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September 09, 2021

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I can't imagine that happening now. somebody would start shooting before they'd let Big Government take those CFCs from their cold dead hands. folks would be deliberately venting their ACs into the atmosphere just to piss off the libs.

the internet gives all those yahoos a platform on which to perform their petulance; the GOP amplifies them; the media (which has long mistaken Twitter for reality) accepts that as evidence of widespread opposition; politicians run to their bunkers.

My prediction is that in 10-20 years neither climate change nor the arguments about it will have progressed much from where they are now.

I reluctantly agree with the latter but definitely not with the former.
It will be worse than it is now but it will be painted as just the new normal (with the 'new' often left out).
The question will likely be about how much of a run for the Arctic (and it's resources in fossil fuels) will be undertaken (now that the ice is not in the way anymore).
Can New York go Dutch (again) now with large dykes and giant sluice gates for the Hudson?
Will New Orleans become the New Venice (without the colored riffraff except as a tourist attraction, because their quarters will be too far low below water)?
Such things.

Imagine having to live in a hellhole like Switzerland where they have less than a third of the per capita carbon emissions as the United States. How would we get by?

This sort of statement makes me angry.

The fact is that if the US cut its per capita CO2 emissions in half it would then be at the same level as China. Once you've made that cut, you can sit down with the PRC and talk about how you'll both make reduce further.

Ok, here's a link: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/092915/5-countries-produce-most-carbon-dioxide-co2.asp. If this is right, the PRC is almost twice the US in emissions, which shifts the paradigm a bit. I'm pretty sure the PRC has quite few new coal fired power plants under construction--can't remember where I read that.

The hitch is, who counts each country's emissions and what is the methodology for doing so? Seems like quite a task to get an accurate handle on what every country that emits 1% or more of the annual total. Or, do countries self-report?

As for the country pulling together, I think the first time we really quit pulling together was the Vietnam War, although the Civil Rights movement had its divisions. I'm not sure that's a comparison/metaphor the green movement wants to pursue.

Also, while climate change is a thing, the long term details are a bit hazy and the alarmists have proven wrong so many times in their projections, getting people to keep buying in is kind of like AOC demanding masks and social distancing--it's just not a convincing sales pitch.

Imagine having to live in a hellhole like Switzerland where they have less than a third of the per capita carbon emissions as the United States. How would we get by?

I wonder what the Swiss per capita rate would be if Switzerland's industrial base scaled up to ours? As one example, if a country does not produce and refine fossil fuels but imports them instead, isn't that country just subcontracting out its carbon footprint to that extent? Also, do you think population size plays a role? Geographic size?

we should throw everything we can at finding tech that can reduce CO2 emissions (and plastic waste).

but no. it's more important that we pretend to uphold simplistic notions of "freedom".

Right and not right. Who objects to a tech solution to CO2 emissions? No measurable constituency of which I am aware. It's the "you don't need that" crowd that wants to reorder our lives that is problematic.

Also, do you think population size plays a role?

Yes. That's why it's "per capita."

If this is right, the PRC is almost twice the US in emissions, which shifts the paradigm a bit

Yes, China produces about twice the emissions of the USA, with more than four times the population. What's your point?

Emissions from power plants are compraratively easy to estimate from space. Diffuse human emissions e.g. from traffic especially outside the big cities or from woodstoves is a different thing. And triggered diffuse 'natural' emissions (e.g. from the thawing permafrost in Siberia) are next to impossible to pinpoint. Burning woods on the other hand pose no difficulty (location is obvious and biomass is primarily measured from space anyway).
I doubt that the Chinese will even try to hide their coalfired powerplants underground to avoid detection.

The entire EU's per capita emissions are less than half that of the US's. And you burn the fuel in your country whether you import it or refine it domestically.

Who objects to a tech solution to CO2 emissions?

The fossile fuel industry? Not many voters maybe but their voice (consisting of money) has significant weight.

Who objects to a tech solution to CO2 emissions?

you might be familiar with the recent spate of Texas Republicans mocking solar and wind power and inventing myths to blame those techs for failures of gas supplies in cold weather?

that's the kind of unnecessary, entirely-politically-driven friction nobody needs except the nihilists in charge of GOP messaging.

I think the first time we really quit pulling together was the Vietnam War, although the Civil Rights movement had its divisions. I'm not sure that's a comparison/metaphor the green movement wants to pursue.

And we (a) got out of Vietnam and (b) passed civil rights legislation.

So I'm not sure your examples are making the point you want them to make.

This is actually not a complicated issue. The solutions are complicated, but the issue itself is not.

If we keep burning fossil fuels at anything like the rate we do now, we're going to cause large-scale, long-lasting changes to the climate of the planet. Changes unlike any we've seen in about 10,000 years, i.e. since the beginning of the Holocene. I.e., in all of recorded human history.

It won't be the Hollywood version, so if you're waiting to see the Statue of Liberty's torch peeking up above the waves that probably isn't going to happen.

A million other things are going to happen, and are happening now. Expensive, disruptive, in some cases calamitous things.

The issue itself *is not political*. It's physics. Making it political just gets in the way of doing anything about it.

McKinney and Marty are all about "libz telling them what to do". Apparently this offends their tender sensibilities, because they seem to believe deep in their hearts that they never "tell somebody what to do".

This is, of course, absolute bullshit.

Saying we should do nothing or can do nothing and getting your way politically on this issue is...wait for it....TELLING US WHAT TO DO..

This is the best of all possible worlds.

What's funny is McK complains about China's emissions on one hand, then about countries importing, effectively offloading their emissions to the exporting country, on the other. Meanwhile, we import crap loads (wonky, technical economist talk) of stuff from China. Hahn???

the long term details are a bit hazy and the alarmists have proven wrong so many times in their projections

NOPE. MORE BULLSHIT.

the wingnut caps and I shall retire for now. catch you all later.

this will help.

Here’s the idea behind CBS’s “The Activist,” which is coming in October: Three celebrities will watch as half a dozen aspiring activists compete to see if they can impart effective change in one of three causes — education, health or the environment — during a network series with a five-week run.

The prize? The winners get to attend the Group of 20 summit in Rome this fall to meet with world leaders and try to raise money and awareness for their cause.

...

Contestants on “The Activist” will engage in in “missions, media stunts, digital campaigns and community events aimed at garnering the attention of the world’s most powerful decision-makers.” Reality shows build audience by creating tension around the idea that some contender routinely gets fired, or voted off the island, or is forced to relinquish his or her apron.

you might be familiar with the recent spate of Texas Republicans mocking solar and wind power and inventing myths to blame those techs for failures of gas supplies in cold weather?

Somewhat. Everyone with an ax to grind is grinding it. It wasn't gas supplies per se, but rather a fairly complicated mix of maintenance, system errors and much worse temperatures for much longer than were expected.

Wind and solar are substitutes, and both have limitations. I thought you were referring to a tech solution to the CO2 itself, something on the order of a conversion, or capture or something that acted directly on CO2. Is that feasible? Isn't that a path that no one would object to?

And we (a) got out of Vietnam

Not without a lot of national angst and a new normal of widespread civil disobedience.

