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Re: E-M:/ MDEQ mercury consent order



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Enviro-Mich message from Gary Stock <gstock@net-link.net>
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Bill Freese wrote:

> This permit which will allow Lafarge to emit 567 pounds of mercury per year 

As you've been embroiled in this for some time, you likely grasp a great
deal of complexity and nuance that won't register with the general
public.  You also likely hear "567 pounds" as rather horrific, as we all
should.  Still, it might not quite get the public ear, no matter how
it's explained -- "250,000 thermometers" or "20 million flourescent
bulbs" or whatever model you apply:

   http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/eletters/109/5/e71

Most people miss the point of _any_ serious technical assessment --
"Organic must mean food, and methyl is some kind of new gasoline,
right?"  But, two facts directly from your e-mail, with no accusations,
would _really_ get some people's attention:

> ...Lafarge _reported_ emitting 58 and 64 pounds of mercury
 
> ...Lafarge _had been_ emitting over 581 pounds per year.


Most listeners will wonder, "So, does a 567-pound permit mean 6,000
pounds?!  

That's not scientific, that's not necessarily your position -- and you
probably want and need to say so.  

However, if the numbers were _reversed_, the industry would lead press
releases with that "raw data" weekly for months to come -- and let the
public assume whatever they want!

GS
 
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Gary Stock                                        gstock@unblinking.com
UnBlinking                                   http://www.unblinking.com/
Googlewhack                                 http://www.googlewhack.com/

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