Friday, September 5, 2008

The stupid burns like toxic chemicals on my skin


If you look for a good reason to ban field burning in three years, you will look in vain. There is none.

Given the news and editorial coverage of this issue in the past, it's clear that Hering simply doesn't believe that concerns involving the environment or people's health are "good reasons." There's really no other way to explain this, since both issues have been in the DH this summer.

It would have been nice had he noted and rebutted the two obvious reasons, however.

The real gem, though, is this:

Through its laws, Oregon insists that farmland be used for nothing else. That implies an obligation to let farmers do their work the best way they know how.

This is, to put it mildly, stupid. If that was the case, farmers would have long since polluted the air and ground with nasty chemicals and through burning. One specific industry is not going to miraculously self-regulate themselves when it comes to the environment, especially not grass seed farmers (sorry, former bosses!). Why does Hering think field burning was reduced? What about developing less toxic fertilizers and pesticides? I can pretty much guarantee the industry didn't just decide to stop for the good of others - they were forced to bear costs they had previously externalized (namely, pollution) by a public agency tasked with looking out for the good of everyone, most likely the state.

The other implication - that only farmers know what works best for farmers - is equally stupid. Like no former farmer has ever worked for the state, or gone through the same educational programs?

If Hering is really upset about the low level of discourse in this country, maybe he should look in the fucking mirror some time. He's certainly not setting the bar any higher.


chris farrell said...

I'm getting the feeling that you don't like Hasso all that much.

Dennis said...

Never met him.

I do think his editorials are, on the whole, terrible.

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