The left hates plastic.

No, seriously. They hate plastic. And no, I don’t think it’s because of how difficult it is to throw away/get rid of/etc.

I think — and remember that I grew up in leftist circles, or at least went to school in them — it’s an aesthetic thing. It’s part of their rejection of modernity.

And right here, I’m going to come clean and say I prefer to store things in glass jars. I prefer wicker baskets to plastic ones. But I am aware it’s aesthetic and that it’s the result of my having grown up at a time and place where the “rich” kids had plastic toys, while we had long-inherited, old stuff.

But heck, I grew up playing with legos inherited from cousins and brother. And at various times, when the cheapest utensil was plastic, we used that.

Also I love plastic bags in the grocery store, that I don’t have to remember to bring in (ADD, remember?) And I love straws.

But the left has lost their frigging minds. “Garble, brabble, plastic in the ocean. Great man made islands of trash” has been the little drum they’re beating for years now.

The Denver zoo exhibit on plastics in the ocean made me frown, because those plastics, including the pseudo lego-pieces were in no way western. Turns out the garbage for those cool “Ocean mammal sculptures” was almost all collected from Chinese and Indian shores.

But even there, I understand, there is nothing much in the way of plastic out to sea.

In fact, if this article is correct the “plastic” in the sea that people are terrified of are a few particles that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

I kind of suspected that because I know people who sail intercontinentally and none of them has reported floating islands of garbage. In fact, our very own Foxfier has looked at the pictures of these islands and identified them as carefully cropped debris from various tsunamis.

But in the name of this, the left is hoping to ban plastic from our lives. Mostly because it hurts their aesthetic sensitivities and because of course they don’t want us to have nice things.

Also, maybe they’re just a little scared if we’re familiar with plastic, we’ll spot their astroturf.

Me? I will use plastic when convenience dictates. And if the left hates plastic so much, they should take a good look at their posturing. Because nothing is faker and more plastic than that.

PS – I have the most generous fans in the world. And I hate to bother you with this, but I have a friend in dire trouble: A New Life

163 thoughts on “Plastic

  1. Cali bans straws to look like they’re doing something, but almost all the plastic in their inflated “islands” and as your mentioned sculpture demonstrated comes from the “Third World” mainly China, India, SE Asia and Africa. the leftoid bans on straws is like cleaning up some schmucks dumped ashtray buy removing one bit of unburned tobacco from the pile.

    1. I SO wanted to be able to disable Some Asshole’s car… they went down a little, little traveled dead-end country road to dump out their ashtray… on the property I then lived on. I hoe that litterbug had a fire (and lived, but LOST EVERYTHING) from smoking in bed, the damned litterbug asshole!

      1. Oh, I wouldn’t burn their car or home. It’s MUCH more satisfying to back a cow up to the open window of their vehicle and have Bessy unload inside for them.

      2. How much ash did they dump? I’m picturing a half-cup, and it sounds like there was a lot more.

        1. It was at least one car’s full ash-tray worth of not just ash (no big deal) but cigarette butts. LOTS. Some ashes would’ve been no big deal, but all butts? THAT was littering.

          1. Out here it would be close to a felony, if anything else ignited. We had a grass fire inside the city limits this week already. Last week, a small town had a real mess because of rubber-neckers at a house-almost-range fire.

            1. Out here it would be close to a felony, if anything else ignited.

              Even if just caught throwing out butts, it is a huge civil fine. Bigger fine if any heat, but no resulting fire. If it triggers a wildfire, range or timber, felony and will be assessed cost to fire suppression costs. If anyone dies … Felony Murder.

              Western Wildfires are not taken lightly, despite the “let it burn” rhetoric and policies.

    2. And then they of course try to force everybody to wear these masks. No problem, there is already plenty of dumped masks clogging the waterways, I’m sure you can get a very nice collection of pictures if they ever decide that now it’s time to give up the masks. Or at least give up the disposable ones which maybe do a little bit, and move to the cloth ones which do even less (like nothing). Any bets when we’ll get that? “Oh, everybody should still wear masks, but to protect our environment, only ones made of natural fabrics cloth which will disintegrate in the nature”.

