Many jurisdictions have implemented bans or taxes on plastic grocery bags on environmental grounds. PERC fellow Jonathan Klick argues, however, that reusable grocery bags contain potentially harmful bacteria, especially coliform bacteria such as E. coli.
From the Property and Environment Research Center, here’s a thought-provoking little vid about why we should all think a little more deeply about the unintended consequences of even our best intentions before we push for government fiat to make them a reality. The environmental movement in particular tends to be a big fan of forcing society to comply with what they deem to be virtuous behavior via government crackdown. The EPA is constantly justifying it’s many regulations by claiming that they’re only safeguarding the public’s health and welfare — for instance, that the costs of their clean-air regulations are trumped by the fact that they could be saving the lives of asthma-prone infants. But if saving lives is our ultimate goal, it looks like the eco-trendy set, in pushing for more plastic grocery-bag bans, may inadvertently be perpetuating a policy that could be causing a rise in food-borne illnesses. Maybe it’s actually a good idea to dispose of the materials with which we transport our raw foods — just something to think about.
Plastic Bag Bans Are Silly
The Times of London addressed this very issue in 2008, even quoting a Greenpeace biologist saying, “It’s very unlikely that many animals are killed by plastic bags. The evidence shows just the opposite. We are not going to solve the problem of waste by focusing on plastic bags.”
One of the most commonly heard claims is that plastic bags, and other plastic, have created the “Pacific Garbage Patch.” Some claim it is twice the size of Texas. This is simply false. Last year, Oregon State University reported that the actual amount is less than one percent the size of Texas. Oceanography professor Angel White sent out a release last year saying, “There is no doubt that the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans is troubling, but this kind of exaggeration undermines the credibility of scientists.”
Additionally, White notes that the amount of plastic in the ocean hasn’t been increasing. For example, the Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institute found the amount of plastic in the Atlantic Ocean hasn’t increased since the 1980s.
This doesn’t mean plastic bags cause no impact. When determining the environmental costs and benefits, however, we need to be honest about the science.
Indeed, there are risks from banning plastic grocery bags.
The most significant environmental risk from banning plastic bags is the increase in energy use. Plastic bags are the most energy-efficient form of grocery bag. The U.K. Environment Agency compared energy use for plastic, paper and re-usable bags. It found the “global warming potential” of plastic grocery bags is one-fourth that of paper bags and 1/173rd that of a reusable cotton bag. In other words, consumers would have to use a reusable cotton bag 173 times before they broke even from an energy standpoint. Thus, even if consumers switched to reusable bags, it is not clear there would be a reduced environmental impact.
By Chuck Muth
August 16, 2012
With Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his partner in the GOP’s hostile take-over attempt of Obama/Biden, Inc., conservatives now own this election…whether they want it or not.
Romney was not the first choice of movement conservatives in the GOP nominating contest and, as such, still needed to secure his base with a solid veep pick. He could claim ‘til the cows came home to be “severely conservative,” but conservatives learned long ago not to listen to what Republicans say, but to watch what they do.
In that regard, conservatives have adopted as a barometer the adage of “personnel is policy” to gauge whether an elected official will actually govern after getting elected the way the elected official campaigned. And indeed, you’ll find no better example of the reliability of this divining rod than in the case of Nevada’s governor.
Without a doubt, Brian Sandoval campaigned as a solid conservative in his 2010 GOP primary fight against conservatives Jim Gibbons and Mike Montandon. But his very first personnel pick of a moderate, establishment Republican as his chief of staff was a red-sky-at-morning warning of things to come.
Indeed, the new governor went on to load up his cabinet and administration with competent career bureaucrats rather than – as Ronald Reagan did after winning the presidency in 1980 – with competent ideological true believers.
So it really should have come as no surprise that the minute the going got tough at the end of the 2011 session, Gov. Sandoval abandoned his “no new taxes” promise faster than Usain Bolt runs 100 meters. Or that he is incrementally moving towards full implementation of ObamaCare.
But back to Mitt Romney.
The Ryan pick gives the right hope that, if elected, at least the former Massachusetts governor won’t be openly hostile to movement conservatives (the way John McCain would have been). And should he continue to staff his administration with competent conservatives and not competent career bureaucrats we might just be able to rescue this country before it’s too late.
However, that Romney’s first personnel pick is truly one of “us,” conservatives now have a huge stake in seeing to R&R Partners’ success in November. Because if Romney loses to the “severely incompetent” incumbent president, conservatives, tea partiers and Paulistas will be blamed for pushing Romney too far to the right.
