Friday, August 24, 2007

Plastic Bag Altruism

Another misguided soul. So sad--to think that because your heart is in the right place--you have a noble goal--and you feel good about helping the environment, that you don't have to evaluate bills on the facts.

Another citizen given a forum (hey, just like me!), courtesy of The Capital. Shall we?

With 40 percent of the Chesapeake Bay declared dead, global warming on everyone's agenda and the irrefutable knowledge that plastic bags harm wildlife and the environment, you seem to treat the effort to rid our city of plastic bags as a pointless whim.

Stop right there! See, this is what I'm talking about. People get so fired up about what they think they should be arguing about, and most of the time they agree with the people they are arguing against. I will ignore your global warming mini-tirade and address the plastic bag bit--NOBODY IS SAYING THAT PLASTIC BAGS ARE GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. We are saying that this bill to ban plastic bags, proposed by Sam Shropshire, is not the best way to help the environment. See the difference? Big difference. The effort, in fact, is a pointless whim because it will be counter-productive.

Exactly who do you think it is who will clean up the bay, protect our wildlife and wilderness areas, and rid our streets of unsightly trash?

Look, lady, banning things does not get rid of the problems people cause by misusing the things. And to answer your question, you will pay city employees to clean the bay, etc.

Someone else is not going to do this for us. It is up to each of us to make a slight change in our daily routines in order to live a bit more sustainably.

You have not given one argument in support of the bill to ban plastic bags. This is what you are talking about, right? I actually agree with you--we all should make slight changes. Take your plastic bags to the store for recycling, for example.

Yes, it can be annoying and inconvenient to change our habits and use cloth bags rather than plastic bags to bring our groceries home.

Alderman Shropshire's bill does not require the use of cloth bags; it merely bans plastic bags.

But if we can't even do something this simple, how in the world is it we think we are going to solve the meta-issues of our time, such as global warming?

First of all, will someone please proofread these letters? The capital charges people to read, for goodness sake. It's 'mega', not 'meta'. Meta(e) are ancient roman columns.

Now then, we can't solve global warming--that's the whole point. To quote somebody who is more famous than I am, but not famous enough for me to remember his name: "To think that humans in the course of 100 years can change the course of entire existence, and to reverse it nonetheless, is extreme arrogance." But enough about that. And, frankly, enough of your letter. We all want to protect the environment, and this bill is not the way to do it.

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