Do you know of any examples of...?

Thu, 27 Apr 1995 19:01:48 +1000

Do you know of a situation where a community group has come into
conflict with a government agency or large company, and where
both of the conflicting groups have made competing predictions
about the future?

For example:
In 1983, a debate was raging in Tasmania, Australia. Should the
Franklin River be dammed for hydro-electicity or not? Environmental
groups claimed the river had high conservation value and further
claimed that the dam was unnessesary.

The Hydro-Electricity Commission produced a forecast of the demand
for electricity in Tasmania in 1993. The Tasmanian Wilderness
Society also produced a power demand forecast and arrived at a
different figure.

( If you're interested, the T.W.S. overestimated demand by 6%,
and the H.E.C. overestimated demand by 22% ).

I am a postgrad student, researching social movements. I want to
look into examples like the one above so that I can examine the
notion that bureaucracies are superior producers and consumers
of technical rationality.

If you know of any examples like the one above (and I'm sure
there must be many out there) please contact me. I'm interested
in all examples - ie. regardless of which group made the best
prediction and even in examples where the question of who made the
better prediction cannot yet be decided.

Les McFarland
Dept. Anthropology and Sociology
Latrobe University
Bundoora 3083