Bad Is Good

     New Flash: plastic bags are good for the environment!
     “Banning plastic bags would dramatically increase energy use, double greenhouse gas emissions and increase waste. Recycling plastic bags is the right approach and makes plastic bags the environmentally responsible choice.”
      Those are the words attributed to one Keith Christman, the Senior Director of the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division, in a press release issued the other day after a judge in Oakland, California supposedly struck down a city law banning the bags because – oops – the city didn’t bother with an environmental study before passing the law.
     You can do some pretty amazing things with environmental law with a little imagination.
     Thank heavens we have distinguished organizations like the American Chemistry Council to set us straight on these complicated scientific issues.
     Who is the ACC?
     Glad you asked. This is from the Plastics Division page on the ACC’s website: “ACC’s Plastics Division is comprised of 12 of the leading resin manufacturers, plus one affiliated trade association representing the vinyl industry.”
     So you know they know all about plastics and the environment.
     Now ask yourself – what’s wrong with this picture? If you look at this objectively, you might think the ACC has some sort of bias. Their hard-working scientists do their best to keep the public informed about the great benefits of plastic bags and there are going to be people out there who question their motives.
     We might be able to wipe out greenhouse gas emissions completely by making more plastic bags (maybe to clog power plant chimneys), but politicians will never let it happen just because we have doubts about our plastic bag scientists.
     I should note here that this problem isn’t limited to plastic scientists. Almost everyone is working for the environment these days. Even developers are filing environmental lawsuits against other developers who, coincidentally, might be competitors.
     All these people want to save our planet and we think they’re being selfish just because they pay the scientists. Don’t Sierra Club scientists get paid by someone?
     Come on, people. We need to get beyond these petty side issues and deal with the real science. This isn’t a presidential election.
     Let’s focus.
     OK, plastic bags are good for the earth….
     You see? That made the discussion so much easier.
     One of my favorite environmental arguments, by the way, has been the assertion that greenhouse gases are good for us – maybe even life-saving – because they’re staving off an ice age.
     The spectre of polar bear world domination no longer haunts me.
     TOO FAT AND TOO THIN. Speaking of innovative scientific arguments, check this out from a recent Los Angeles Superior Court complaint:
     “Obesity in the United States has become an epidemic, threatening the health and longevity of citizens throughout the United States at unprecedented rates…. Meanwhile, the continued promotion of super-thin individuals by the media and fashion industries has instilled in the public a perception of beauty that is difficult to achieve and maintain.”
     So does that mean we’re all being forced unwillingly toward normal weight?
     Bad things can indeed be good for us.

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