We all care about threats to the environment, but how many of us do anything about it? How many write to the newspapers, lobby their local politicians, lie down in front of the bulldozers? Most of us just wring our hands in helpless despair.
It's said that for every individual who takes to the streets there are 10 who agree with him but stay at home. So when last October, in response to an appeal by the Jersey National Trust, seven and a half thousand people joined hands along almost the entire length of St Ouen's beach to protest against the desecration of our coastline by insensitive developments, it's safe to assume that a further 75,000 were in broad agreement but did not show up.
In other words some 90 per cent of the island's population disapproves of further development along our fragile coastline, the only debate being about the strength of that disapproval. No planner, no architect and no politician in Jersey can have been left in any doubt about the state of public opinion.
Yet the developments continue. Much of the precious south-west coastline, from Petit Port to Corbiere and La Moye has been wrecked and several large private houses are under construction even now. The old holiday camp at Portelet