      Or the next craze will be masks made of something that disintegrates.

      1. one of the signs of the farce is the lack of biohazard handling of P.P.E. and masks. Like someone in OZ filming the suited officials walk out of the internment camp and pull their masking, and tyvek off, bundle it up and stuff it into the back of the SUV they are driving about in.

  2. Everything has it’s place and it’s uses. Plastic is great for bags, straws (paper straws tend to get… icky if you use them long enough,) and storing things (clothes and blankets!) “Natural” materials may not be as effective but have a “warmth” to them, so using them in living spaces, sure, it makes it feel homey.

    As for the rest, I feel with the left and their “ban this! it’s bad for X!” and “ban that! it’s bad for Y!” is more about “WE KNOW we know better than you what’s good for you and inexpensive, durable goods that can be reused in multitudes of ways ARE NOT good for OUR bottom lines so YOU can’t have them!” It just boils down to one more way TPTB can control what they see as the “little people.”

    1. A lot of those are ex post facto. They decide to impose a requirement, pick something, and make up an excuse.

    2. Before the ban, I wouldn’t use straws that much. (Memories of the paper straws from 1960s school lunches might have been in play…) Post ban, and after needing dental partials [sigh], I use plastic straws as much as possible.

      Early on in the ban, any form of straw was almost impossible to get, and Costco(?) was selling stainless straws to those desperate enough. The paper straws were used at a few places west of the Cascades, though the hotel that used to use them lost its entire food operation “temporarily” since March 2020.

      1. When Starbuck flirted with a straw ban I made it a point to start saving up their long, green straws. (Why yes, I will sometimes buy an iced tea there, occasionally, when I’m dry and there are no other good sources around. Although Starbucks iced tea is sometimes only “good,” for values of good). I now have a small, select collection of used green straws and I’ll be using them as long as they last.

        1. McDonald’s had these excellent heavy-duty red straws, excellent for thick drinks… on the rare occasions when someone drags me there, the straw comes home and gets used until it falls apart.

          1. Geez, you guys. I was raised to believe that the Depression was coming back any day now, but even I don’t save disposable straws…

      2. We can’t even buy plastic straws here in EU now, apart from a few reusable and washable versions made of thick plastic which seem to be pretty hard to find (I finally bought some last month). Yes, yes, take away those horrible plastic straws, but then everybody just HAS to wear these masks so that the end result is way more garbage, with lots of plastic in them, thrown out and ending up everywhere.

        Can you tell I’m a bit peeved about this?

    3. I don’t like drinking alcohol out of plastic. Or metal for that matter. Give me a glass, or a well glazed mug. Even water storage tends to pick up that “flavor” after a while. I like woven plastic baskets because they can be washed and sterilized, unlike wicker or wood, so plastic is great for breathing food stuffs. Plastics aren’t that great for microwaving. They tend to outgas, even the so called “safe” ones. Plastic glasses for cold soft drinks isn’t bad, and works nice for carrying in the car. Heck, even coffee isn’t bad in plastic once it’s down to drinkable temperature, and the plastic usually doesn’t heat up quickly.

      Think is, even in the U.S., the proper behavior is to throw your trash IN the trashcan, not into the environment as litter. To outright ban something because of the poor behavior of the few while punishing everyone, is wrong, and Anti-American.

      1. Don’t forget though, we’re talking about the left, who just LOVE to paint everyone from a group with the same, broad brush…

        But heaven forbid anyone ever does the same thing to their “favored” groups, then it’s {Insert appropriate term}-ist!

      2. What is ‘gun control’ but punishing everyone for the misbehavior of a few? And it’s the Loony Left’s most favoritest thing evah! They just can’t get enough.

