citizenry. It seems to me that we are in the middle of a revolution about how people want to conduct policy-making in the United States. The end of the Cold War has essentially led to the end of the supposition that the federal government is able to solve many or most of the problems we have. States, local governments, individual citizen groups want to take back the power to themselves. One of the major challenges for environmental policy-making in the next 25 years, particularly policy-making that requires national action, will be how to formulate some kind of new national policy that includes the many factions of our national politics. I personally happen to be a Hamiltonian, and by that I mean that if the United States is to maintain its position in the twenty-first century, we must have a reasonably strong central government. So ladies and gentlemen, the huge problem of the moment is that the average citizen and public policy-maker at the state and local level simply do not want the federal government to deal with the problem anymore. Putting all of these interests at the local level together so that we can develop a coherent national strategy against both our domestic environmental and our international environmental problems will be a major issue in the years ahead.
With respect to education, all of us understand that the level of literacy in society is not at the level that it should be if we are to have the necessary informed dialogue, but it seems to me that we cannot engage in talking down to people or being paternalistic. We must work from the ground up again to get people to participate in the development of policy; we are going to have to work to educate folks to the level that they want to be educated to. By way of combining participation and education, I think EM's site-specific advisory boards have done a very good job in grasping the essentials of economics and science, and then making decisions and recommendations based on that.
Nurturing these two democratic fundamentals is as important as the policy-making itself—the environmental progress that has been achieved in the past 25 years underscores their importance. So, we must continue the hard work and challenge of maintaining the basics of our political system while continuing to engender environmental protection as a social value. In the end, we need to recreate a country in which every private citizen has a public responsibility and feels that responsibility in a direct way.