We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
One of the more famous not seeing the forest for the trees episodes by Sierra Club occurred in Hawaii. Sierra Club opposed the continued transport of water for agricultural purposes on the island of Oahu, through systems of ditches and pipelines from the Windward side of the island that had been so functioning for 100 years. They said the water must be allowed to return to its "natural courses" for plants and critters on the Windward side of the island (which has more than enough rain and water, which is why some of that water was historically diverted and sent to the drier Leeward side for ag).
They prevailed, and the water supply was drastically reduced, forcing the farmers to use much more expensive well water which had to be pumped out of the ground. (E.g., you were now paying for expensive electricity to run the pumps to pull the water out of the ground and send it to the fields, instead of using the gravity flow ditch system that was there before.)
Within ten years the ag lands began to disappear, being replaced by single family home subdivisions. The farmers couldn't make it any more, and you could certainly make more money building homes and shopping centers, etc. The land was now gone forever for food production, and therefore the island's potential food self-sufficiency was lessened. And of course traffic congestion and all the other woes of urban sprawl increased.
On top of that, the water table and "sustainable yield" for ground water began to decline on the Leeward side, both because more water was being pumped out of it, and because the Windward side water once used for irrigation no longer provided recharge for the Leeward aquifer.
And on the Windward side? All that excess water now just runs off into the ocean and is lost.
The trouble is this: the liberal left, who admire and covet an understanding and the skills to apply systems thinking, they don't have the discipline to study the principles of systemic thinking. They don't have the scholastic ability to understand the details, thus we get these convoluted misapplications of what should be reasoned argument capable of being defended systemically.
So, not only do they not understand the "wholism" of the Hawaiian water supply. They are unable to unable to understand that cities near water are special. That view should be available to as many people as possible. If that is the ideal then buildings on the waterfront will be shorter, and rows of buildings behind this waterfront row will gradually increase in height--parking cars, and providing mixed use on the lower levels. BUT, in typical free market corruption style it is the contractor with the most bucks who gets "to do his thaing". While housing for large communities of people failed miserably in so many areas, I will put forward the idea that those buildings and thus those communities failed for several reasons: 1. no external views of some locally normal quality. 2. shoddy construction by union labor and corrupt contractors 3. lack of flow and services between home and services.
So, to respond to the subject of San Francisco's building height limitations--it is the most famous view in the urban world and must be protected. Besides that "democracy won"--the people voted, or don't you believe in that system anymore either?
I think at one time there were some "good people" in the Sierra club, that is no longer true. I think what you now have in all environmental groups are people who do not like humans, do not like anything that makes life better for humans and most important of all really, really like confrontation. This has long ago stopped beng about what is good for the earth or for livng things it is now abut raw power and the ability to screw people over.
The Sierra Club once opposed Illegal Immigration. This was consistent with their no growth policies. They changed their tune after a hefty donation from some left wing group. So now they support illegal immigration, amnesty and no growth. They are incapable of coherent thought, it would seem.