20 August 2007

Look what I found

As seen in the Trib...
Filtering the facts from the fallacies of BP controversy

Something bless America and our right to bicker with each other over the Internet. Very well then.

"Take the issue of 'backsliding': Can any additional 'pollutants,' no matter how infinitesimal or harmless, be discharged into to the nation's lakes, rivers and streams, even if they are legal and within federal and state limits, as BP's are?"

I've said it before and I'll say it again: no. True, Lake Michigan is already quite filthy (I already refuse to swim in it), and given its size a few more "additional 'pollutants'" probably won't make a whole lot of difference. But I must respectfully insist that you're missing our point. Your position that additional waste from the BP refinery really won't add that much more to the waste that's already there is rationalizing at best, childish at worst, and short-sighted any way you look at it. We've seen time and time again the effects of such a policy. The damage accumulates gradually; the longer it's left unchecked the harder and more expensive it is to undo. Various groups have been toiling for decades to halt and reverse the effects of all pollutants in the Great Lakes. Any momentary lapse, any small leeway granted to any one entity for any reason--whether it's a refinery's waste stream, Chicago's sewage, or a beachgoer's cigarette butt--is an instance of backsliding.

We "radical environmentalists" know that there are bigger polluters on the lake than BP. We know that many of them are municipal in nature. We know what the science says and what it only implies when viewed very much askance. We know that there are vitally important and perfectly rational economic issues at stake. We know that emotions are running high and crazy metaphors are running wild. We know that blowhard politicians are exploiting the situation for their own ends. We know that no one's doing anything that's technically against the law. We are well aware of all of that. And we still have our reasons to protest.

From where we stand, there is no excuse whatsoever to increase the amount of waste dumped into our water source. None at all. Period. We can't let anyone or anything add a single kilogram more. A single kilogram all too easily turns into two, then two hundred, then two million, and so on. We can smell Lake Calumet from here. It's a potent warning.
Perhaps I'll comment on his own blog, but I probably won't. I'm mainly endlessly amused by the fact that he got himself a blog so he could self-republish his own opinion pieces in the Trib. The irony is just staggering.

[insert Radiohead song here, I guess]


At 20 August, 2007 17:03, Blogger David Johnsen said...

I've read a number of Dennis Byrne's opinion pieces and not one has ever made any sense. Like this one, they make absurd leaps in logic to justify his positions. His basic argument is, "Other people dump more than BP, so BP should be allowed to dump more." He also ignores the counterproductivity of allowing increased pollution while spending money to clean up old pollution.

I think he's a lonely guy who writes contrarian commentaries just to draw responses from incensed readers.

At 20 August, 2007 17:28, Blogger Jennifer said...

Eh, I've read worse. At least this one appealed to reason, good science, and the public good, instead of "common sense," the Bible, and protection from terrorists.


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