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Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Little Over The Top, Wouldn't You Say?

This from an environmental activist writing in this morning's Roanoke Times is borderline hilarious (see "Disaster may be worst since Chernobyl"):

I spent most of the Christmas/New Year's holiday at ground zero in Kingston, Tenn., documenting the TVA Kingston coal ash disaster. This huge and terrible catastrophe may be the worst man-made environmental disaster since Chernobyl.

It is difficult to grasp the immense size of this toxic nightmare.

TVA released 5.3 million cubic yards (1 billion gallons) of coal waste into tributaries of the Tennessee River, almost 100 times the size of the Exxon Valdez spill. It will take approximately 250,000 truckloads to haul away the ash. The coal ash mountain was 40 acres wide and 65 feet high. The trucks working on site look like ants.

"TVA released 5.3 million cubic yards of coal waste into tributaries of the Tennessee River"? They, of course, did no such thing. If you read a news report from the scene, you find out that an inifitesimal portion of that spill made it to a lake nearby. Not to the river. And not 5.3 million cubic yards. And not "released." And it involved a benign substance called coal fly ash.

And "the worst man-made environmental disaster since Chernobyl"? Did he write this with a straight face?

I don't know whether to denounce this environmental crusader for the propagandist that he is or simply laugh at him.

I choose the latter.