Blog 1550 – 12.16.2019
This past Saturday, probably my last “movie day” in Indiana, at least for some time to come, I saw the Mark Ruffalo’s legal drama thriller called Dark Waters. It is a David versus Goliath story of one corporate lawyer “reluctant to be woke” who’s grandma sends to him a neighbor from a farm near her in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The farmer’s cows are dying and he knows why and needs and out of state lawyer willing to fight for him and so he drives to Cincinnati, Ohio and interrupts an important meeting to implore Mark’s character, Robert Billot, to take his case.
The reason no local West Virginia lawyers will take the case is that they are afraid of taking on the giant chemical company, DuPont, and rightly so. The story reveals over thirty years of ground water pollution in the production of one of those products that stays with us and in us always, Teflon, making us sick, and cutting short many of our lives. Nothing may stick to Teflon but it sticks to us.
Even after being forced by evidence from their own company records of criminal misconduct and promising to take care of all those proven to be harmed by their billions making product DuPont reneges on the class action suit settlement they made till they are forced by individual suits to another settlement to pay for these crimes.
Touting slogans like “Better Living Through Chemistry” from that first billion DuPont knew they were not just hurting the environment but deforming babies and killing people yet they were making too much money to stop. It is a sad old story that continues today around this world. Pocahontas in the Disney animated adaptation sang about it some years ago:
Jobs, progress, and profits are touted as being worth any price but the price is often too high to pay, yet some ignorantly think it is okay as long as someone else has to pay it. But there is no one else there is only “us.” And for all our dreams of finding a New World to live on, at least for the foreseeable future this one is the only one we’ve got. When we force it to protect itself we are going to be the losers. Dark waters, dark skies, a dire consequence await those who fail to heed this warning, “It is not nice to fool with Mother Nature.”
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Hoping we come to our senses,
And listen to Robert and Greta,