VIDEO: ‘The Briefing #16: The Myth of No Choice’ presented to Port of Seattle


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On Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, local activist/lawyer/filmmaker Steve Edmiston presented his 16th ‘Briefing’ to Port of Seattle Commissioners.

Edmiston is taking on the Port, one public comment at a time, as party of a documentary film project.

Of his latest presentation, given on Jan. 8, 2019 (running time 3:56), Edmiston says:

“In this episode, we seek to debunk a myth thrust universally upon virtually all airport communities – that the airport operators have no choices but to grow and increase overflight frequencies.

“The myth of no choice is conveyed in a three-part formula: first, rapid-fire finger-pointing – that only the FAA controls the airspace, that only the airlines decide how many flights, that consumers drive the demand. And we just can’t stop it. No one can. It’s like a virus that has no cure. Second, the myth of no choice is supported with claims that the Port is listening, the Port cares that citizens are concerned, and the Port is taking action on initiatives that do not include adopting a policy of reducing growth in the number of flights. Part three is the closer, a final deflection that proclaims this is all the FAA’s responsibility and the FAA should do something it.”

“Of course, there ARE choices. We thought the Harry Potter classic scene about the choices we make was a required movie reference (https://bit.ly/2RVjau0).

“In addition to the transcript, I’ve copied the first page of a typical, internal PoS ‘messaging platform’ which shows the superficiality of PoS messaging – sound bites and key messages about listening and caring, but zero about ‘the doing.'”

Edmiston is responding to an FAA and Port staff briefing in Spring, 2017 that he contends was both incomplete and inadequate because it failed to convey, among other things, data on harms being caused to humans and the environment by airplanes.

The goals of this documentary film project include using Edmiston’s collected public comments as the spine of a feature documentary film.

As a private citizen, under Port bylaws, Edmiston must provide his 43-minute briefing – the same time provided to the FAA and Port staff – in two-minute public comment segments. Edmiston estimates the project will take 9 to 12 months to complete.

For more information on this compelling ‘Citizen vs Goliath’ project, visit:

Our prior coverage is available here.

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