This is actually not a complicated issue. The solutions are complicated, but the issue itself is not.

The solutions are very complicated. The power grid in LA is down and will remain so for several more weeks. Electric cars, etc, cannot recharge. Only fossil fuel cars and equipment can function when the grid goes down.

What's funny is McK complains about China's emissions on one hand, then about countries importing, effectively offloading their emissions to the exporting country, on the other. Meanwhile, we import crap loads (wonky, technical economist talk) of stuff from China. Hahn???

My reference was to importing refined fossil fuel products specifically, which ISTM, is outsourcing the carbon footprint from domestically drilling for and refining one's own fossil fuels.

"Saying we should do nothing or can do nothing and getting your way politically on this issue is...wait for it....TELLING US WHAT TO DO.."

No it's not. I haven't suggested you move, or work differently. I don't pretend to know how you could best lower your carbon footprint or if that would even matter.

As usual your solutions entail everybody doing things the way that suits your preferred lifestyle and personal preferences. I just want me to decide what I'm going to do and you do what you do. If there is a good idea where we agree, great.

You, the greater you, spend a lot of time on what "everyone" should do. By fiat. By someone deciding and making them.

Isn't that a path that no one would object to?

we live in a country where one political party can't quite bring itself to telling its followers to get a free and safe and effective vaccine for a disease that's killing 1,500 people a day.

i have no doubt the GOP will come out fully against anything to do anything about anything realated to any aspect of GCC - as long as they can find a way to get the idiots frothed-up about it.

Not without a lot of national angst and a new normal of widespread civil disobedience.

I'm hard pressed to think of a single constructive advance this country has made in 250 years that was not accomplished via national angst and new normals of widespread civil disobedience.

It's how hard things get done, as far as I can tell.

As usual your solutions entail everybody doing things the way that suits your preferred lifestyle and personal preferences.

So far in this thread, I've seen exactly one person suggest that hypothetical you - not even actual you, Marty, but hypothetical people - should move to cities.

Beyond that, I'm not seeing anybody here telling you or anyone else what to do or how to live your life.

There is no - absolutely no - public policy, law, or regulation that doesn't involve somebody somewhere doing something they would rather not do. You have your list, I have mine. You appear to be under the impression that it's only liberals who want to impose conditions or restrictions on how people live their lives. That is, unfortunately and laughably, untrue.

It's probably sufficient to stipulate that whatever we do, or don't do, about global warming is going to have impacts that are going to range from a nothingburger to ruinous - and all points in between - for some set of people.

That's whether we take extreme actions, or modest actions, or no actions. Or, in fact, take actions that further accelerate the process of warming. None of those options are off the table. "Drill baby drill", right?

It's highly unlikely that any of this is going to result in you, personally, having to change your address. So if that is what you're worried about, you can probably stop worrying about it.

By the time this country gets around to making anything like real changes, you and I will probably both either be dead or in the old folks' home.

i have no doubt the GOP will come out fully against anything to do anything about anything realated to any aspect of GCC

not specifically a global warming thing, but 18 states have laws pre-empting local municipalities from banning or otherwise limiting the use of single-use plastic bags.

not simply not trying to ban or otherwise manage them, but preventing anyone else within their jurisdiction from doing so.

tell me more about how it's only liberals who are telling other people how to live.

tell me more about how it's only liberals who are telling other people how to live.

Like in Texas, where they've just empowered the worst sort of vicious misogynist busybodies not only to destroy the lives of women and the people who help them, but to get paid for it by their victims.

not specifically a global warming thing, but 18 states have laws pre-empting local municipalities from banning or otherwise limiting the use of single-use plastic bags.

Decision-making should be as local as possible. And banning plastic bags is largely a wasted effort. And can be counterproductive.

My reference was to importing refined fossil fuel products specifically, which ISTM, is outsourcing the carbon footprint from domestically drilling for and refining one's own fossil fuels.

How is that different from the carbon footprint of producing anything for export, except for the product being fuel burned in the importing country, which counts towards the importing country’s emissions? You don’t think producing the stuff we buy contributes to China’s emissions?

The extracting and refining isn’t nearly the problem that the subsequent burning is.

McKinney bemoaning the "national angst" about Vietnam is like a man complaining to the fire department that they got his furniture wet.

McKinney condemning China for emitting twice as much CO2 as the US is akin to the old Conservative(TM) mantra (dare I call it a slogan?) that the top X% of Americans pay Y% of all income taxes where Y>>X, while deliberately ignoring the fact that they have Z% of the income where Z>Y.

McKinney declaring that "climate alarmists" have consistently been wrong suggests he gets his information from pundits and not climatologists.

Marty sounds like he's capable of saying, with a straight face, "It's your end of the lifeboat that's sinking, so don't tell me to bail, you liberal fascist."

CharlesWT, while riding his "local decisions" hobbyhorse, makes a decent point about plastic grocery bags. I have long used them as waste-basket liners; food comes in, garbage goes out, in the same bags. Not exactly "eco-friendly", but if everybody did that rather than littering public spaces with them the ... ahem ... local bans on plastic bags might never have happened.

If I sound on the verge of irritation it's because Russo's is closing, and I don't know where I will be able to buy actual food after this week.

--TP

I've actually been to that communist hell-hole, Vietnam (7 times) working with a university and would have done my sabbatical there if the Korea thing weren't easier to organize. That had me read up about that whole 'adventure' and all I can say is, we really fucked that one up, and we are just lucky that Vietnamese don't hold a grudge like they do in the Middle-East.

Decision-making should be as local as possible.

18 states didn't get the memo.

And this statement is, exactly, the libertarian corollary of "the feds should always be in charge". It's a knee-jerk blanket statement, and like all such statements is as likely to be false in any given case as it is to be true.

It's an ideology. My blanket statement is that ideologies are a poor substitute for thinking.

And banning plastic bags is largely a wasted effort. And can be counterproductive.

Of course.

Americans use about 100 BILLION single use plastic bags a year. Where do they go?

I don't think even Tony P can make use of 10 billion of them. :)

As usual your solutions entail everybody doing things the way that suits your preferred lifestyle and personal preferences.

So leaving things the way they are is your "preferred lifestyle and personal preferences"?

Good to know. Tell that to your grandchildren.

McKinney laments that my preferred policies would "force" him to do things he does not favor, and goes on and on about how the instances of "force" I cite were put in place by democratic means.

So OK. If we put the war footing type measures on the ballot to advance the struggle against human caused climate change, and we win...will he shut up about "democratic choices"?

We should live so long.

Americans use about 100 BILLION single use plastic bags a year. Where do they go?

Into the ocean and the groundwater, but that's okay because reusable bags are an inconvenience.

And if we try to ban them then the frackers won't be able to give struggling people a short term windfall.

Pay no attention to the profits behind the curtain. Or the groundwater contamination. Or the huge amount of formerly-sequestered methane released into the atmosphere.

Dear Charles,

I fixt it for you:

Decision-making should be as local as possible if they are in line with my ideological priors.

nous,

"Externalities are somebody else's problem."

an old and time tested right wing proverb.

Gavin Newsom survives his recall vote.

