I support Len Czuba's comments on science and PVC (“Scientific eyes open to valid PVC concern,” Nov. 5 Mailbag, Page 6). There's a name for what the self-styled “friends” of the environment do: junk science. It feeds off fear of the unknown, and especially fear of the synthetic.
The key word is “quantify.” What is the quantitative impact of a product, compared to its alternates (including not using any product)? If a few people say they see UFOs, lots more believe they exist. We want to believe the impossible, for good reasons (our sanity) too complicated to go into further here. But I am too devoted to truth to buy into this; that's why I did technology in the first place. It's why I like dogs, too; you can't charm them with influence, status or exaggerations.
The nontechnical public uses Greenpeace, recycling, meat-eating, and so many more symbols as masks to divert attention from the basic issues of consumption, addiction to growth, and many of the sacred cows of our economy which most of us still think we need.