McRoy off the mark

Published 12:35 am Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To the Editor:

“I have no use for them people.”

J. McRoy is being quoted as having made such a statement in a meeting of the Beaufort County Republican Club regarding PotashCorp’s plan to build a sulfur-melting plant at the Aurora phosphate mine. He was referring to members of the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) who had cited pollution numbers reported by PotashCorp. (J. Clayborne, WDN 11.3.2011)

Well, I just hope that not too many school children have read or have listened to either Mr. McRoy’s profound understanding of science and the impacts of air pollution on human health, or his use of the English language. However, I am afraid they may have, which could explain why test scores in Beaufort County schools are wanting.

Elected officials should remember that as our political leaders they may be considered role models. However, Mr. McRoy seems to believe that being a county commissioner includes the gift of universal insight into matters of science and unbridled powers which even supersede nature’s own forces. His previous vote, that sea-level rise is not happening, speaks for the later attitude, and with his own superior knowledge, compared to that of “them” people, he now further demonstrates his sound judgment in matters of science and technology, here specifically with regard to the amount of air pollution generated by the PotashCorp’s facility and its ill effects on the health of Beaufort County citizens.

Is it ironic then, that with all the superior knowledge and wisdom and the high regard for education, so eloquently demonstrated by such remarks from its political leadership, as the one cited above, that Beaufort County struggles to attract the kind of industry which could create clean and high-paying jobs?

In contrast to clean industry, the proposed sulfur-melting facility will “also emit very fine ash of less than five microns” the PotashCorp’s representative Don Maneval, explained during that meeting. (J. Clayborne, WDN 11.3.2011) Some of these small particles, those in the 2.5 micron range, travel with each breath not only to the smallest parts of one’s lung, where the blood is re-oxygenated, they can also get into the bloodstream and then proceed to the heart where they have been associated with causing angina and heart attacks, especially in people over 65 years. (F.Dominci, JAMA 3.8.2006)

The slightly larger particles are comparatively harmless – they just cause breathing problems.

Maybe that is Mr. McRoy’s way of dealing with “them” people – just give “them” a heart attack.