In his column, talkRADIO presenter Michael Graham gives a conservative viewpoint on current issues.
In the classic movie The Graduate, it was “just one word: ‘Plastics.’”
In the insane moment America is living through, inherited in no small part from the UK, it’s “paranoia.” Or maybe “progressive puritanism.”
(OK, that’s two words, but stick with me.)
The Graduate "Plastics" scene
The seemingly-sane city council of Santa Barbara, CA - ironically, the home of the Ronald Reagan ranch - just voted unanimously to punish restaurant servers with potential jail time for serving plastic drinking straws.
“The city also has made a second violation of its straw prohibition both an administrative infraction carrying a $100 fine and a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail,” reports Reason magazine. “Each contraband straw or unsolicited plastic stirrer counts as a separate violation, so fines and jail time could stack up quickly.”
Sent to the slammer…for drinking through a straw.
Santa Barbara is just the latest American city to follow the UK’s example and take a stand against “Big Plastic.”
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors just voted to ban plastic straws and drink stirrers and plastic toothpicks - not just in restaurants, but for sale anywhere in the city.
They’re all following the lead of uber-liberal Seattle - the first big US city to stick it to the drinking straw.
And the question that should be asked on both sides of the Atlantic is…why?
"Sent to the slammer... for drinking through a straw!"
Start with straws. They make up about 2,000 tons of the 9 million tons of plastic that enter the ocean each year, according to the Associated Press - a whopping .02 percent of all plastic waste. Even an oceanographer quoted says: “"We are not going to solve the problem by banning straws."
In the UK, you’re told that you throw away 8 billion plastic straws a year - an average of 123 straws per man, woman and infant in the island. Really?
Another target of insanity is that magnificent creation of the human mind, the plastic shopping bag. The inventor truly deserves a Nobel Prize for this amazing contribution to human happiness. And so what are liberal loons doing in both our countries?
Banning them, of course!
Why? To fight global warming? Hey, Captain Genius: Producing and shipping paper bags actually creates more CO2 than the plastic bags you’ve banned.
As environmental journalist Marc Gunther reports: “A thorough life cycle analysis done in the UK by the government’s environment agency…found plastic bags are superior to paper because they require less energy and far less water to make.”
But what about that “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”?
According to a University of Oregon study, the "patch" is actually less than 1% the geographic size of Texas.
In the US, the vast majority of plastic bags end up in our landfills But so what? That’s what landfills are for, and according to liberal Slate.com, we have enough landfill capacity to last hundreds of years.
You know what else belongs in a landfill? The lousy “science” of the anti-plastic puritans of the progressive movement.