On the other hand, with a conservative victory, business owners will once again start “building that,” and in fairly short order the private sector will actually be doing “just fine” for real. And with any luck at all, “President” Romney will then ruthlessly do to unproductive government programs and departments what Bain Capital did to unproductive businesses.
Indeed, let’s make Bain a verb; as in “bain the government.” Can I get an “Amen”?
Berkley-Obama Policies are Driving Factor for Unemployment among Hispanics
(Las Vegas, NV) – Since 2008, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley voted with President Obama for the trillion dollar stimulus, Wall Street bailout, and ObamaCare, all of which are crushing the private sector and forcing unemployment to remain far too high in the Hispanic community. With 44,000 Hispanics unemployed in Nevada and a 14.5% unemployment rate among Hispanics, Shelley Berkley is desperately trying to run away from the Obama-Berkley agenda.
“Congresswoman Shelley Berkley wants to talk about ‘what ifs,’ but she cannot hide from the fact that it is her economic policies that have failed 44,000 unemployed Hispanic Nevadans. The trillion dollar stimulus, the Wall Street and Detroit bailouts and ObamaCare are destroying the private sector in Nevada and completely undercutting the free enterprise system that is so important for the Hispanic community. Bottom line, Congresswoman Berkley’s stunts aren’t fooling anyone. She cannot run away from her relentless pursuit of an agenda that has hurt the Hispanic community more than any other in Nevada,” said Chandler Smith, Heller for Senate spokeswoman.
The unemployment rate among the Hispanic community in Nevada has remained consistently higher than the general population. The average unemployment rate for the Hispanic community in Nevada was 14.5% with 44,000 Hispanic Nevadans out of work. In July, unemployment among Hispanic adults was 10.3%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said, while the overall nationwide unemployment rate was at 8.3%. (“Employment Situation News Release,” Department of Labor, August 3, 2012)
Reporting an internal poll conducted by a democrat polling firm and released by a political party as news is the worst type of journalistic activism… unfortunately it’s been par for the course for Politico since its inception.
DSCC poll: Berkley slightly leads Heller in Nevada
An internal poll commissioned by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure shows the Nevada Senate race as a squeaker, with Democratic challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley edging out incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller.
The survey, conducted by the Garin Hart polling firm and obtained by POLITICO, shows Berkley at 44 percent and Heller at 42 percent in the survey of 613 voters. The survey sample matches the voter registration in the state, officials said.
The survey also showed President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by 5 points, 49 percent to 44 percent.
The DSCC is obviously in desperation mode trying to do all it can to show embattled Congresswomen Shelley Berkley in a favorable light!
Here’s the Poll:
“Those of us who really yearn for a return to first principles, the natural law, the Constitution, a government that only has powers that we have consented it may have… are frustrated by the choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney,” says Judge Andrew Napolitano, author of the upcoming book “Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Your Constitutional Freedoms,” Fox Business contributor, and former host of “Freedom Watch.”
Reason.tv’s Matt Welch sat down with Napolitano at FreedomFest 2012 and discussed the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the individual mandate and whether or not there’s a substantive difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney from a libertarian perspective.
Held each July in Las Vegas, FreedomFest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians a year. ReasonTV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. For an ever-growing playlist, go here now:
Americans for Prosperity released second phase of their $25 million ad buy that is expected to be the largest in the group’s history. The first phase of this ad effort, which launched last week, featured President Obama’s broken promise to reign in irresponsible spending. The latest ad features former Obama voters sharing moving and personal testimony about their future voting decisions. The ad cedes that while President Obama may be more likeable “personally,” voters will need to look over that to who the better candidate is to get America back on track.
“…The race for most effective ad may be nearly as competitive as the election itself. Romney and the GOP PACs are doing only slightly better than the Obama camp among independents with a slim 2 percent margin, credited to Public Notice’s ‘Washington Is Still Digging’ ad.
