Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, May 01, 2006

"A flawed, supercilious, self-serving and illogical argument"

This was posted on the Vision 2020 mailing list by U of I professor Jeff Harkins in response to Mark Solomon's ridiculous letters to the editor in the Daily News and the Tribune using water as an excuse to keep a Wal-Mart Supercenter out of Moscow. Jeff's fisking of Solomon was just too good for me not to repost here:
Curious post by Mr. Soloman and endorsed by Mr. Hansen.

If WalMart acquires water for their location, who consumes it? Would it be the customers? Would it be the employees? Would it be the watering of plants in the garden section? If there is no expansion for the Walmart Supercenter, would those customers and employees go somewhere else - and if so, would they take their water consumption needs with them? Of course, the only relevant computation would be the change in usage from their present location to their proposed location.

Mark's argument seems like a flawed, supercilious, self-serving and illogical argument to me.

Where was his outrage for water usage when Tri-State expanded? Where was his focus on water when Moscow Building Supply expanded and added their nursery operation? Why didn't he investigate the increased water consumption for the CoOp when it expanded?

Seems as if Mark is just attempting to impose his personal choice preferences on the rest of us - and desperate to find an argument to support his point of view.

Walmart customers and employees have as much right to expect water-based services at Walmart as they would obtain at any other retail facility. In fact, the water "needs" are dictated by local building codes - retail establishments must meet those codes - restroom facilities, hand washing, etc. It is inexplicable to castigate one firm for meeting building code requirements for its customers.

If Mr. Solomon and Mr. Hansen are really concerned about water usage in retail facilities, why don't they research the present standards and consider some alternatives to the number of toilets and sinks required, the flow rates etc. Maybe no hand washing should be provided - perhaps only the alcohol based cleansers used for "dry washing". Perhaps all retail facilities should be required to process their black water waste, rather than "flush it". These strategies (and I am sure there are many alternatives that might be considered) could bring significant water savings - and they would be absorbed by all consumers, not just those shopping at Walmart.

At the end of the day, it's all about consumers and shopping. And so easy for you to cast your vote - don't shop there.

Cut to the chase you guys - just say you don't want Walmart here - you would rather deny someone else's choice.

Avoid the hyperbole, please.
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1 comment:

Dale Courtney said...

If I use the toilet at Wal-Mart instead of at home, am I using more water overall?

That was the logic that was being used when I lived in California (you couldn't add an extra bathroom because you would use more water -- as if...)