Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Philip Morris has probably killed more people than Grace

| January 3, 2006 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

We are living in a void called space, which goes on forever with no beginning and no end. Time is the same way but in order to keep track of things people have divided it up in miles and years.

Many trillions of years ago, some creator we call God decided that there should be something in this space. For those of you who don't like "God," I'll just say "the creator." This creator made a a little over 90 different kinds of atoms, which he sprinkled all over space. In order to keep this letter short enough to print, you'll have to use your imagination how all these atoms joined together to form stars with planets and moons.

Lucky for us the creator made us a planet with plenty of oxygen and hydrogen to form water. Most likely there are many more like ours out in space.

To begin with, our planet was a molten mass of material which slowly cooled and formed a crust like an egg shell. This crust was all rock but as time went on the crust broke up and formed continents with water surrounding them. The rocks were formed by various kinds of atoms.

The creator gave us a big enough supply of oxygen and nitrogen to form an atmosphere. As the sun warmed the ocean, some evaporated to form vapor which joined the air. As the air got hotter where the sun hit at a more direct angle, it formed currents we call wind. The wind picked up water vapor over the oceans and was cooled over land, dropped as rain which formed rivers.

Now the wind and the flowing water eroded the rocks to form soil. After millions of years the creator decided to put life on earth. It probably was just a few cells able to divide and multiply, but they took off in all directions and eventually man evolved.

People spread out over most of the continents. The ones from Europe decided to settle in America where they found the natives cultivating a plant called tobacco, which they put in a pipe and smoked. The settlers took up growing this plant and sending shiploads back to England. Eventually large corporations formed to grow this plant and process it. Philip Morris, at present, is the largest.

About the time of the second World War, doctors began to notice that many men were getting lung cancer but very few women. During the war many women went to work doing the same work as men, and it became fashionable for them to smoke, and they also started getting lung cancer. By checking the lifestyle of these cases, the doctors were able to trace the cause to cigarettes. The government made tobacco companies put warning labels on their products.

As the people spread out all over North America, they developed mines to dig out valuable minerals. The creator put a mineral called asbestos in many places. Some large deposits, mostly in Canada, were mined to make insulation. As the rocks that contained asbestos were weathered away and formed soil, lots of places have it. The farmers in northeast Montana get more than the average of lung cancer so there may be more asbestos in their soil.

As it turned out, W.R. Grace Co. bought the Zonolite Company in Libby, which was polluted with asbestos. If the facts could be proven, Philip Morris has probably killed ten times as many people as W. R. Grace.

John Erhard