Thursday, April 14, 2016

Say NO to Plastic Bag Bans!

It is true that manufacturing "lightweight plastic bags consumes about 4.5 times more energy in its manufacture than reusable green bags" (NTEPA, n.d., para. 7); however, that is only part of the picture. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, "traditional plastic bags recover the largest percentage of energy. They also leave behind the smallest amount of municipal solid waste" (Villarrea, 2012, para. 4). In contrast, paper bags produce the most waste and reusable shopping bags are not without their problems as well.

According to a University of Arizona and Loma Linda University study conducted in 2011, "only 3% of shoppers with multi-use bags said they regularly washed them. The same study found bacteria in 99% of bags tested; half carried coliform bacteria while 8% carried E. coli, an indicator of fecal contamination" (Newkirk, 2014, para. 4), which can obviously be health hazard. This situation is exacerbated further when we consider that many shopping bags remain in hot cars during summer days where the bags act as an incubator for nasty bacteria left behind from raw meats.

Additionally, we have already seen the economic toll that plastic bag bans cause. A study conducted by the National Center for Policy Analysis discovered that in Los Angeles County "commerce in incorporated businesses has been dealt a significant blow in the year following the bag ban" (CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL, 2012, para. 3). We have even seen a spike in unemployment numbers in places that have enacted plastic bag bans.

Unfortunately, recycling plastic bags right now can be troublesome, because "at some facilities, plastic bags snarl the conveyer belts" (Turk & Bensel, 2014, Ch. 9.5), but as technology progresses that may not be the case. Recycling technology is constantly improving and this circumstance may be due for a change. It's also true that plastic bags can harm animals if improperly disposed of, but that is the case with many waste products and the environmental impact of plastic bags is minimal.

If I were in charge, in order to deal with this problem I would encourage entrepreneurs to invest in new recycling technology that can help us process plastic bags better. In the meantime, I would make the case for compostable plastic bags, which I believe to be a good alternative to traditional bags. They are just as convenient for shoppers, plus they biodegrade just like food waste. However, I would not, under any circumstance, enforce a bag ban by decree. I would leave these decisions where they should be left, which is between the consumer and the business. If people don't want to use plastic bags because of concerns about the environment, then I suspect that they will not use them. Either way, I don't believe it is wise policy to interfere with the free market, especially when it will be "harmful to local economies and not environmentally justified" (CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL, 2012, para. 11).

CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL. (2012). Study: Plastic Bag Bans Have Harsh Economic, Environmental Impact - Breitbart. Retrieved from
Newkirk, B. (2014). Eww, reusable grocery bags' germs can make you sick. Retrieved April 14, 2016, from
NTEPA. (n.d.). Environmental Impacts. Retrieved April 14, 2016, from
Turk, J., & Bensel, T. (2014). Contemporary environmental issues (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Villarrea, P. (2012). A Survey on the Economic Effects of Los Angeles County's Plastic Bag Ban. Retrieved April 14, 2016, from

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Climate Change & Data Manipulation

Climate Change & Data Manipulation

What law can we pass that can change the weather? To think that our laws have this power is very egotistical of us. The evidence that climate change is man made is based on the theory that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing the Earth's temperature to rise by trapping heat; however, there is no working formula that exists that can tell us how many parts per million of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere will increase the Earth's temperature by one point. This is because they do not know and are apparently taking some rather large logical leaps that we are just expected to go along with.

The theory of man made climate change stands in direct opposition to the scientific method. Even though "95 percent of climate models predicting global temperature rises have been wrong" (Bastasch, 2014, para. 1) and the data is later altered to meet predictions, we are still expected to believe that, on this issue, the science is settled, which is clearly not the case. Additionally, we now have evidence that the US government has engaged in "wholesale manipulation of the official temperature record... This really does begin to look like one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time" (Booker, 2015, para. 8). Furthermore, proponents of man made climate change continue to get caught misrepresenting how many scientists actually believe that human behavior is the cause of climate change. Their latest claim is that "ninety-seven percent of scientists concur and agree that there is global warming and anthropogenic impact" (Tuttle, 2015, para. 1); however, these numbers are being manipulated to make it appear as though there is a consensus on this issue when there is not. 

According to Vladimir Putin's (The President of Russia) former senior economic adviser, Andrey Illarionov, "We found that, while climate change does exist, it is cyclical, and the anthropogenic role is very limited... the evidence presented for the need to ‘fight’ global warming was rather unfounded" (Bastasch, 2015, para. 6).

So, what specific policies can the US government enact to reduce its impact on global climate change? They can encourage objective research without a political bias. They can quit manipulating climate data and misrepresenting how many people in the scientific community support the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Other than that, the US government has no business trying to pass laws that would stifle economic growth, increase taxes, massively increase the role of government, redistribute American wealth around the world and change our very way of life -- all in an effort to control the weather and because of a theory that has yet to be proven.

Bastasch, M. (2014). Report: 95 percent of global warming models are wrong. Retrieved from
Bastasch, M. (2015). Guess What Vladimir Putin Thinks About Global Warming. Retrieved from
Booker, C. (2015). The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever. Retrieved from
Tuttle, I. (2015). The 97 Percent Solution. Retrieved from