Professionals have allowed themselves to be "captured by the corporation," Ralph Nader said Saturday at the close of a two-day Cambridge conference on the "end of the earth."
They have abdicated their responsibility to protest corporate pollution practices and by doing so, "they demean themselves as human beings as well as professional beings." Nader said.
Nader spoke on the role of the professional in fighting pollution at a dinner at the Hotel Continental. Five hundred people attended the dinner, which marked the conclusion of an environmental conference sponsored by the New England Chapter of the Sierra Club.
"We must equate pollution with our basic value system. It is the most widespread form of non-traumatic violence that exists today." Nader said.
In his speech, Nader also attacked the relevance of graduate school training. "Law Schools don't realize that the problems of pollution and environment relate directly to traditional courses in corporate law and torts," he said.
Nader emphasized the need for independent groups of professionals to serve the public interest. These groups would provide the expertise needed for meaningful change and would be supported by "whatever resources that can be built up... through government subsidy, foundations, and private donations."
Nader explained that this type of professional structure is necessary if the environmental movement is to sustain "an entrenched role of constant change rather than just an episodic reaction."