Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Keep Your Mouth Shut

I started out today reading about -- trying to figure out how to write about -- a rather discouraging court case.

Appeals Court Overturns EPA on Mercury Emissions By Sandy Bauers, The Philadelphia Inquirer Feb. 8--A federal appeals court ruled today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wrongly exempted power plants from curtailing mercury emissions, which means the agency must now develop new rules to fight mercury pollution.

According to the article, the EPA was set to impose some regulations, the exemptions within the new law were too great to allow. It seems that energy producing plants were exempt from the legislation. For one thing, when coal is refined, mercury is released as a vapor.

Mercury becomes airborne when coal is burned. Once it falls into waterways, it becomes methylmercury, which is more toxic and works its way through the food chain into fish. It can cause nervous-system damage in a developing fetus and young children.


"Ironically, with their aggressive litigation posture, the environmental community and their state allies have again caused uncertainty and delay in regulating mercury," said Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council. The EPA "essentially must return to the drawing board in developing a new mercury rule," he said.

In college I wrote about the propaganda art of the Soviet Union -- how it communicated strength and power. Dictatorships need to communicate this way to keep order among the masses.

Keep your mouth shut!
N. Vatolina, N. Denisov, 1941

Strength and power and fear.
A few months ago I was tired of listening to myself talk. I think today I'm tired of listening to everyone else talk. The language of propaganda seems to attempt to elicit emotion -- but seems today to me to be more an imposer of powerlessness...

This from George Bush Sr. -- on my birthday in 1988:

Vice President Bush, campaigning in the Northwest, has been urging greater domestic oil production and arguing that it can be achieved without endangering the environment.

For the end of this post I wanted to find a quote where George Bush Jr. said something nice about the environment, but I couldn't find one.

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