial Phosphorous Management Tool into Maryland’s nutrient management regulations.
Dr. Dennison, of course, is entitled to his opinion and to share his multi-flawed but clever commentary.
We just take issue with it being posted on a University of Maryland website.
The site is listed to the IANI, also known as the Integration and Application Network of the University of Maryland College of Environmental Science.
We are reminded of the Hudson case, in which students at the University of Maryland School of Law participated, free of charge, in the civil suit prosecution of a Maryland farm family for alleged clean water violations.
The suit was later tossed out of court.
The “agreement” which the Who hail, causes Big Chicken’s heart to grow three times its size, and he gives back everything he took from the Bay.
In real life, however, the pending PMT regulations, when and if fully implemented, could have a devastating impact on Eastern Shore agriculture (and “Big Chicken?”) and, thus, on the economy of the entire state of Maryland.
The liberal frame of mind which invades our campuses and which is certainly evident in Dr. Dennison’s parody, allows the professor, no doubt a highly trained specialist in marine ecology, to ignore the other side of the debate and paint the poultry industry and Big Chicken, as evil.
Dr. Dennison may well believe that to be true but should not be permitted to advance that view on a website sanctioned by the public university for which he is employed.