|Public Notice||Washington Is Still Digging||:30||541|
|Obama for America||Worried||:30||465|
|Obama for America||The Choice||:60||461|
|Secure America Now||Don’t Cut Defense||:30||459|
|Romney for President||Believe In Our Future||:60||446|
|Romney for President||Where Did All The Money Go?||:30||441|
|Obama for America||Always||:30||437|
Ad rank among general population:
|Public Notice||Washington Is Still Digging||:30||526|
|Obama for America||The Choice||:60||444|
|Americans for Prosperity||One Term Proposition||:30||430|
|Romney for President||Where Did All The Money Go?||:30||429|
|Obama for America||Worried||:30||426|
|Romney for President||Believe In Our Future||:60||422|
|Obama for America||I Believe||:30||422|
Public Notice Research and Education Fund Earns Top Spot For Political Ads With “Washington is Still Digging”
Research Firm Ace Metrix Names “Washington is Still Digging” the “Most Effective” Political Ad of the Season
Arlington, Va.– The independent research firm Ace Metrix named Public Notice Research and Education Fund’s(PNREF) ad, “Washington is Still Digging”, the “most effective” political ad of the season, earning top marks on engagement metrics such as agreement, attention, relevance and credibility.According to Ad Week, “Washington is Still Digging” was “not only the highest-scoring ad among the general population with a 526, but also the top ad among the independents, scoring a 541…” The next highest scoring ads registered 448 among the general population and 465 among independents.
“The goal of this campaign is to highlight the enormity of the fiscal crisis we face as a nation and it’s encouraging and energizing to know that our ‘stop digging’ message to Washington is being heard,” said PNREF President Gretchen Hamel. “We will continue to educate and inform Americans about the consequences of our skyrocketing national debt and urge lawmakers in Washington to confront these serious issues and cut the reckless and wasteful spending.”
The 30-second spot, which was part of a $1.2 million national cable and online campaign running from late July through early August, urges Congress and the president to “stop digging” and address America’s nearly $16 trillion national debt. Click here to see how “Washington is Still Digging” compared to other recent political ads.
“Washington is Still Digging”
Washington Secrets by Paul Bedard
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was pressed by her husband and a top Obama aide to consider replacing Vice President Joe Biden just a couple of weeks ago, claims the author of the New York Times bestseller “The Amateur.”
But Clinton, exhausted from four years of international travel and diplomacy, shrugged off the suggestion to lay the groundwork for her own 2016 bid with her husband at her side, according to author Ed Klein.
“As recently as a couple of weeks ago, the White House was putting out feelers to see if Hillary Clinton was interested in replacing Joe Biden on the ticket,” Klein told Secrets. “Bill Clinton, I’m told, was urging his wife to accept the number two spot if it was formally offered. Bill sees the vice presidency as the perfect launching pad for Hillary to run for president in 2016.”
He made similar comments Thursday night to CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. The White House has dismissed speculation of a Clinton for Biden swap despite a string of recent gaffes by the vice president.
Klein, whose book is No. 2 on the NYT bestseller list, quoted unnamed sources who revealed that top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett put the vice presidency on the table during a lunch with the secretary of state. “The lunch was ostensibly about policy issues, but the subject of the vice presidency came up,” he said. “Hillary told Valerie Jarrett that she was not interested in running as Obama’s vice president.”
Klein said she cited two reasons: If elected, she didn’t want to be tied to Obama’s left-leaning politics in her own 2016 bid. Second, if Obama loses, she would be tarred as a loser.
New on Friday: Klein told Secrets that Bill Clinton is working fast to get a 2016 Hillary for President campaign up and going. His sources told him that Clinton is sniffing around for a major donor to offer up a jet for the potential candidate to use. Also, Klein said, Clinton is looking for somebody to take over the Clinton Global Initiative “so that he can devote his full time to Hillary’s campaign.”
Klein has sources deep in the Clinton camp and he said that they said she is eager for a rest followed by a makeover. “She clearly is exhausted. She needs to lose weight and get her energy back for a four-year slog.”
He added that Obama has never talked to Clinton about replacing Biden. The reason, said Klein, is that Obama was afraid she would turn him down and Bill Clinton would leak the snub to the media.
Public Notice today announced the launch of an online petition urging the Republican and Democratic National Convention Platform Committees to address the growing national debt as part of their official party platforms. Public Notice recently sent a letter to both committees with the same message.
Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice, issued the following statement regarding the petition:
“With the national debt approaching $16 trillion, the deficit projected to exceed $1 trillion for the fourth straight year and neither party articulating a clear plan to change our fiscal trajectory, this petition aims to bring public pressure to bear on our leaders. In an election year, distractions abound, but real solutions are hard to come by. Our polling shows that nearly 80 percent of likely voters see the debt as an important issue Washington needs to address. Americans are ready for a boldplan to fix the problem, and it’s time for members of both parties to listen their concerns and lead.”
Click here to view the petition.