Reason Assistant Editor Christian Britschgi has been hot on the trail of one of my favorite stories of the new year. Yesterday he reported on an absurd California bill that would criminalize offering plastic straws to restaurant patrons. If the bill passed, waiters would have to wait for customers to ask for a straw or face potential jail time. Yes, jail time.
So, what kind of environmental crisis justifies such a draconian step? How about the “fact” that Americans are using a staggering 500 million straws per day. That’s more than one straw per American, per day. That’s a lot of straws. That’s a lot of plastic.
But don’t tell Britschgi that a fact is too good to check. He checked, and the results were . . . hilarious:
The 500 million figure is often attributed to the National Park Service; it in turn got it from the recycling company Eco-Cycle.
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.
What the actual heck? Surely this statistic isn’t in widespread use. Surely a California legislator was simply relying on poor staff work. Right?
Well no, Britschgi did more digging and found that at least 15 major news organizations had used the 9-year-old’s work, including prestige outlets like CNN, the Washington Post, Time, Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The stat has also been touted by the Sierra Club and the National Park Service.
And why not use data gathered by like other climate scientists that still think tere is a tooth fairy.
California has become to most rediculous state in the whole entire 50 states and the the Stupid Jackass Party (Demacrats)a idiot Govenor(Moonbeam Brown)where dangeroius predators like Mountian Lions are protected and chickens must be kept in humane condition becuase of the ignorant voters yeah and i sorry to say i live in California and were surrournded by the idiots from Southern California and i live in Northern California they realy need a new state seal for california showing a demacratic jackass with that dumb cross eyed look to it
I’ve done my part. I haven’t used a straw since Sunday. What did YOU do to save the environment?
@Bill… Deplorable Me: Saved the Planet, remember Dec 2012 when the Mayan calendar ended, a sure portent for the end. I sent a new Avon 2013 calendar to Mexico, it was also made from recycled paper.
The eniromentalists wackos are the big campaigns against plastics their so called Island of Plastics floating around in the Pacific has been wildly enlarged by their lies and many modern plastics are made to break down and disolve in sea water but i dont want we should keep dumping it in the ocean many plastic containers can be recycled like soft drink and sport drink bottles and many vegtable and fruit juice jugs i turn in all my soda and sport drink bottles for cash and i drop off the rest at these recycle bins across the street from where i live our local recycler comes in on Thursdays and Fridays unless the weather is snowy or theres a monday holiday he dont come on fridays and during christmas and our county fair we get a little coupon where we get 10 cents a pound extra on our alunumum cans
I read an article which has been widely reported on that 90 percent of the plastic in the oceans is from ten rivers, published in Environmental Science and Technology and I think they are in Asia and Africa. Nile and Niger in Africa and I think Ganges and Indus in India (Asia) and Yangtze,Yellow, Haihe, Pearl, Mekong and Amur.
I think the Yangtze was the biggest or carried the heaviest plastics load. Probably Americans buying Asian manufactured goods does contribute to the plastics pollution in the Chinese and other Asian rivers, and there are a lot of manufactured goods from Vietnam that are purchased in America as well.
Possibly following the Trump agenda of increasing manufacturing in the US, rather than importing from offshore manufacturing, such as from Asia, would do more than anything else to reduce the plastics burden of the world’s oceans, since there may be less plastics pollution in American rivers than Asian and African rivers
Ironic that the west coast Mecca of environmentalism actually encourages people to shit on the sidewalks.
Oh, straw. And I just thought it was fake news.
All those people in Kalifornialand need them straws for snorting , that 9 year old is probably not on meth or coke or whatever else they need all those straws for .
@KilMall: Especially since Brown has taken all their folding money they roll up for snorting.
Hey there everybody…
So…..I can make the Police wait until I sober up and then request a straw?
Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?
The truth, plainly stated. The right has chosen to deal with it by ignoring it or by making moronic jokes about those who try to respond to it, but the truth remains the truth.
@Greg: Any message from the left is neither plainly stated OR the truth. While we can always improve upon how we treat the environment, the earth has warmed and cooled and warmed and cooled throughout its history and the current period is no exception. The plain truth is that the left is trying to exploit the current cycle for power and wealth.
That attempt has failed.
What don’t people understand about the rapidly accelerating torrent of species extinctions, or the fact that we’re accomplishing this in the blink of an eye?
How clear and terrifying does a truthful message have to be to overcome willful ignorance? We’re not magically immune to the consequences of our own stupidity. We’ve put a gun to our own heads, we’re in the process of squeezing the trigger, and some are criticizing those who are yelling “STOP!”
So, before the 20th century, no species ever went extinct? Ignorance is BELIEVING this fear mongering with all the evidence of the corruption, lying, errors and manipulation involved in creating that message. No, we are not immune to the stupidity but we can choose the facts instead of the proven lies of the left.
@Deplorable Me, #15:
What about the video is not factual?
It is the truth. Every damn bit of it. Denial is just a defense mechanism. People prefer the seductive comfort of lies, and there are those who exploit that human weakness to further their own short-term interests.
@Greg: What side will you fall on when your scientists begin blotting out the sun with geo-engineering? Or even experimenting with it?
@Greg: I guess I missed the part where they covered the cyclical nature of the climate and how it always HAS been cyclical. I missed the part where they covered all the dire predictions the left have made which ALWAYS fail to develop. I missed where they admitted that the only way the left can make the current climate look like some sort of anomaly is to fudge the figures.
@Deplorable Me: Some climate changes and great extinctions were meteors and comets , hard to put one of those into a climate model or get those pesky volcanoes to blast on schedule like the active one under the ice sheet of Antartica, then those blasted scientists with other data https://curiosity.com/topics/99-percent-of-the-earths-species-are-extinctbut-thats-not-the-worst-of-it-curiosity/
And if it doesn’t fit you must omit https://www.theguardian.com/…/climate…/no-climate-conspiracy-noaa-temperature-ad…