I may not know much, but I do know this; the more "acedemics" there are to say something is safe, the more big companies there are to fund research, and the more people there are that believe words on a piece of paper means more job security for me.
Tree hugger I am not, but I've seen first hand what happens when something the brains said was safe, and the reg agencies approved FAILS. A BIG MESS, doesn't even come close.
I know lots of people who've "spent time" in the field, so know what it's like. I haven't found one that even REALLY understands what it's like. I've also met people, VERY SMART people, who understand the "brains" & "the suits" have no clue.
If you want to find a way to reclaim land, or put a mine in, or drill take what anyone who has a bunch of letters behind their name with a grain of salt. Talk to the people who stink because they've been working outside all day, talk to the worker who's been working the land for 40 years, talk to the people that put up with "smarter" people telling them how things are. Those are the people we need to listen to. They don't have an agenda, they don't have some large company supporting an outragious lifestyle, they know their job, they know what works and what doesn't and they don't need a bunch of letters behind their name, or quote a lot of sources to prove it.
No offensive to anyone here, I know you are all more educated than I, but it's "smart" people (not you guys, since I don't work with you) that make me bang my head against a wall most often. Sorry, but this is the only place I can say that with out getting fired.