NOW you tell me…

Several people have now pointed out to me the fact that the NRDC backed down on its previous assertion about S.C. beaches being so dirty.

Yeah, I know. I saw the news story. It ran the day I was packing up to leave the beach. So thanks a lot for the heads-up there, you environmental hammerheads. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

And to add insult, in that very day’s paper, as I’m heading back home to the Midlands, I’m greeted by this news:

With temperatures approaching 100 degrees today and Sunday, hundreds of
people would normally flock to the Saluda rapids at Riverbanks Zoo to
cool off.

Bad idea this weekend.

combination of high runoff pollution and a sewage leak from an upstream
treatment plant have caused state health officials to continue urging
people against swimming, wading or tubing at “the rocks,” as the area
is known.

“Stay out of the water at that area,” said Adam Myrick,
spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
“And keep your pets out of the water and keep them from drinking the

Great. All of this goes to back up that the best thing to do on vacation is sit in the house and read a good book. I spent a great deal of my time last week finishing this book and starting this one. It seems appropriate at this point to consider the opening passage of the latter:

Standing at the frigate’s taffrail, and indeed leaning upon it, Jack
Aubrey considered her wake, stretching away neither very far nor
emphatically over the smooth pure green-blue sea: a creditable furrow,
however, in these light airs. She had just come about, with her
larboard tacks aboard, and as he expected her wake showed that curious
nick where, when the sheets were hauled aft, tallied and belayed, she
made a little wanton gripe whatever the helmsman might do….

Fortunately for Capt. Aubrey, he didn’t have to worry about the ocean being to polluted to sail through — at least, not unless she were becalmed, and floating in her own waste…

5 thoughts on “NOW you tell me…

  1. Uncle Elmer

    I know a lot of people like Patrick O’Brian’s books, but his overblown opening sentences always remind me of the Bulwer-Lytton contest for bad opening lines. I do not believe the 2008 winner (?) has been declared yet. However your reference inspired me to look up the winner for 2007:
    “Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
    2007 Results
    Gerald began–but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them “permanently” meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash–to pee.
    by Jim Gleeson
    Madison, WI ”

  2. Brad Warthen

    That’s the “dark and stormy night” contest, right?
    One can hardly compare that to O’Brian. In fact, I copied and pasted the above passage from the linked review, which cited it for its power to set Aubrey/Maturin fans “precisely where those readers want to be,” on the taffrail of the Surprise. It causes an immediate smile of recognition — after all, we all know that the Surprise, sweet sailer that she is, can gripe under certain conditions (not that I can, even after all these books, describe those conditions; my understanding of sailing is more like that of Maturin than that of Aubrey).
    Now if a reader is inclined to “gripe” about O’Brian’s openings, it may be about all the words he spends explaining things to readers as though they’ve read nothing that precedes. But he does it fairly seamlessly, and even I find that it helps me remember a thing or two from the preceding book that I may have forgotten if it’s been a few months.
    I just think these books are wonderful.

  3. bud

    The pollution in the Saluda River underscores how critical it is that we not take our eye off the ball when it comes to pollution. In the 60s and 70s, thanks to good liberals everywhere working for the common good, there was a tremendous effort to reduce emmissions in both the air and water. And it paid off. Today the air we breathe is far cleaner than it was 50 years ago. But if we give in to the temptation to drill for oil everywhere just to (temporarily) save a few pennies at the gas pump we’ll find ourselves with polluted beaches, rivers and air again. Let’s mover permanently beyond the fossil fuel era. We can do it without damaging our economy. That was proven 4 decades ago. If life-long oil man T. Boone Pickens sees the need why does everyone else fight it so hard.

  4. Lee Muller

    Nixon and the GOP put in place the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.
    How many times do we need a government sewerage treatment plant to fail and pollute our rivers?
    Liberals spending out tax money to subsidize urban sprawl is what pollutes our rivers. Each area has a finite ability to absorb and purify air and water emissions. It is time for us to tell developers that sprawl is over. Immigration needs to stop. Population growth needs to stop.. Our rivers and beaches can’t take any more sewerage.

  5. Brad Warthen

    Ummm… correct me if I’m wrong, folks, but I thought this was a PRIVATE sewer plant. And I thought the gummint had given it a lot of rope to police itself. Private plus lack of regulation equals zero accountability.


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