Larry Elder so far gets the plurality of votes (44%) for being Newsom's replacement had Newsom not survived the recall. Kevin Faulconer has not yet broken 10%.

Which means that the CA GOP is still an epic crapfest despite continuing to lose ground.

The recall didn't win in either Orange or San Diego counties. It probably would have done better if someone other than Elder had been likely to replace Newsom, but the knuckleheads were too riled up for a good Trumpian lib trolling.

Sorry for the slow response, but I spent the last 16 hours running a recall election polling place.

russell: maybe it's just me looking back with rose colored glasses, but it seems to me that we used to be able to do stuff like this. people would bitch and drag their heels, but it would get done.

When we were young, and for quite a while thereafter, the use of the filibuster was limited to blocking (or at least delaying and limiting) civil rights legislation. And those using it had to be willing to actually stand up and talk the whole time.

Now, it's used to block pretty much everything. And all it costs is telling the other side that you object. In other words, nothing. As a result, very little gets done save in dire emergencies (but only some of those).

That had me read up about that whole 'adventure' [the Vietnam War] and all I can say is, we really fucked that one up, and we are just lucky that Vietnamese don't hold a grudge like they do in the Middle-East.

As seems to be something of a theme**, if we had understood the locale better, or at all, we could have done far better. Not to mention far cheaper. We officially opposed North Vietnam because we worried about spreading Chinese influence in Southeast Asia. But the Vietnamese (including Ho Chi Minh personally) had no use for China and the Chinese . . . until China provided their only support against attacks by us. We could have just kept helping him, as we did after WW II. But we went another way, and paid for that stupidity in blood.

** See also our rejection of a possible alliance with Iran in dealing with Afghanistan. Which we also paid for in deaths from Pakistan-supported (and thus US financed) Taliban.

the CA GOP is still an epic crapfest despite continuing to lose ground.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory seems to be a specialty. Push the recall on things like lack of wildfire prevention, rather than far right gibberish, and settle on one halfway sane (trying not to expect too much here), and Newsome is gone. But today's CA GOP is not only incapable, but increasingly incapable, of anything that sensible.

banning plastic bags is largely a wasted effort. And can be counterproductive.

Supermarket supply of single-use plastic bags in the UK is now about 5% of what it was six years ago. That's seven billion bags a year not messing up the planet.

This has been achieved by a government-imposed 5p levy on the bags. Almost everyone's got used to bringing their own bags to the shop.

Please explain how this has been a wasted effort.

"tell me more about how it's only liberals who are telling other people how to live."

I think it's interesting that having a law that bans people from telling others what they can and can't do is used as a counter example. No one is forcing you or your store to use plastic bags. No one is forcing you to use a gun. No one is forcing you to drive a Ford F 150. No one is telling you what you can and can't do, except you can't tell other people what to do.

The only valid counter example in this thread is the abortion law in Texas. It is an abomination.

Please explain how this has been a wasted effort.

according to the dozens of articles posted by the plastic bag manufacturing industry, you're wasting time and energy and convenience!

I hope I'm not playing the sealion here, but if folks could be a bit more precise in defining the law(s) in question. I've not been in the US for anything longer than a month for the past 25 years, so I'm at a bit of a loss in tracking what is at issue. I suspect that other folks who don't live in the states might also be baffled.

Please explain how this has been a wasted effort.

The alternatives people use can require more resources than the plastic bags. What you get is virtue signaling that inconveniences people while providing little or no net benefit.

The alternatives people use can require more resources than the plastic bags.

a calculation which happily assumes nothing after the creation of the bag matters, that the environmental cost of a bag is of no relevance, that only environmental impacts that occur during manufacture exist.

it's a calculation only a plastic bag manufacturer could love.

FYI, here is a description of the law in Japan

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200630/p2a/00m/0na/007000c

At the beginning, I got caught out a couple of times, I hated paying for a bag, but now, I've got a couple in my car and a few in my office so it's not a big problem.

But today's CA GOP is not only incapable, but increasingly incapable, of anything that sensible.

A trend that I am personally pleased with, since the GOP seems to be following the CA playbook in other western states where the suburbs have swung blue. In AZ, the party leadership is still fighting their extremists: all of the worst bills for making voting more difficult there got bottled up in committees and died. I still think the AZ GOP is in trouble in 2022. The popular governor is term-limited out, the new districts will be drawn by the independent commission, and they seem determined to piss off the Maricopa County suburbs.

No one is telling you what you can and can't do, except you can't tell other people what to do.

When you and your political allies prevent the adoption of effective public policies to counter global climate change you are basically forcing us to watch the planet die and the possible extinction of the human race. But I guess nobody is forcing us to live I guess.

The idea that "freedom" is the ability to do "whatever I want" and that "force" is anything that prevents one from doing so is an ethical and social dead end.

No one is telling you what you can and can't do

say, why can't i buy beer in the store before noon on Sunday?

except you can't tell other people what to do.

i can't tell them to not make other people sick?

WTF is the point of society, then?

No one is forcing you or your store to use plastic bags. No one is forcing you to use a gun. No one is forcing you to drive a Ford F 150. No one is telling you what you can and can't do, except you can't tell other people what to do.

And so we are all obliged to live in a world where plastic crap infests every nook and cranny of the planet, any asshole with a grudge can get a firearm, and Greenland is freaking melting.

No-one should be able to place any constraints on anyone else’s actions or choices. We are all required to simply accept the result of those actions and choices. Preferably with a smile, because otherwise it will seem like we’re saying you’re bad.

We’d all love to live in a world where we could all do whatever we like. This isn’t that world. You doing whatever you like impinges on other people. How the hell do they not get a say in what you can and can’t do?

You appear to want a world in which the highest value is your ability to do whatever you want. That world has never existed. The only way for anyone to live that way is if everyone else is willing to live with consequences of you doing whatever you want. They probably aren’t.

virtue signaling

What is the person who carries their stuff home in a plastic bag and then just throws it away signaling?

You may not know this, but you can buy a cloth grocery bag for a couple of bucks. You can probably make one for close to nothing. Or you can re-use a paper grocery bag several times, probably as many times as you can re-use the plastic ones.

A paper bag will decompose in about a month. Cotton cloth, a couple of months. Both will decompose faster than that if put into compost or similar. They leave behind organic material.

A plastic bag takes years - decades - and what it leaves behind is toxic. 100 billion of those per year is a problem. Not for you, apparently, but definitely for everybody and everything else on the planet.

Talking to you guys is like talking to kindergartners. I don’t mean to be rude, but seriously, I don’t understand how anyone gets to adulthood without understanding that you can’t just do anything you want without considering the consequences of it. I mean, we all have our blind spots - I sure as hell do - but it’s like you all want to make a virtue out of it.

Please explain how this has been a wasted effort.

That doesn't matter. It didn't happen in 'Murica, which is the whole of the known universe to 'Muricans as concerns what might be good ideas. See also guns and health care.

...and they seem determined to piss off the Maricopa County suburbs.

"Maricopa County" and "suburbs" seem to me to be almost redundant, at least in terms of where people actually live rather than square mileage of land.

Talking to you guys is like talking to kindergartners.

