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Re: E-M:/ DEQ Reorganization

Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen <bjmadsen@umich.edu>


	You're absolutely right.  It does no good to fight nature; in the
end we always lose, economically and in every other way.  As Robert F.
Kennedy Jr. pointed out in his superb lecture yesterday afternoon in Ann
Arbor, "The economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment."
Every time someone claims that some environmental regulation will hurt
the economy, it means that they're not taking into account the long-term
cost of harming the environment.  We can't get away from those environmental
costs; we can only pass them on to future generations.

	 Unfortunately, it usually takes either a major disaster or a
prolonged series of up-front expenses to convince corporations and
governments that they need to get in line with nature instead of fighting
it--events like the massive Mississippi River floods of 1993, which
finally convinced the Corps of Engineers that it was foolish to keep
rebuilding towns IN the river's floodplain.  Yesterday Mr. Kennedy spoke
about the possibility, even the likelihood, that our present actions (or
in some cases, inactions) will lead to permanent damage and even
catastrophe.  We must all continue to educate ourselves about those
natural laws and processes, and to help others, especially our leaders,
understand why they must always seek to operate with those laws, rather
than against them.

	--Barb Madsen

On Fri, 25 Oct 2002, Delavan Sipes wrote:

> My personal belief with regard to the environment is
> 1) The laws by which nature operates are inviolable.  We must learn to work with them, rather than trying to change them.  How many times in the past two centuries have we proceeded with ill advised plans that have been efforts to violate nature (either intentionally or through ignorance).  We clear cut our forests, made the (   ) pigeon extinct, nearly exterminated all of the American Bison, put a bounty on gray wolves--which we almost eliminated, and worked at the disposal of numerous other animals and plants.  Further, we have imported (by design or ignorance) a number of exotic plants and animals that encroach upon our native flora and fauna with a vengeance.
> 2)  With regard to the environment, we must not negotiate on a principle, where that principle is one, or more, of nature's inviolable laws.  To attempt to negotiate a compromise on natural laws is to attempt to change a principle of operation, which nature does not allow, ever.  When we choose to use our waterways as a disposal systems, and use Parcelsus' claim, "the poison is in the dose," we are compromising a principle.  Why should there be any poison in our waters?
> It seems clear to me that we must find other ways to disposal of effluent. Some Europeans have used water-free toilets for decades (it's time for American research in this area).  It is also seems clear to me that we should spend far more time testing new materials, foods and drugs before we foist them on the public for profit.  If a material is not biodegradable, then it should be recyclable and the expense of the recycling should be built in to the original cost.  We should not be building "trash mountains" as our disposal sites.  If it's garbage, turn it into compost to restore our organically depleted fields.  If it's metal, reclaim it for new manufactured products.  Unfortunately, it's all a matter of economics when environmental principle is sacrificed.  Our fight is to maintain the principles.  If it costs more, so be it.
> Delavan
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: williamtobler@critterswoods.org
>   To: Enviro-Mich
>   Sent: Friday, October 25, 2002 7:27 PM
>   Subject: Re: E-M:/ DEQ Reorganization
>   I know that Delavan is not proposing this, but the text almost says that "Pollution by dilution" is OK.  In fact, we have learned that huge bodies of water such as the Great Lakes, and other ecosystems can be brought to its biological knees.  We have to learn that diluted point source pollution is just not acceptable, and cleanup costs are a part of doing business.
>     ----- Original Message -----
>     From: Delavan Sipes
>     To: Enviro-Mich
>     Sent: Friday, October 25, 2002 7:12 PM
>     Subject: E-M:/ DEQ Reorganization
>     In addition to the comments by Fred Cowles and Chuck Cubbage I would like to add the views of Howard Tanner, Director of the DNR '75-83.  Dr. Tanner was one of the speakers at the Fresh Water Forever Forum at St. James Catholic Church in Grand Rapids Thursday night.
>     He believes that Granholm should recombine the DNR and the DEQ, though "perhaps not as it was".  Citing his reasons he said that our sewers dump into our rivers and discharge in the Great Lakes.  Oversimplifying, sanitary engineers want to know how much effluent can dumped in a stream before the smell becomes objectionable.  A fisheries biologist wants to keep the water clean enough to support fish and other life.  These two need to be under one director so they can sit down together and work out their differences satisfactorily for both.
>     In response to a question, he added that thermal loading of water (thermal "waste", i.e. nuclear plants, etc.,) is another good reason to combine the DNR/DEQ.
>     These look like good reasons from where I sit, and I would add that its less expensive to run one coordinated  organization, than to run two that don't communicate well.
>     Delavan
>     Delavan

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