Gut Rumbles

April 05, 2007

Environmental(illness)ism 101

Orignally published April 24, 2002

I have been a heavy cigarette smoker, a functioning alcoholic and a willing worker in the evil chemical industry for most of my adult life. I eat a lot of rare beef, use pesticides regularly around my home, shun fiber in favor of greasy fried stuff, and generally believe that the four basic food groups are caffiene, nicotine, alcohol and cholesterol. I don't eat tofu or organically-grown bean sprouts, and I consider Mother Nature my enemy, not my friend. (The Battle of the Okra is a perfect example. See earlier posts.) Results of all kinds of "scientific" studies confirm that with my risk-intense lifestyle, I should be dead by now of several different forms of cancer or respiratory disease.

But I'm not. I probably can outwalk, outclimb and outwork most of the beady-eyed worry-warts who create the scare of the day designed to make unthinking people stay in bed for fear of dying if they crawl out from under the covers. "Science" has become a cottage industry in which doomsayers make a lucrative living by running before the press to declare, "Look at the NEW THING I've discovered that's gonna KILL YOU." Meanwhile, the average life-span has increased by five years in the last ten, despite all the new menaces to life-spans "discovered" by those shameless media-whores.

How can I be so adamant about this? It's easy. I developed prostate cancer at the age of 49. Obviously, the toxic chemicals I worked with for years, plus the cigarettes, the booze and the rare steaks had SOMETHING to do with that. I have a basic human need to blame my misfortune on SOMETHING ELSE, rather than a genetic predisposition to the disease. It was pesticides, dioxins, air pollution, nuclear waste, the hole in the ozone, overly-heated McDonald's coffee and invisible rays emitted from coatings on guitar strings that gave me cancer.

Yeah, the same thing may have killed my father, but THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT! I am a victim of capitalist industry, and it's deliberate spewing of cancer-causing pollutants, pure and simple.

I work for a company that has, as its corporate creed and vision for success, this simple motto: "We strive to produce evil, deadly chemicals that kill our employees, poison our customers and give asthma to local school childern. We figure that the more we pollute, the more money we make. If we can manage to kill off everybody in the world, then we can run the whole shebang to suit ourselves."

Environmentalists preach such ridiculous sermons all the time, and ignorant people believe them. Of course, ignorant people don't know a glass of water from a deadly container of dihydrogen monoxide [Ed. Link borked.], which hit the blog-sites as new news lately, about five years after a schoolboy proved how effective environmental scare-mongering has become. It's amusing to the bloggers, but not to me. Read about it:

Take the example of a story made famous a couple of years ago, when a junior high school student named Nathan Zohner surveyed a group of classmates for a school science project. Zohner told them about a chemical called dihydrogen monoxide. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and causes thousands of deaths every year. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage, exposure to its gaseous form causes severe burns, and it has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients. Of 50 people Nathan surveyed, 43 said that dihydrogen monoxide should be banned, 6 weren’t sure what to do, and only one person correctly identified dihydrogen monoxide as plain old water, or H2O.
Now, the thought of reasonable people wanting to ban water may seem like a bit of an exaggeration. But this story makes two good points:
First, it illustrates how even educated laymen will often fall back on a reflexive opposition to things that seem strange or new to them – especially things with complicated chemical names.
And second, it serves as a reminder that nothing – not even clean, pure water – is ever totally safe.

I have to deal with the regulators, who are driven by political concerns, their checklist reports, their 500-pound gorilla attitudes and their goddamned overblown egos a LOT more than they care about the environment. And they are bureaucrats, skillfully versed in the regulations, but woefully cluless about how the real world works, and there is no debate with these people.

I was cited for... well, never mind. THIS IS WHY I WRITE UNDER A PSEUDONYM. I had a government official point out some standing water in my area. I explained that the standing water was in a CONTAINMENT AREA, which was designed to hold standing water on the off-chance that it might be acidic or alkiline, if any of the storage tanks in the CONTAINMENT AREA leaked. The government goon was a long, tall, sour-faced woman with a government-issued clipboard (MY FUCKING TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!) who proceeded to issue THREE CITATIONS because I had standing water in containment areas (duh...I was aware that containment areas are REQUIRED around tanks that contain evil, toxic chemicals, but I WASN'T AWARE that you CAN'T HAVE ANYTHING IN THOSE CONTAINMENT AREAS, not even goddamned RAINWATER, which is what she saw.

Once she cited me for the first one, like a good little Hitler, she asked if I had any more containment areas nearby. I learned long ago not to lie to those brainless twits, because they may be fools and idiots, but they represent the US government, which has the power to shut THE ENTIRE PLANT DOWN down before we can kill everybody in the world with our gleeful pollution. So, I showed her two more that held rainwater, and she dutifully cited me for both of those.

I went home that evening and sent a donation to the Sierra Club, because that experience made me a true believer in the environmentalist movement. I have seen the light. As long as we have the demented leading the blind, we'll have an ideal society. THAT'S what I want my country to become. Little boxes made of ticky-tackey... and you will fit in one.

Resistance is futile. You WILL be assimilated.

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