        1. ‘Gun control’ is part of the attempt to restrict and ultimately prohibit self-defense, which the Left sees as an inherently criminal act. Buying and keeping a gun is an act of “conspiracy to commit self-defense” and so needs to be harshly punished.

          They don’t see themselves as punishing innocents for the misbehavior of a few. They see gun ownership AS a form of misbehavior.

              1. What are you talking about? That criminal will go on voting Democrat forever!
                My grandpa voted Republican until the day he died — but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

                1. Eh, might be a bit of a gap if he dies in an election year. Not for propriety’s sake, or out of any deference to common sense, the law, or whathaveyou. Just that the folks involved are just so blamed *lazy* is all.

                  1. The latest innovation in Cook County (Chicago): A combination death certificate and Democrat voter registration form. 😀

                1. Hmmm… What’s that suspicious-looking symbol on the flag over the public area? It sure ain’t an American flag.

        2. nah, that’s to attempt to stop those they wish to control from disputing said control. If not for the 2nd we’d have the WuFlu concentration Camps of Northern Territories, OZ in the States here.

      3. Discovered during the Great Northward Migration and 30 hour stints in the truck: Gatorade bottles are impervious to boiling, impart no ill flavors, and will last for years. I don’t actually drink the Gatorade but about once a decade I buy a case just to get more bottles. (Having lost, smashed, given away, or busted the lids on all the previous stash.)

        1. Nice bottles, but I found that Gatorade Zero (or high test if necessary) were useful to drink when I was going through physical therapy. Sweet PT specialist managed to work my ass off while I was getting the knee in a semblance of good condition.

    4. You’re putting too much thought into it.

      They have a simplistic view in which everything is good or evil. Bad things can’t come from good, and good things cannot come from bad.
      Oil is bad. Therefore, plastic made from oil is bad. And arguing otherwise shows you’re evil.

      They’re good, so their ideas and intentions are definitionally good, And they’ll OBVIOUSLY have only good outcomes if implemented. (Unless the evil wreckers and hoarders interfere, of course.)

      (It’s not strictly a right/left divide. The NeverTrumpers go hard for this moral myopia. But it is hardcore authoritarian.)

      1. I’d agree with your assessment for the “drones” on the left, the BLMANTIFA crowd, the greenies, and such, but if anything, I might not be cynical ENOUGH when it comes to TPTB…

        The ones who think they’re in charge of the left, they make all the right noises to convince the drones they believe the cause du-jour so the drones keep voting for them so they stay in charge and keep growing their bank accounts.

  3. The people who want to ban plastic straws never tried to suck a Coke through a paper straw. It gets soggy, the end collapses, you must continually rip off the bad part until eventually the straw is so short that it no longer reaches the soda in the glass. There’s a reason why plastic straws were invented. This is a Chesterton’s Fence situation. But anybody who grew up after the 1970’s doesn’t know about paper straws or Chesterton, they don’t need to know any of that old-time stuff, because they are Special.

    1. The only “biodegradable” straws I’ve ever used, that I enjoyed using, were ones that the restaurant at Henry Ford Village (at the time) used…


      Yep, the straws were made of pasta, and while it did give the coke a bit of a odd taste, at the time, it was also fun to crunch and eat your straw (OK, fine, I was a KID at the time, it was FUN and I’d cheerfully do it now as an adult!) 🙂

    2. One of the reasons plastic straws were used is because the metal straws are dangerous to little kids. They run with them in their mouths, fall and stick them in the back of their throats. Can result in injury, strokes, death. Could we keep that in mind while we virtue signal the lack of plastic? Idiots.

      1. Plus plastic straws can be made bendable which is of great help to those with various handicaps.
        OTOH, a root beer float tastes best through a glass straw. My grandfather made a bunch of them (basically cutting glass tubing to length and torch smoothing the ends) for that purpose.

    3. Yeah, lunch in junior high (mid ’60s) featured bottled(!) milk with paper straws. I suppose one could have popped out the lid, but we were supposed to lift the tab and stick the straw through the resulting hole. A paper straw lasted for a bottle (one cup, roughly) of milk, if you were fairly quick.

