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Honesty about the things we dislike

Dear Reader,

When I recently saw the comments of Yehuda Bauer about one of the most horrible tales (large scale production of soap from human fat) from the 20th century, this gave me reason to think. He wrote

The reason why one has to be accurate is that one has to exercise tremendous responsibility and deep respect towards the victims and their relatives and towards the memory of the millions of Jewish dead. What the Nazis did is horrendous enough; we do not need to believe the additional horrors they thought about but did not have time to realize. The Holocaust deniers waiting in the wings are eager to pick up any inaccuracies we may inadvertently commit, and we should not ease their “work.” “

The key take home message is that there are some very horrible things which have occurred, but to make up (or repeat) lies about these events to make them even worse is wrong. These lies are evil (I do not use the E word lightly) as they distract us from the truth and then these lies make it more easy for those who wish to deny that the truth occurred to do their vile “work”.

Also such lies are deeply disrespectful to those decent people who were involved in these events.

I have seen a disturbing trend for people to be very reckless with the truth when considering threats to health and the environment. I hold the view that we need robust environmental rules which are based on honest reason and science rather than on hype, hysteria and on the ability of a group to shout louder than others. In the same way as industry should not be able to dictate the law, the environmental pressure groups should not be allowed to dictate the law.

I am sure that my readers would be unhappy with the following arrangements

1. BP and Shell being put in charge of setting and enforcing oil field health, safety and environmental rules.

2. AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) and BNFL being allowed to choose the nuclear safety laws

3. Ford motors and Volvo being allowed dictate all the laws which relate to the use and ownership of cars, trucks and buses.

In the same way we should not allow the environmental pressure groups to dictate the law, I think that we need laws to be made in a more fair way. I think that one of the best swords in our armoury against the worst nonsense which is based on either industrial self interest or the self interest of the pressure groups is to ask them to provide details of the logic and data which are behind their claims.

I have noticed a worrying behaviour in some activists, when questioned about their views and the things which they claim they get angry and make comments “I am telling it as it is” or they play the card “that unless you have experienced it first hand, then you are not entitled to have an valid opinion” or try a series of other tricks.

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