West Virginia Record

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Scare-mongering films are not evidence

Our View

By The West Virginia Record | Feb 12, 2020


“I know all about PFAs. I saw Dark Waters.”

What a ridiculous world we live in. It’s one thing for kids to think that movies and cartoons are real, but, when adults can’t distinguish between reality and fantasy, we’ve got a problem. 

While we quibble about what the minimum age for voting should be, we ignore more important considerations. Whether or not our fellow citizens know anything at all about our country’s history and its unique form of government is one thing that should concern us all. Another consideration, perhaps more important, is whether or not persons standing in line next to us at the polling stations are actually sane.

A person citing a movie as justification for voting this way or that is not fit to vote, much less fit to serve as a legislator.

“After having seen Dark Waters, it just motivated me that much more to want to do more in West Virginia to make sure something like that doesn’t happen again.” 

We didn’t make that quote up. That’s not from The Onion or The Babylon Bee. That’s a real quote from a real-live West Virginia legislator: state Sen. William Ihlenfeld (D-Ohio), lead sponsor of Senate Bill 679, which would require companies to monitor their discharge of PFAs into state waters.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not against such monitoring, if warranted. What we oppose is the use of propaganda to support legislation with guaranteed costs and unlikely benefits.

PFAs (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are widely used in food packaging, water-repellent fabrics, nonstick cookware, polishes, paints, fire-fighting foams, etc. But the alarms sounded about them and the arguments made in support of proposals to regulate them seem to ignore the positive impact of the products that contain them while exaggerating the alleged dangers of the chemicals.

We’ve had enough of this nonsense. Let’s put the kibosh on emotional appeals and re-embrace reason. Give us the unadulterated facts and let us analyze them. Then we can determine if there is a problem, and what to do about it.

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