Chromium from Disney?

We’re back after a nice vacation to a much cooler part of the world than our current abode in Valencia, California:  Alaska.  There is much to catch up with, and we apologize for those who contacted us last week.  We’re still processing e-mails, so please be patient with us!

There is much to address after the hiatus, but today’s headline story from the Los Angeles Times Business section caught our attention.  See:,0,6673226.story

Chromium is a contaminant that we have blogged about several times, so feel free to Search our archives here for additional information.  We would also direct your attention to a recent post from Michael McGuire (for whom we were priviledged to work in the early 1990’s):

Now the spotlight shines on Disney, that incredibly evil corporation bent on rape and pillage of every decent thing.  (Just kidding, folks.  We’re trying to make a point here.)  How do we get Chromium from Disney?  It seems that there might be traces of chromium coming from the cooling towers from their air conditioning systems.  How could Disney be so negligent in choosing their A/C system?  How could they be so callous in their wanton disregard for the environment and the health of the little children near their Burbank studios?  (We apologize.  We seem to be in a sarcastic mood this morning.)

The contribution from an installation like this has to be so incredibly trivial that a brief mathematical study should completely exonerate Disney from any wrong doing.  So assuming this charge is baseless, let’s explore the likely motivations for pointing the finger at Disney.  By looking at who benefits from this, we see two.

First, the trial lawyers make money — and loads of it! — by filing suit against entities with “deep pockets.”  And not many have deeper pockets than Disney.  Disney won’t want their image tarnished by this accusation, even if it lacks merit entirely.  So they are vulnerable to the legalized extortion practiced by trial lawyers in instances such as this.

Second, the Environmentalists benefit.  The chromium issue has simmered for a couple decades now, and it just doesn’t get the press coverage that Environmentalists deem appropriate.  How better to elevate this issue in the public’s eye than to implicate a high profile name like Disney?  Never mind that, even if found culpable at all, the percent contribution of chromium by Disney from such an operation can’t possibly approach 1 percent of the total.  But putting Disney in the headlines shines a huge spotlight on this issue, which brings in more funding for the Environmentalist cause.

We’ve been paying attention to issues like this for the four decades of our professional career.  We’re afraid that has made us a bit cynical.  The old axiom from the Watergate scandal still applies: “Follow the Money.”  That’s the MOST effective way to get to the truth in stories such as this.

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