      I grew up loathing paper straws, and when they made their triumphant return due to the anti-plastic freakout, I opted to forgo a straw. OTOH, about the time plastic straws snuck back into circulation, I found that the new partial dentures worked better if I used a straw for drinking. (These were done just as the bad teeth came out, and will be replaced after a year when the bones have finished remodeling themselves.) Eating is a lot less fun when there’s lots of crud stuck betwixt and between the teeth and/or partials. OTOH, the budget says hell no to dental implants.

  4. Scottish comedian Leo Kearse talks about veganism, plastic and all the other moronic ideas that motivate the ‘woke left’ these days. Go to 1:45 to hear about his discussion with a vegan who was giving him a hard time for using a plastic straw in his drink. (Warning for language if you watch the whole thing, which I highly recommend.) 😉

      1. The Scotts comedian may curse but if he has (for example) a strong enough Glaswegian accent most Americans will never know what he/she said anyhow…

          1. Yeah a heavy Scotts accent is really hard to understand. When my wife was in grad school (long ago) one of her fellow grad students was Billy a gent from Glasgow of a blue collar family. On average when he first started you could pick out about every 2nd or 3rd word. If he got excited (or irritated/angry) it dropped to about 1 word in 5. After about 6 months it got a more comprehensible and we picked up enough unique Scotts word usage that communication worked fairly well. I was familiar with a fair bit of English (British English) slang from some high school transfer students, but the Venn diagram of Scott’s slang and English slang had only a limited overlap…

            1. I did English to English simultaneous translation once between a Glaswegian from the Gorbals and a Brooklyn Italian guy for an audience that was mostly Indian and Chinese. It was … interesting

              1. All you need to make that really interesting is a Boston accent from say Southie or Revere and a nice thick Georgia (State, not country 🙂 ) accent from say Stone Mountain area

                1. Well, Brooklyn is my native tongue so that wasn’t so bad. I can speak Southie, it’s Brooklyn with the vowels reversed. Upcountry Georgia twang I cannot do.

                  When we lived in the UK, they’d come in on Monday with lists of words from the Sopranos for me to translate. Given I worked for a very politically correct firm at the time that was often difficult.

                  1. I’ve somehow managed to miss the Sopranos. However one of my summer employers of Italian ancestry had been a New Haven police officer and had been undercover for several years with the New Haven/NYC mob. Every once and a while (when no one was in the shop but workers) hed drop into that accent and complain about things. It was hilarious, but distinctly Non-PC and some of the insults he used for people would be VERY hard to explain, and make a sailor blush…

                2. Every once in a while I play “The Devil Came Up to Boston” for the southerners who think I have an accent.

                  Or an interview with the folks at Kane’s Donuts.

                    1. I learned to speak between Miami and Cape Canaveral, but grew up in Eastern Massachusetts, so my accent varies on age of word acquisition.

                  1. OOOOH Kanes!!!! wonderful if you can comprehend what the locals are saying once you order. I’m better with Boston/New England accents as it’s what I grew up with (and have although to a mild extent compared to Southie), NYC/Long Island I can cope with lots of folks vacationed from there. Southern and Appalachian accents can throw me for a loop (false cognates from the northern accents) if I can wait for them to finish a sentence. Sometimes it feels like I’m talking with the sloths from Zootopia…

                    1. I used to deliver to Kanes, after you get used to getting the donuts before they even make it out front, you’re spoiled for anything else!

                    2. Figured I’d share a link, for those poor souls who’ve never been there. It’s worth dealing with Boston traffic to get there.

  5. Also, the left is indeed special. Yeah, as in Special Olympics “special.” The environment is far, far cleaner today — FAR CLEANER… nearly pristine in many parts of the Western world, in fact — than it was when I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s in Motown before I went in the military for about 25 years and got to see that much of the world was much more screwed up than we were.