This is an insult to sensible 5-year-olds.

Someone (cleek?) said recently that Marty once admitted to coming here to troll us.

This BS about "freedom to" (shoot guns, make the oceans filthy and dead, etc. etc.) is sacred, whereas "freedom from" (random death by gunfire, planet death, poisons in rivers, etc. etc.) is tyranny is so stupid that I'm starting to believe the trolling theory.

Everyone has to get their kicks somehow, I guess.

It's one big fallacy of composition. If you're the only one shooting guns and using single-use plastic bags and driving a gas-guzzling truck for no good reason, you'll be fine. Once enough people are doing that stuff, everyone, including the ones doing those things, suffer the consequences. Only a kindergartner could understand such a thing.

virtue signaling

modern Republicanism is essentially nothing more than signalling one's "conservative" virtues to other Republicans. it is entirely performative.

Just because all of you want to live in a submarine with a failing battery on half the air supply to save power doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to. [Begins to hyperventilate in protest.]

Only fossil fuel cars and equipment can function when the grid goes down.

if "the grid goes down", it's going to take down all of the non-mechanical gas pumps - including those that are used to fill the trucks that deliver the gas itself. along with all of the computers that run consumer credit card processing and all of the B2B billing steps between the refinery and the gas station.

it'll be a glorious five days before everyone is out of gas and screaming into the void about how windmills wrecked everything.

I don’t understand how anyone gets to adulthood without understanding that you can’t just do anything you want without considering the consequences of it.

I am considering the consequences of it. This British Environment Agency study is a bit dated but its findings would likely not be changed much by a new study. One of its findings is that a cotton shopping bag would have to be used 131 times for its resource and environmental impact to be less than a single-use plastic bag used one time. And that impact only goes up if it is washed.


"8.1.7 Cotton bag

The cotton bag has a greater impact than the conventional HDPE bag in seven of the nine impact categories even when used 173 times (i.e. the number of uses required to reduce the GWP [global warming potential] of the cotton bag to that of the conventional HDPE bag with average secondary reuse). The impact was considerably larger in categories such as acidification and aquatic & terrestrial ecotoxicity due to the energy used to produce cotton yarn and the fertilisers used during the growth of the cotton."
Life cycle assessment of supermarket carrier bags: a review of the bags available in 2006: Conclusions (pdf, page 59)


There have been a number of other studies that have found that most substitutes have a higher resource and environmental impact than do single-use plastic bags.

As for convenience, has anyone here tried carrying 15 or more pounds of groceries a mile or more in anything other than plastic bags? Depending on your strength and physical condition, it can be difficult to impossible. A lot of people have to do their shopping on foot.

That last analogy of mine reminds me that i’ll be teaching the classic science fiction short story “The Cold Equations” [https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-cold-equations/] in the next couple weeks, and that has resonance with both climate change and the pandemic. Spaceship Earth is past its safety margin already.

Mesh cotton grocery bag.

$3.00

and yes, for some people, $3.00 actually is more than they can afford to spend on a stupid bag. that's a gallon of gas, or two quarts of milk.

my suggestion: give every person or family that receives food assistance one bag per person, for free. they do wear out, so do it a couple of times a year.

raise my taxes to pay for it.

but everybody reading this, I'm pretty sure, could find $3 for a re-usable bag. or just make one. use an old t-shirt.

you'd think people were being required to donate their freaking bodily organs.

the thing about this whole "you can't tell me what to do" thing is that it makes it abso-freaking-lutely impossible to make progress on anything.

the world can freaking burn, as long as I can bring my groceries home in a disposable plastic bag. what do you think the odds are of walking that point of view back to something sensible?

if I'm mis-stating anybody's point of view here, please feel free to correct me. I'd welcome it.

As for convenience, has anyone here tried carrying 15 or more pounds of groceries a mile or more in anything other than plastic bags? Depending on your strength and physical condition, it can be difficult to impossible.

I'd bet the vast majority of people in the US haven't carried any amount of groceries a mile or more in any kind of bag (or box or crate or whatever). But, depending on your strength and physical condition, anything can be difficult to impossible. Regardless, I'm having a hard time understanding what the material of the bag has to do with it. The bag could even be plastic, so long as it's not used once and thrown away, if we're still talking about single-use plastics.

I'm having a hard time with what appears to be a discussion about whether single-use plastic bags are the optimal choice for carrying groceries and that there's just no better alternative. That seems silly.

This British Environment Agency study is a bit dated but its findings would likely not be changed much by a new study.

All good. If cotton is not a good idea, just re-use the paper bags. Go where the information leads.

Anyplace you want to take this has to account for the fact that we create 100 billion of those bags a year, and they mostly get thrown away, and then it takes decades for them to decompose, and they decompose into toxic crap.

If you leave that out of the equation, you haven't considered the whole picture.

And FWIW, and at the risk of virtue-signaling, we use canvas bags for groceries. We got them as freebies somewhere along the line. We've used the same bags, for years. Many years. 10, maybe? Maybe more.

I think we may have washed them two or three times, when something gross spilled or got squashed. In something like 10 or so years.

They're still going strong.

Just another data point for our study.

As for convenience, has anyone here tried carrying 15 or more pounds of groceries a mile or more in anything other than plastic bags? Depending on your strength and physical condition, it can be difficult to impossible. A lot of people have to do their shopping on foot.

Yes, I have carried a week's worth of groceries more than a mile. On foot.

If you carry more than a couple of pounds of stuff in a plastic bag, the handle will tear out. If anything at all pointy or with a sharp edge is in the bag, it will puncture the bag and stuff will probably fall out of it.

The best workaround for this is to double up the bags. Which means two bags for every one bag's worth of stuff you need to carry.

The virtue of single-use plastic bags is that they are extremely cheap to produce. Full stop. That is, precisely, what is good about them. Who benefits from that is an exercise I'll leave to the reader. In any case, it's not an inconsequential advantage, but it has to be balanced against every other aspect of creating and using them.

"I don’t mean to be rude, ..."

Watch it there, Tonto, your strained virtue slip is showing and signaling that the worn-thin veneer of societal and governmental order separating ourselves and the increasing numbers of assholes among us might not be indefinitely recyclable, as Margaret Thatcher opined ... nay ... hoped.

%-)

I take my dumps on the sidewalk in front of my building each morning because first, I'm a regular, manly kind of guy, AND I find the entire idea of one's toilet, sewage treatment, and the recycling my innocent abused water to be rank, forced virtue signaling (cholera is a mark of virtue) on my part and frankly, or is it johnly, a scandalous invasion of my freedoms, although I am aware conservatives and libertarians recycle their urine by refreshing the tree of liberty from time to time, tra-la-la, and what higher form of virtuous micturation (conservatives pee bullets, which must be painful) could there possibly be, I ask yous?

I'm aware that some of my fucking subhuman conservative neighbors ... property rights, don't ya know ... however, are threatening to force me to take a bullet if I continue with my freedom-loving ways, though one of them is a dedicated libertarian who is torn between his sensitive ears putting up with the noise of his own gunfire and having to continue wiping my shit off of his one-size-fits-all magazine-approved shoes he thinks no one else can possibly walk in, without, of course, force.

