Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Follow up on Previous Post

Because of a response I had on my previous post, I wanted to do a follow up.

Brian, I am not picking on you. I believe you are sincere in what you said, and want to be a good steward of God's gift of the earth to us. I just don't know if you've thought through your response:

Get reusable cloth bags?
Walk to the store and only carry as much as you can fit in your backpack?
Use paper bags made from recycled content?

I respect anyone who wants to be a good steward, and we should do what we can individually and collectively to help keep our environment safe. However, too many, even in Conservative circles, have bought into the lie that man is the primary cause of Global Warming, or that we are somehow “evil” and are harming “mother earth” because we are industrialized and have been able to invent products that make life more convenient. Should we do all we can to stop intentional polluting and damage to the air we breathe and the water we drink. Yes. But not with knee jerk reactions that are supposed to make us feel better about outselves but do nothing to really help with the problem.

The notion that getting rid of plastic shopping bags is going to help the environment is ridiculous.

Do you realize how much plastic you personally use? Are you willing to give up all plastic? Then you may have to give up the following:

Automobiles (most autos are full of plastic)
Electricity in your home (electrical wiring, outlets, and appliances utilize plastic because it is non-conductive)
Many cooking utensils and containers
Your computer
Many of the furnishings and appliances in your home
Most of your cleaning products and shop items (most come in plastic containers)
Many of your food items that you buy every week (milk, ketsup, margarine, bread, etc. etc.)
Toys for your kids
Picture frames
Calculators, copy machines, fax machines, etc.
Toys for your pet
Eating out (especially take-out and fast food)
Your air conditioning and heating units (they both contain some plastic components)
Many of the books you read
Storage containers
Make-up (hopefully only if you are female)
Sports equipment

Etc. Etc. Etc.

On using reusable cloth bags. I buy about $150-$200 worth of groceries a week. Do you know how many bags I'll have to buy to package all that? The last time I checked, those bags range from $7 up. I estimate I'd have to spend a minimum of around $100 just on bags.

On walking to the grocery store. I would have to walk 2 miles to the nearest grocer - and that would take more time than I have. Plus, carrying only what I could put in a backpack would mean I had to walk back and forth much more often. I buy too many groceries for this option. And what about handicapped and elderly individuals who can't walk?

On using recycled paper bags. I don't have a problem with this one that I can think of. I ask for paper bags when they are available, simply because I can get more in them than a plastic bag and they don't have handles that tear if you load them too heavy. However, that still doesn't elimate the fact that there are many more items made out of plastic than shopping bags - and recycled paper products can't do what plastic can do in most cases. Besides, it takes much more energy to produce recycled paper than plastic, so there's another down side.

Years ago, the US and several other countries banned R12 refrigerant to "save the ozone". This caused prices to go up in the automobile and contruction industries as well as many others - but did little to help the environment - for one thing, there are still many countries around the world that still produce R-12 and tons of it are smuggled in and sold on the black market each year.

Sometimes in an attempt by the goverment to "protect us from ourselves", there are unplanned consequences that are equal to or worse than the thing that was to be regulated in the first place.

So, to reiterate my earlier statement...

The notion that getting rid of plastic shopping bags is going to help the environment is ridiculous.

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