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Survey's problem shows path forward

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By John Bartlit

My phone rang in its best business voice. The person asked if I would answer questions in an environmental survey hired by Company X. I said sure.

The survey pertained to environmental sustainability. The term means a large-scale system that helps keep itself working well. This quest plays a big part in what follows.

Who hired the survey doesn’t matter. With any name or none, the same story emerges.

The first question brought out the usual snare that surveys have. That is, each answer had to fit into a set box.

Lead-off question: “What is New Mexico’s number-one environmental issue?” I thought ... and replied, “Water.”

I was told my first choice could be water quantity or water quality, but not just water. Which did I mean? I was boxed in.

Complaining is not the point. As in all things, a complaint is a speck in the eye. Ways to improve are where the gold is.

Information in boxes is easy to count up. The totals in each box point out problems. Yet the answers to problems all lie outside the boxes.


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