The last week or so here has me thinking Marty, Charles, and McTX, all decent, smart, blinkered to various degrees guys in their own ways, not a hypocrite among them, should (scratch that, do it of your own volition) link comradely arms and take a flying leap up Donald Trump's golden (cheap leaf, not solid) bunghole, cheap lip service paid to his demise notwithstanding.

That said, this thread has me set on a course of reviewing my own inconsistent and hypocritical recycling habits with the goal of self- and enviro- improvement, undiluted toxic substance that I am around these here parts.

If any of the three freedom lovers (mind you, I'm not forcing you) would like to fly to Denver, knock on my door, and remind me face to masked face that I am a virtue-signaling, tax-loving commie, not that I don't agree here and there marginally with you once every decade or so, please know that after you wake up in the hospital (if beds are available, since no one is forcing your oxygen-deprived compatriots to get a fucking vaccination), I will supply you with a reusable metal straw you may grip between your wired-shut jaws and through which you may draw a beverage of your choice at my hospitable expense.

That THAT last, except for the drinkey-poo, won't happen is my grandest effort at achieving dastardly hypocrisy and avoiding capital gains taxes.

one thing about the plastic bags that these studies don't really account for is that because the bags are so cheap (and flimsy), baggers will only put a couple of items in each of them. so a trip to the store that would have filled half of a single cotton bag results in a dozen plastic bags.

and then you need to account for the three bags that wouldn't come off the feeder correctly so they got stuffed directly in the trash by the hurried bagger. or the two that were used as padding around wine bottles, and then the one that got doubled-up to carry those wine bottles.

they all (potentially) go into the ocean too.

From the executive summary of Charles' study, discussing the scope of the study:

It does not examine personal bags nor carriers given out by other high street retailers. The report does not consider the introduction of a carrier bag tax, the effects of littering, the ability and willingness of consumers to change behaviour, any adverse impacts of degradable polymers in the recycling stream, nor the potential economic impacts on UK business.

So, if you discount the option of people just bringing their own damned bag to the grocery store, and discount the adverse impacts of all of the plastic crap the bags leave behind when they are discarded and degrade, then plastic bags start to look pretty good.

No grocery stores are handing out single-use cotton bags. People who use a cloth bag, virtually without exception, are bringing their own bag to the store. They are, in fact, probably using the bag at least 131 times before they throw it out, so they are probably meeting the requirement the report cites for parity between plastic and cloth as far as cost of manufacture and use.

And the report explicitly ignores the downstream costs of plastics.

This reminds me of the frequently-cited report about how there is no difference between organic and non-organic produce, except for the pesticides and other industrial chemicals used to grow non-organics.

It's really really easy to marshal an argument in favor of the point you want to make, if you begin by excluding the information you want to ignore.

Raise your hand if you use your reusable bag fewer than 130 times.

Raise your hand if you wash your reusable bags often, and entirely separate from the load of laundry you were going to do anyway.

We still have the cotton bags we used when we lived in Boulder two decades ago.

And when they do finally die, they can be used to patch a newer bag. And even if we threw it away, it would biodegrade, be non-toxic, and not add any microplastics into the water.

That seems silly.

Welcome to America.

"As for convenience, has anyone here tried carrying 15 or more pounds of groceries a mile or more in anything other than plastic bags? Depending on your strength and physical condition, it can be difficult to impossible. A lot of people have to do their shopping on foot."

You mean those flimsy plastic things with the breakaway handles?

And do you mean groceries weigh less in a plastic bag?

I saw a guy trying to lift a heavy metal safe full of groceries into his car in the Whole Foods parking lot the other day, but I assumed he had just purchased a pound of chanterelle mushrooms while cursing the unionized chanterelle mushroom gatherers who demanded something more than minimum wage.

Or maybe he was suffering from a hernia.

No, I take a page out of the homeless playbook and commandeer a grocery cart to walk the mile to the bridge the rich as well as the rest of us are forced to not live under.

I would use public transportation, but conservatives and libertarians have, in their infinite wisdom, made such conveyance as scarce as possible for both the rich and the poor.

I have tried carrying eggs home in a plastic bag over hill and dale, but halfway home I tripped and fell over one of those corporate scooters littering the sidewalk and broke eight of the eggs, which lightened the load considerably, and then I came across an anti-everything MAGA demonstration, to which I contributed the remaining four eggs, thrown from some distance.

Now, I've taken to letting a chicken sit on my head at all times.

I need the eggs.

There have been a number of other studies that have found that most substitutes have a higher resource and environmental impact than do single-use plastic bags.

As for convenience, has anyone here tried carrying 15 or more pounds of groceries a mile or more in anything other than plastic bags? Depending on your strength and physical condition, it can be difficult to impossible. A lot of people have to do their shopping on foot.

These studies look at the environmental impact of producing the bags. They don't consider the environmental impact of disposal.

It's true that cotton bags are a poor alternative to single-use plastic bags. But I'm not impressed by the argument "X is bad, Y is worse, let's do X without considering Z". (I use jute bags, which seem to last forever).

I'm fairly confident that CharlesWT has never tried carrying 15 or more pounds of groceries a mile or more in single-use plastic bags. Because if he had, he'd know that the handles aren't strong enough.

Sometimes I think the point gets lost. I don't object to paper bags, its four trips to the car to bring them in instead of one. In fact, I am an advocate for paper usage in a world that seems to not understand lumber is a renewable resource. I go to some stores that require you bring your own bags. I think that is a good idea. I think plastic water bottles are very convenient, but I don't use them any more. The only use I have for a plastic bag is cleaning up after my dog, I haven't found a good replacement yet.

There is a difference between convincing me to be more ecofriendly, or to help in the education and promotion of that because it is a good idea, and passing a law that tells me(and despite my use of the word a lot I don't really mean me, I mean a generic me) what I can and can't do.

It really comes down to your view of the role of government. We can have a common cause, which we are building in the case of climate change, to have a more ecofriendly society without taking each step as needing to be codified by the government.

I don't have enough time to really explain my thoughts on this but "Freedom from" is a broad and easily abused construct. I think you should be free from fear, that is not the world we live in. Anywhere in the world. "Freedom from" is the root of most governmental and societal abuses, Trump being a key user of those tactics.

If friendly persuasion gets it done, all good.

Is friendly persuasion getting it done? If it’s not, what are our options?

I recycle my plastic through sea turtles and such:

https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+of+a+dead+turtle+with+a+plastic+shopping+bag+stranglin+it&oq=picture+of+a+dead+turtle+with+a+plastic+shopping+bag+stranglin+it&aqs=chrome..69i57.40824j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

In fact, my apartment building has now instituted a more direct me-to-sea recycling system, replacing the recycling dumpster in the parking garage with a large tank of sea turtles who are willing (or not) to walk a mile in my discarded plastic.

They plead with me to stop, with a weird gag of strangulated sputtering, but I'm simply not convinced and will take my own good time changing my ways.

Meanwhile, the turtles could run for office and force me to comply with their selfish needs, but I'm confident Larry Elder would make soup of them before that happens.