    Back during those two decades — I remember that all the Mickey Ds-type fast food came in Styrofoam containers we’d just throw out the windows of our pre-catalytic converter, V-8 gas-hog, massively polluting, humongous cars, and that we couldn’t fish in the Detroit River for fear of mercury contamination in the fish, and that all the many auto plants (there were once 47 of them just in Detroit proper) around town did nothing but belch out particulate-filled smoke that often left our cars with a patina of suspect dust and haze. Today? Well, today, most of the stuff coming out of those stacks — including at coal-fired powerplants — is mostly just highly-scrubbed and filtered white smoke.

    Plastics-wise, there are about 8 countries today, all in Asia or Southwest Asia, that contribute to almost all of the world’s plastic pollution, such as it is (and it’s true: “The solution to pollution is dilution”). Three guesses as to who the top plastic polluter in the world is, by nation, and the first two guesses don’t count.

    “Okay, okay” the left will say. “But what about lead in our drinking water? What about Flint, Michigan? WAAAAAH!”

    Truth is, the people in Flint had far less lead in their drinking water than we had in ours in the “old days,” generally speaking. Lead in drinking water was much higher than today’s low, low EPA-allowable amount. Something like eight times higher, IIRC. Even so, I think we all generally turned out okay (right? RIGHT? 😉 ).

    What those folks in Flint did have, though, was grotty and smelly particulate matter and various gases that the morons running their water treatment system failed to account for with the proper flocculation and sedimentation chemicals and deodorizing chemicals after they Flint decided to leave Detroit’s water system (which offered water frequently rated among the best in the country in terms of color, clarity, and lack of any sort of smell) and started pumping water from Lake Huron and their own local waterway.

    STUPID, STUPID, STUPID, and it was all just to save a little money. But that’s the left for you, right?

    1. in the mid to late ’80s, New Orleans had some of the highest rated water for taste and clarity.
      It also had the highest allowable amounts of carcinogens.
      It tasted funky to me as I was used to the well we had at home that still is among the best you’ll find and of course unchlorinated.

      1. I used to have to go to N’awlins quarterly back in the early 90s for coordination meetings with the Marine Corps Reserve. Used to stay at the Clarion Hotel on Canal Street. Had a couple of friends back in the day that hailed from Slidell and Metairie. Always thought the Big Easy was a fantastic place. 🙂

        1. I lived just off St. Charles and Washington then out in Kenner. Other than he food, music, the Zoo, Aquarium, and D Day/WW2 museum, hate the place. The ‘burbs slightly less. In the mid to late 90s I was working autoparts deliveries mostly then sales of same with one route in NOLA East, and one on the West Bank. Then was out at the airport until 2004. People look at me funny when I tell them Nagin was the best mayor NOLA has had in the modern times, not that he was all that great, but the others were just that bad.

      2. And unfluoridated, which may account somewhat for my tendency to cavities when I was a kid living on the farm.

        1. we had “Martian pee” in class (fluoride mouth rinse treatment that was mildly untasty and green colored served in little paper shot glasses. so named by Brian Bricker and Doug Salmanen), not that it did my horrible teeth much good

    2. I remember when the silver fog from the paper plants would waft around our house and I’d wonder what all the sulfur would do to the cars’ paint jobs. It actually smelled a little better inside the paper mill, since the fumes rose up the smokestacks and out over the countryside.
      Not to mention the little red worms that sometimes appeared in our bathwater. Which would sometimes reek of Sulfur when the water company tapped the aquifer, or reek of chlorine when they used that trying to hide the Sulfur smell. Ah, the joys of life in Florida in the ’60s.
      And yes,, it’s all much better now.

