The Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines a fallacy as “a kind of error in reasoning. … Fallacies may be created unintentionally, or intentionally in order to deceive other people.”
In her letter in your Jan. 11 edition, Jennifer Mayer argues that the Navy should conduct 100% of its Growler training during school hours, since the Navy’s Growler Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) indicates “neither the noise contours nor training patterns impact any of the schools nor the public library of Coupeville.”
She fails to mention that this very issue was litigated and decided by a federal court just this past August, and the court specifically criticized the Navy for failing to take into account in its EIS the impact of increasing its training flights fourfold on local classrooms. So not only was it careless to suggest the Navy’s EIS disposed of the issue, it was disingenuous to fail to mention the recent federal court decision that directly contradicted her point.
She goes on to take people who moved in the area to task: “When people knowingly move to a nuisance, sign a disclosure regarding that nuisance, and then file endless litigation against the public entity that operates that nuisance, it costs us all.”
To which, I would reply: Even assuming such “persons” did sign a disclosure, I doubt it would be interpreted to cover a fourfold increase in the “nuisance”.
Many people affected by the additional training flights (i.e. school children, workers) had not signed such “disclosures”. The “litigation” to which she refers was actually won by those opposed to the increased Navy flights.
As the saying goes, while you are entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to your own facts (credit to Daniel Moynihan).