"There is a difference between convincing me to be more ecofriendly, or to help in the education and promotion of that because it is a good idea, and passing a law that tells me(and despite my use of the word a lot I don't really mean me, I mean a generic me) what I can and can't do."

True. Littering should be left to choice.

And government should stay out of the enforcement of anti-littering.

Vigilante action by private citizens can supply that enforcement.

Once, years ago,in traffic, I noticed the guy stopped in front of me toss an empty cigarette pack out of his driver side window. I put my brake on, got out of my car, and tossed it back through his window into his lap, thinking I was returning his private property he had lost.

He got into a fuck-you contest from a sitting position with the wrong guy, if noise volume counts for anything.

Nowadays, I don't bother with such situations because I may be forced to look down a barrel of a gun pointed at me by a guy who hasn't been forced to carry deadly force.

At least the unvaccinated-by-hardheaded-obstinance can litter in the open air while not breathing on me, thereby killing two birds with one piece of plastic.

Adios for the week.

I need to ask the folks who use cloth bags for groceries: what do you put the resulting garbage into?

My town banned plastic bags some time ago, but does still require garbage to be bagged. Now, even if it made sense to bag garbage in anything other than plastic, I can't quite see why using the same plastic bag for both is anything but a win.

Of course, you can't mandate my dual-use approach. That would be telling people what to do.

For me, at least, a lifelong habit of hoarding has meant that I still have a small supply of old plastic bags to put my garbage into. When that supply runs out, I will have to contribute to environmental degradation by buying single-use garbage bags. Which will be good for The Economy, I suppose.

BTW, there's about 6 grams of polyethylene in a plastic grocery bag. By my calculation, 100B of them would cover 1 square mile about 10 feet deep. Don't know how that compares to the total volume of refuse in the US, but I bet it's small.

--TP

Just got back from the grocery store, where I packed my groceries into the two heavy cloth bags I've been using for thirty years and counting. Went over a bit, so had to pay a nickel for a paper bag. (Should have brought my third bag in from the car.)

Groceries aren't all put away yet, so I haven't read all the comments, but at the point where I picked up people were discussing how much cloth bags cost. Does anyone seriously imagine that the price of plastic bags isn't folded into the cost of our groceries? SERIOUSLY?

As for walking a mile with plastic bags vs cloth, I don't even get it. Are we supposed to believe that the weight of the bag makes that much difference? Or is it that you can pack so much more into cloth bags that lots of us wouldn't be able to carry them a mile fully loaded (except with rice cakes)? If the latter, I mean, how much deep thinking does it take to figure out that you don't actually have to load them so heavily?

I'd bet the vast majority of people in the US haven't carried any amount of groceries a mile or more in any kind of bag (or box or crate or whatever).

I do it regularly.

I'm having a hard time understanding what the material of the bag has to do with it.

You can split the load between two or more bags and loop the bags over the back of your hands. No grip effort is required. Just about everything else is clumsier and requires more effort.

And FWIW, and at the risk of virtue-signaling, we use canvas bags for groceries.

My reference to virtue-signaling was to governments banning plastic bags, not to what individuals choose to do.

I think we may have washed them two or three times, when something gross spilled or got squashed.

There's been evidence of increased food poisoning in jurisdictions that banned plastic bags.

If you carry more than a couple of pounds of stuff in a plastic bag, the handle will tear out. If anything at all pointy or with a sharp edge is in the bag, it will puncture the bag and stuff will probably fall out of it.

When plastic bags first appeared they were trash. But now I rarely ever have a problem with torn handles or split bags. Maybe several times a year. Bags from places like Target are very durable. I take a couple with me when I go to stores with flimsy or no bags.

they all (potentially) go into the ocean too.

Maybe 1% of the plastic in the oceans comes from North America and Europe. Most of it comes from castoffs from commercial fishing and rivers in east and south Asia.

I'm fairly confident that CharlesWT has never tried carrying 15 or more pounds of groceries a mile or more in single-use plastic bags.

Not in a single bag but split between two or more bags.

No one is forcing you to use a gun.

Absolutely true. But they are forcing me to live in a situation where guns of all kinds are in the hands, not only of hunters and others who are trained and have legitimate use for them, but of anyone who is conscious.

Nobody really needs an AK-47; it's sole use is killing lots of people quickly. (And it's useless against the Army, which has vastly more firepower than any handful of gun nuts can wield.) So why must we live in a situation where any lunatic can, and increasingly does, decide to shoot up a store or a church or a school?

I need to ask the folks who use cloth bags for groceries: what do you put the resulting garbage into?

My town banned plastic bags some time ago, but does still require garbage to be bagged. Now, even if it made sense to bag garbage in anything other than plastic, I can't quite see why using the same plastic bag for both is anything but a win.

The compostable remains from groceries get put on bio-degradable plastic bags before going into the bin for Organics. (Same bin where yard waste, tree trimmings, etc. go.) The bags aren't super sturdy. On the other hand, they only have to make it from the kitchen to the bin beside the house.

There's been evidence of increased food poisoning in jurisdictions that banned plastic bags.

Got a cite/link for that? I'm genuinely interested in seeing what alternatives were being compared.

Thanks

We use plastic garbage bags, sure. That’s required in our area. We’d like to compost, but there isn’t anyplace to do that in the area and we can’t use enough of it in a second floor apartment to make it work for us. Even with the garbage bags, though, we use fewer of them than we used plastic bags from groceries. Those would build up more surplus than we could ever use, especially when also trying to minimize packaging in our buying as well.

It gets us closer to circularity. Pragmatism, not purity.

Other countries manage it without hardship. We can look to them for ideas, rather than to China for excuses.

Most of it comes from castoffs from commercial fishing and rivers in east and south Asia.

about that fishing stuff... that apparently comes from a claim that 40-some percent of the plastic found in the Pacific's Great Garbage Patch is fishing gear (ropes, nets, etc). but that doesn't account for plastic that doesn't float. for example, nylon, acrylics, PET and PVC (and many others) will sink in water.

the plastic used to make shopping bags will float. though given how light they are and how they are almost entirely surface area, they'll also happily ride currents under water.

what do you put the resulting garbage into?

We put non-recyclable stuff in a paper bag under the sink, then that goes into a plastic bag for the trash pickup. The town requires us to bag trash in the plastic bag. Not my preference, but it is what it is.

We recycle whatever we can, which in my town means glass, plastic, paper, and metal. Compostable stuff gets (mostly) composted in the summer, or down the dispose-all the rest of the year. I’m sure there is an environmental cost to flushing organic material into the waste stream, but I don’t know how bad or not-bad it is.

We re-use aluminum foil and the inevitable plastic bags that stuff comes in a few times before we get rid of them. If the foil is not overly gross, it goes to recycle. When we’re done with the plastic bags, they go to a friend who uses them to pick up after her dogs. And… she throws them out.

So, not perfect, but some approximation of better-than-bad. I hope. I’d like an alternative to the plastic trash bag, but we typically generate one of those a week.

BTW, there's about 6 grams of polyethylene in a plastic grocery bag. By my calculation, 100B of them would cover 1 square mile about 10 feet deep.

My understanding is that the issue with the single-use plastic bags is not the volume of waste, but its toxicity and persistence in the environment.