      1. Couldn’t agree more, ma’am. People today are spoiled — or they simply want undeserved victimhood. I loved growing up in the 60s and 70s, but man… I wouldn’t go back to those years for all the tea in China (which is also the world’s biggest plastics polluter LOL!). 😉

    3. Indeed. Grew up in coastal CT in the 60’s and early 70s. In the summer the number of unsafe air days ranged from 20% to nearly 50% as we were downwind of NYC. The harbor in my home town was a mess due to slow flow in long island sound and even slower flow caused by a small off shore island. Pleasure boats would often just dump their holding tanks on the way in to the marina. The Connecticut river was sufficiently contaminated from sewarage over flow in heavy rains that if you fell in you were given Tetnus and several other injections (including often Gamma Globulin) to offset any disease. By the 1990’s the Connecticut river was swimmable again, unsafe air days were down in single digits for the summer. Long Island sound were still murky (due primarily to flow) but the water was clean. The left are insane if they think its worse now (but I repeat myself…)

    4. Guess they don’t also remember the Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley basin, back when you could burn trash in your backyard incinerator … on Thursdays, if memory serves. (My grandmothers’ house and the rental in the Valley had backyard incinerators.) The smog would get so bad that it actually hurt my throat to breath deeply, what with the air pollution from burning household waste, from auto exhaust and commercial sites.
      It’s been years since I’ve seen air pollution to equal what I remember as a kid.

      1. I flew into LAX in the late 70’s. It looked like the plane was sinking into a bowl of brown soup.

        These days, most of L.A.’s air pollution blows in from Mexico.
        There are forms of stupidity that businesses can’t indulge in. There are no such limitations on the stupidity of government.

        1. It wasn’t until the winter months set in that I realized Silicon Valley had a mountain range east of the bay. Circa 1974.

        2. The air in the LA basin is actually clearer than before the arrival of the Spanish. Indian cooking fires…

      2. Willamette Valley until they finally (all but) banned field and slash burning. Moved to the valley ’60 and grew up here, moving out late ’70s, back in mid-80’s. The last two summers were wake up calls as to “what used to be” standard.

        Willamette River. Used to be “do not fish out of” once the McKenzie merged with it downstream of Springfield and Eugene. Now? Fish away.

        Also used to be able to tell which way the wind was blowing based on which smells there were. Northwest – getting the paper mill from southeast in Springfield and a whiff of the sewer just southeast. Now we (I do anyway, no one else can smell it) occasionally get the fresh alder scent from the piles of preprocessed stacked logs (i.e. piled there after being hauled in). Not a “bad smell” but definitely there. Can also smell Lane Forest’s bark piles too, again, not a “bad smell”, but definitely there. We can’t even get an order from the Seneca “new” electric producing stack burner for wood waste (also one of the reasons why firewood prices are outrageous locally).

        Not that we don’t get trash thrown about (thanks to the homeless), but even that isn’t like it was before.

      3. I remember driving from San Diego to summer camp in the San Bernardino mountains in the early 70s, once you got above the smog line you could look back down and see the brown haze covering everything. My freshman year of college none of the East Coast people knew there were mountains behind campus until about six weeks into the semester when we had our first clear day. Those third stage smog alerts were just so much fun…

    5. I lived in Saint Clair Shores (blue collar suburb of Detroit) in the .50s, and until we left in 1960, it was considered acceptable to swim in Lake Saint Clair (between Lake Huron and the Detroit River). A few years later, we were visiting old friends back there and were told that SCS built swimming pools because the lake was declared too polluted to swim in.

      Not sure where the drinking water came from; the booby prize for funky metropolitan water (in my experience) goes to Chicago. When G’parents were on a trip, we’d check the house, and a drink of water was “interesting” in the Chinese sense. Not much better when it was in regular use.

      We have a well. Unchlorinated, unfluoridated, slightly funky (really need to do another clean to kill the rest of the flatworm eggs still lingering in the system–a legacy from the old shared well and a shitty neighbor who contaminated the system), but my body is used to it and the minerals it contains.

      1. This. Looking upthread, nigh all of us that lived through the 70s and the 80s (and a bit earlier) will tell you: THERE IS NO PROBLEM. Not here. Not with plastics, not with trash in general, compared to how it was.

