Today’s lecture is on the difference between understanding the reasons why authorities tell you to do certain things rather than simply being content with what they say. The authority in question for this particular lecture is the EPA and their instructions on how to use pool shock to disinfect water.
Now before we start I want to make it clear that I am not out to bash the EPA on this particular issue. I think it is a good thing that some bureaucrat took the time to go through all the steps and all the committees that it took to get this on a public facing federal website. It is true that it is poorly written but good writers are hard to come by and I imagine that what good ones the EPA had were needed for higher profile subjects. But fundamentally, I think it is a good thing that a federal agency is letting the world know that it is okay to treat drinking water with pool shock in the event of the emergency.
The problem that I have is that some (many?) people who are interested in preparedness are simply content to accept that “the EPA says it is okay” without understanding why the EPA says it is okay. I would think if you were interested in being prepared you would want to know why the EPA thinks it is okay and how it works rather than be simply content with “the government says so.”
So we what we are going to do is pick apart the EPA instructions to try to figure out “why” they say what they do. Our first step is to look at the EPA directions as they are retrieved on 7/17/2021 (they could change them and probably should make them a little clearer).
Continue reading →