In terms of sheer volume, paper bags are probably worse. But they are re-usable, at least a few times, and are non-toxic or at least less toxic when they degrade.

All of the down-in-the-weeds details about the plastic bags is interesting, but the sticking point for me here is how we go about dealing with any of this stuff. With 9 billion people on the planet, the idea that we should all just be let alone to do our thing as we see fit just doesn’t seem workable.

Scale matters. Things that are not a big deal when 1 or 100 or 100,000 people do them, become a big deal with 1,000,000 or 1,000,000,000 people do them.

So it seems to me we’re obliged to be mindful. And if voluntary mindfulness isn’t getting it done, it seems completely legitimate to me for mindfulness to be required. Or, at least the form of mindfulness - i.e., you don’t have to be personally virtuous as long as you act like it where it touches on other people’s lives.

Also, FWIW:

When I lived in Philly and had no money to speak of, I used to walk about a mile and a half to the grocery store. Three paper bags would get me through the week. They fit perfectly in one of those fold-up wire baskets with wheels.

Maybe you want to get one of those, Charles. Or, not. Whatever works for you.

Really, I don’t care where people live, I don’t care how they get their groceries to and fro. Do what you like. But if what you like creates problems for the freaking planet, it’s legitimate for some constraints to be put on what you do and don’t do.

I really do not understand why that is in any way controversial. We all put up with stuff like this, nobody is picking on conservatives.

We’re changing the climate of the planet. We’re cranking out toxic trash by the ton, and it takes decades or more for it to go away, if it ever does.

If that doesn’t deserve a response, I’m not sure what does. If a response based on everyone being a good do-bee will get it done, that’s great. If not, then we need something else.

Most of the things we've been discussing that get framed as freedom versus telling people what to do involve things that are very recent in terms of human history. They may not seem new to us given the shortness of our lifetimes, but they are new, much newer even than the concepts of liberty in the US Constitution.

What makes people think owning gas-guzzling vehicles and using throw-away plastic bags are their natural rights? And why not lead paint or any other number of things that have been prohibited by law when they were found to be harmful to human health and the environment?

Why aren't people allowed to drive 120 mph while smoking crack? That might be really fun! Have you tried it?

Got a cite/link for that?

"A study published by the University of Pennsylvania and George Mason University found that a ban on plastic bags by the city of San Francisco has led to an increase in E. coli infections. In the three months since the ban, deaths from foodborne illness in that city spiked by 46%.

With plastic bags forbidden, consumers are using reusable bags. While that’s great for the environment, most people don’t know that the bags should be washed regularly. When they are not washed, they become contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. The study’s authors said, “using standard estimates of the statistical value of life, we show that the health costs associated with the San Francisco ban swamp any budgetary savings from reduced litter.”

In fact, the study found that relative to other counties, deaths in San Francisco increased by 50 to 100%, and emergency room visits by a comparable amount. The same bans on plastic bags in other California cities showed similar effects."
E. coli Infections Spike After Plastic Bag Ban in California


Rebuttal:

"In my role as Health Officer of San Francisco I received a flurry of concerned calls about a research study that claimed that the 2007 San Francisco ban on plastic bags resulted in an immediate, very large increase in foodborne illnesses and deaths."
San Francisco plastic-bag ban associated with 46% increase in foodborne illness deaths — Not!

I'm reading a fascinating book on profiling serial killers upon which the "Mindhunter" TV series is based, and it relates the story of the profilers visiting penitentiaries to interview their subjects and learning that prisons began painting, leaded or not, common areas in what was thought to be soothing, calming colors to sooth the savage breasts, only to find out from the wardens that the contrary prisoners would pick the paint off the walls and eat the paint chips because they were insulted about the intended behavior modification and the colors pissed them off.

As more and more MAGA types head to prison to await their executions, I expect them to make a meal of the paint on the walls and then start in on the varnish on the furniture.

Will this week please end.

Also, everyone knows smoking crack makes a person drive way under the speed limit in the passing lane and get honked off the road or pulled over for holding up traffic.

Other countries manage it without hardship. We can look to them for ideas, rather than to China for excuses.

The points here about plastic bags resonate because (1) it is addressable with minimal intrusion and (2) accumulated plastic waste is right here and right now and cumulatively aggregating. China can fill itself up with plastic bags and the impact on us is minimal. CO2 emissions are different. We *are* addressing that issue, China is not. I am opposed to futile gestures and even more opposed to futile self-denial (while remaining fully open to supporting and accelerating tech advances in managing/eliminating pollution).

I hope you can see the difference.

https://www.newyorker.com/cartoon/a22646

What makes people think owning gas-guzzling vehicles and using throw-away plastic bags are their natural rights?

There are a lot of "rights" that people assume they have because, in a largely free and reasonably democratic society, we all have a fairly decent sense of what is and is not allowed. We are "allowed" to do a lot of stuff, incredibly stupid and self-destructive stuff, because we are and always have been 'free' to do pretty much what we want. We've always driven the cars we want and used plastic bags. When someone decides neither is a good idea and need to be restricted or curtailed, that is, for many people, an intrusion on a 'right' that gained its legitimacy over time. In your formulation, one could infer that we have no rights free of government limitation or proscription. I don't buy into that.

If you have an argument, and evidence, to curtail or require modification of an activity that affects others materially, make the argument.

Upthread, BP chastised me by conflating my resistance to gov't mandated lifestyle limitations to a lack of fidelity to democracy (if everyone voted to limit lifestyles, would that satisfy McKinney?, or words to that effect). My response is that ideologues left and right really don't worry much about the theory of when gov't can and cannot intrude into the private sphere. I'm not even sure ideologues recognize much of a private sphere. It's pretty much a "Here's a thing we don't like, here's the result we want, let's work backward on how to achieve it and tough shit if someone has a due process or inalienable rights objection." Likewise, fidelity to democracy is pretty elastic: BP and others are fine with pure democracy when it raises my taxes or tells me I have to live in an 900 sq ft apartment and set my thermostat at 78 in the summer and 65 in the winter and can only buy 1 lb of beef a week. However, if that same democracy limits abortion rights or changes voting laws or approves open carry of firearms, it's all a huge freaking disaster. Similarly, the SCOTUS finding a right to abortion is all well and good, but SCOTUS unfinding that right is intolerable. IOW, ideologues focus on the end, not the means, and routinely meet themselves coming as they trip over their own self-made and very flexible rules.

So, when behavior that has been perfectly legal for quite a long time is up for significant modification, those proposing the modification have the burden of proof and, living in a democracy (more or less), are stuck with the majority's vote (or inaction, as the case may be). Put differently, advocates for a particular limitation have no more of a right to impose their views than others have to oppose the same views and when that happens, we put it to a vote subject to the constitution.

And why not lead paint or any other number of things that have been prohibited by law when they were found to be harmful to human health and the environment?

Because the democratic process worked after those advocating for change successfully made their case. This simply makes my point.

Why aren't people allowed to drive 120 mph while smoking crack? That might be really fun! Have you tried it?

