LETTER:If you make a mess, clear up

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GREENPEACE is not statistically illiterate, merely doing what all good campaigners do, and writing up its case, as you do every week. Just look at your own editorial ("It's not enough to be right", 18 June): "as few as 130 tonnes of potentially toxic substances may be involved and these will be diluted to the point of harmlessness in the depths of the wide Atlantic".

What you really mean is: at least six full lorry loads (130 tonnes) of toxic chemicals are to be deposited in the Atlantic in the hope that the rate of dispersion will be so slow and low that it will not be noticed. This is despite the fact that some of these substances are toxic at minute levels, ie parts per million or even billion. The idea is that it will take many years for the pollution to occur, and that we will have forgotten who was responsible by the time it does, for then it will, of course, be someone else's problem.

There are at least 50 more vessels like the Brent Spar to be disposed of. If you make a mess, you clean it up. This applies equally to small children, errant teenagers, all adults, small, medium and large businesses, local authorities, national governments - and to wealthy multinational corporations.

Roger Brown

Pontefract, W Yorks

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