Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Meme-a-licious!

All of these are great, but my absolute favorite is this one:

StrawChase.jpg

Check ’em all out.

As for the Great Democrat-Socialist Straw Ban, there’s, uhh, a slight problem. Several, in fact, all of them being the usual ones when it comes to arrant liberal horseshit.

As Angela points out in the video above, the case against the plastic straw is exceedingly weak. There aren’t as many plastic straws thrown away as claimed, and only a tiny portion of U.S. straws end up anywhere near the oceans—the vast majority of municipal solid waste in this country ends up either buried in landfills, recycled, or burned up in incinerators, far from any congested sea turtles.  

The vast majority of plastic waste in oceans actually comes not from advanced countries like the U.S. but from countries like China and Indonesia that consume a large volume of plastic products but lack our modern waste collection infrastructure. Much of their plastic waste ends up washed into major river systems that empty into the oceans. A study published last year in the journal Environment Science & Technology by three German researchers found that 90% of the plastic debris found in the world’s oceans is dumped there by just ten of the world’s rivers—none of which are in the Western Hemisphere, much less the United States.

Beside the fact that U.S. consumers are contributing very little to the ostensible problem is the other side of the equation: the benefits of the straws themselves. I suspect many Americans who were initially receptive to the idea of a ban were genuinely surprised to learn that disposable drinking straws are very important to people with certain disabilities. British disability rights activist Penny Pepper recently commented in the Guardian about how she depends on plastic straws—and other single-use, disposable products like baby wipes—writing “I don’t have the luxury of a plastic-free life.” The durability, convenience, cleanliness, low price, and resistance to heat of disposable plastic straws make them irreplaceable to people with many different physical limitations.

Not everyone’s need for convenience is as specific and pressing as Ms. Pepper’s, but it shouldn’t have to be. Giving disabled Americans an “opt-out” of a plastic straw ban would certainly be better than no accommodation at all, but it gets the presumption of a free society backwards. Absent causing some real harm—and a straw that ends up buried in a landfill on the edge of town doesn’t meet that threshold—we should be free to eat, drink, and slurp as we see fit. No one should have to get a license or undergo an exam to qualify for access to a simple consumer product. Does anyone really believe that empowering public officials to decide who is allowed to have plastic utensils and disposable hygiene products will yield positive results?

Depends on what you consider positive. For the Democrat Socialist Left, empowering government officials is always a positive result in and of itself. A “free society”? They’re ag’in it. So it all adds up to a win-win for them, see. Regarding the “Americans throw away 500 million straws a day” claim that got the whole turdball rolling, well…uhhh…lemme see…

Yep: arrant horseshit.

NBC News official Twitter account tweeted Wednesday morning, “The average American uses 584 straws a year — most of them ending up in our waterways. We can do better.”

The NBC tweet linked to an accompanying article that claimed, “Nationwide, 500 million drinking straws are thrown away each year — enough straws to fill about 46,400 school buses.”

“At an average rate, Americans use 1.6 straws a day, or 584 a year, according to the National Parks Service,” it added. “Environmental groups have targeted disposable drinking straws — that are not recyclable or compostable — for extinction. The ultimate goal: Prevent non-degradable plastic straws from polluting our beaches, waterways and oceans.”

Okay, here’s the first problem: The NPS’ website actually says Americans use 500 million drinking straws per day, not per year. NBC screwed up the number.

There’s an even bigger issue than merely bungling the number, however, and it involves where private companies and government agencies get that 500 million per day statistic. As it turns out, that number comes from a child. I am not making this up.

“The actual number of straws being used is unclear,” Reason magazine reported in January.

“The 500 million figure is often attributed to the National Park Service; it in turn got it from the recycling company Eco-Cycle,” the report continues. “Eco-Cycle is unable to provide any data to back up this number, telling Reason that it was relying on the research of one Milo Cress. Cress—whose Be Straw Free Campaign is hosted on Eco-Cycle’s website—tells Reason that he arrived at the 500 million straws a day figure from phone surveys he conducted of straw manufacturers in 2011, when he was just 9 years old.”

Cress, who is now 16-years-old, told Reason that the National Restaurant Association has endorsed his estimate privately. That’s to his credit, but the problem remains: He appears to be the sole source for this number.

So in sum, this straw ban is:

  • Unworkable
  • Counterfactual
  • Silly
  • Pointless
  • Childish—in this case, literally
  • Based on scientifically-unsupportable nonsense
  • Abusive of individual rights and freedom
  • Misdirected, against the nation least responsible for the “problem,” which doesn’t really exist in the first place
  • Costly, intrusive, oppressive, and unnecessary
  • Capable of accomplishing nothing except making life more difficult for people left out of liberal-fascist calculations

Yep, it’s another bass-ackwards Democrat-Socialist shitshow, all right.

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2 thoughts on “Meme-a-licious!

  1. Instead of banning evil plastic straws, so that they do not end up in their citys’ streets, maybe Kaliforniturd should first ban people from sh*tting in their streets and side-walks. I would think that piles of human shite would be a bigger priority.

  2. Just how dumb are they in SANTA BARBARA anyway ? Modern Enviromentalists are total idiots after all they banned DDT and CFC’s using JUNK SCIENCE and LIES then back in the 1990’s it was SAVE THE RAIN FOREST i mean modern enviromentalisms a form of stupidity the fact these nut burgers want us all to go VEGAN all over this GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE poppycock

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