I think this would be a hyperbolic category error. The use of public highways is governed by a license issued by the state which constitutes permission to use the public roads under terms and conditions specified by the various governments having specific jurisdictions (cities, counties, states). Also, there are speed limits in every state and, I'm confident, laws in every state against driving under the influence of crack and many other substances. And, I'm not sure there is a constituency anywhere lobbying for a change in the law that would allow either of these.

On the bigger picture, I've seen and inferred enough about the progressive left to be reasonably confident that the battle between principle and desired outcome is a loser going in: desired outcome wins virtually every time. For that reason, I remain skeptical--highly skeptical in most cases--when I am told that it's the end of the world unless we all fall into line on any given issue the Prog Lefties happen to be pushing at the moment.

In case y'all don't have time to read the study and rebuttal that CharlesWT linked to, the rebuttal notes in the very first sentence that the study was not peer reviewed.

A careful researcher would also note that the Food Poisoning Bulletin (at which the study was published) is edited by a person with a BS in Food Science (whose main brag is being a top "food safety social media influencer") and is published by a lawyer who specializes in food poisoning litigation and sponsored by his law firm.

Wonder how many online sources bothered to check any of this before putting it on blast to be picked up and repeated by the rest of their Brave Contrarians Network.

I think this would be a hyperbolic category error.

Or a f**king joke, FFS!

Because the democratic process worked after those advocating for change successfully made their case. This simply makes my point.

I'm not sure what this means. When I advocate for policies, or even just policy goals, on a blog, am I circumventing the democratic process? What power do you think I or anyone else here has? We're just making our case, unsuccessfully so far given where we are in the democratic process.

Here's a thing we don't like, here's the result we want, let's work backward on how to achieve it and tough shit if someone has a due process or inalienable rights objection.

For the issues we've been discussing for the last bit of this thread - global warming, accumulation of toxic or otherwise nasty plastics all around the world - I'm not sure that "Here's a thing we don't like" captures the concern.

We don't want to cause changes to the climate. Because they will be profoundly disruptive and, in many case, harmful. Not the Hollywood movie "OMG Manhattan is underwater!" version of disruptive and harmful, but the real life version. The "OMG it's going to cost us tens of billions of dollars to clean up Manhattan after that storm surge!" version, see also Hurricane Sandy. Or the "we have to choose between water for agriculture or water for drinking and bathing" version, see also the Western US right now. Multiplied many times over, for all the places that are going to be hit by conditions they were not designed for.

We don't want to blanket the world with toxic micro-shards of plastic. Because they're toxic, and because we have no known way to clean them up, and even if we had a way, it would probably cost more than anyone wants to spend on it.

We're not talking about small things here, or matters of personal preference or lifestyle. Nobody is trying to turn anyone else into a Prius-driving coastal elitist metrosexual. We're trying to figure out how to not fnck up the 10,000 years of stable environmental conditions that have made it possible for humans to establish settled lives and move past nomadic hunter-gatherer culture.

Just thought that deserved pointing out.

I just want to stop people from doing stuff they like because I'm mean. The planet is just an excuse.

We *are* addressing that issue, China is not.

you can buy an electric car in China, right now, for less than $5K. if they can export them, they will crush the Japanese and US EV makers.

The use of public highways is governed by a license issued by the state which constitutes permission to use the public roads

STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!

boohoos

you can buy an electric car in China, right now, for less than $5K.

They will likely cost a lot more than that if they have to meet US and European vehicle standards.

point is, many Chinese people are actually trying to reduce their CO2 emissions. according to this, in 2020 41% of all EVs in the world were sold in China.

The best-selling EV in China is not Tesla’s Model 3, but the tiny Hongguang Mini EV, produced by SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile, a joint venture between China’s state-owned SAIC Motor, US carmaker General Motors and another Chinese company, Wuling Motors.

The conglomerate positions the car as “the People’s Commuting Tool” in its advertising, with a starting price of 28,800 yuan (about US$4,485, or £3,200) and a fully charged driving range of 120km. Since its debut in July 2020, the Hongguang Mini EV has sold over 270,000 units and was the best-selling EV worldwide in January 2021.

a 120km range isn't useful for me, but it probably would be if I lived in a dense city.

yes, they need to get off coal.

As part of that urban/rural dynamic here we should note that cars are only a small segment of China's EV market. They sell about 15 million e-bikes every year. Those e-bikes make a huge contribution to reducing the need for a car when and where age, population density, and weather permit.

I'm seeing more and more of these on campus here as well, which works if you are within commuting range. E-skateboards and One Wheels are also pretty popular as alternatives for cars.

Our Chinese internationals have been leading that trend on campus, and it's spreading.

I'd probably have bought a cheater bike myself if I didn't live within walking distance of where I teach.

And, no, this is not my "preferred way of life." I'd love to live on some rural acreage someplace cooler and less dense in population and find other ways to moderate my burden on the carrying capacity of the planet we all share. But this is where I live and work, so here I am, doing what I can where I am.

The US sits at one end of the cosmic lifeboat we call "planet Earth". China sits at the other end. The lifeboat is sinking.

McKinney claims China is not bailing fast enough. So why, asks McKinney, should the US inconvenience its freedom-loving populace by bailing any faster?

--TP

The limit of my rucksack is about 20 pds (or 6 bottles á 1.5 l). For more I use something like this
https://www.easy-trolley.de/i10639/original/0/Royal_Shopper_XXL__3_Speichen__mit_Tasche_Asta_schwarz.jpg
that is certified for 50 kg (but it's exactly full at 18 bottles á 1.5 l i.e. 60 pounds).
I do most shopping on foot which is about 1 km in one direction. Otherwise I use public transport but given that the next Underground stop is also where the main shopping area is (and most other shopping areas are located close to Underground stations) it makes no significant difference as far as walking is concerned.
If there is no really heavy lifting to do (i.e. no more than 5 kg per hand) cloth bags are the container of choice. Plastic bags are mainly used, if there is a risk of spillage (of staining or sticky stuff) and then it's mostly the critical items put in a plastic bag that then is put into the cloth bag, the rucksack or the trolley.
Personally I see the main problem less in single-use plastic bags than the plastic most grocery items come in. That stuff adds up very fast.
We are in the lucky situation that trash has not to be bagged but can be put into the bins (communal for two adjacent blocks of flats) directly, so it's usually carrying the small bins from the flat to the communal bins and emptying them into those. Biodegradable stuff (food waste etc.)has it's own bin and usuing plastic bags for that is explictly forbidden. There are paper bags for that.
We still produce too much waste for my personal taste but I am too lazy and too stingy to really work on that, which I have to admit.

They will likely cost a lot more than that if they have to meet US and European vehicle standards.

Obviously you're not talking about vehicle emission standards (which are the most expensive ones). After all, these are electric cars. So where do they fall down? Inability to withstand a low speed crash? Lack of turn indicators? What?

I should add that Germans will fill plastic bags to the brim, if possible, so we use fewer of those than is probably the case elsewhere.
And one thing Germans do not like at all is other people packing your bags for you. If one gets into a grocery shop here where they have baggers (extremly rare), the first reaction of a German is 'hey, someone is trying to steal my groceries' not 'oh, thank you for the service'.

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