        Now if you want to talk China/East Asia trash and pollution, different story. But nowadays? Ye blobs and little fishes people be *thankful* in your daily prayers that it ain’t what it was!

        1. There is no problem with folks in the first world buying stuff in single-use plastic packaging, because we have effective garbage collection. But when you sell that stuff to third world nations that lack such, it ends up in the rivers, and then the oceans.

          There is zero chance that the plastic straw I am using will end up in the ocean. But in China, India, Vietnam, Egypt, or Nigeria it’s different.

          There is zero benefit from being plastic here. Because we’re not the source of the problem.

        2. “Water pollution is the worst ever now!”

          “Oh, which river caught fire?”


          “When I was Rather Younger *THE* news was about a _RIVER_ that caught on _FIRE_. I kinda suspect water pollution is not nearly as bad nowadays.”

          1. Hudson River used to be an open sewer and toxic waste dump. Joke used to be guys thrown in with concrete goulashes would die of poisoning before drowning. Only fish that could survive were the lowly carp and suckers; and even the hungry wouldn’t eat them. Nowadays? It’s clean enough to support giardia from naturally resident beaver and muskrat.

            1. Willamette has: Beaver, River Otters, Nutria (not native, but Otters love them), fish, Eagle, Osprey, and even a wandering cougar in the river corridor, THROUGH Eugene. Not to leave out the Amazon drainage and the waterways feeding into Fernditchridge reservoir. (Downtown, cougar has been caught on home cams, bear hasn’t yet. But bear has been caught on cams on west side riparian wetlands.)

          2. Cuyahoga ignited at least three times. Houston Ship Channel at least once, and those are just the ones I’ve read academic articles about.

            1. I grew up in that area and it was bizarre watching footage of the fireboats trying to put out the river by pumping the river on it.
              Of course it was U.S. Steel that was paying off the inspectors and polluting the river. After the 1969 fire the publicity made it impossible for them to pay off the State inspectors for a while – and the 1972 Clean Water Act added EPA scrutiny so the practice could no longer continue after the immediate kerfuffle quieted down as it had in the past. There were at least a dozen times over a period of a century or so that portions of the Cuyahoga had caught fire.

  6. There’s a young thinker named Rob Henderson. He’s a fascinating story: single mother, adopted, stoned through HS, joined the Air Force, then Yale now Cambridge. HIs notion is that there are luxury beliefs replacing luxury goods now that anyone can buy whatever they want to. his definition of a luxury belief is appropriate to this post:

    “Ideas and Opinions that confer status in the upper class while inflicting costs on the lower class.”

    I’ve been reading him for the last 6-7 weeks after coming across him through Rory Sutherland. he’s a very interesting young man.

  7. As I understand it, the concern is that its just a really large mass of plastic fragments. However I’m also given to understand the mass is consistently lower than expectations based on how much stuff should be going into it.

    I’m going to hypothesize that plastics are going to be another cellulous revolution, where, for a while, nothing can digest it, then, suddenly, many things can.

    1. Well, breaking it down into microscopic fragments actually makes it easier for micro animals and plants, and bacteria, to ingest those plastics, which should speed up that process.

    2. There was a book about that “Mutant 59: The plastic eater”. Ugly story, science meh…

    3. For a little while there was talk about how the micro-plastics were being eaten by things like brine shrimp, and it was theorized it could make them starve with a full stomach.

      I heard a little noise about testing it, but… well, given the lack of any further information, I’d guess they didn’t get the popular results.

  8. I don’t think they know what they believe or hate unless someone tells them. If you ask a commie/lefty specifics about straws or plastic bags they get violent, especially since we’re 100% in slave muzzles in my soon to be former state of WA.
    If it wasn’t plastic, it would be…. orange. Or persimmons. Or corgis.
    They hate themselves and want everyone else to suffer.

  9. Odd, it’s always the traditionalist conservatives I hear talking about “rejecting modernity”, and the left as the one’s liking modernity and progress – so long as it’s progress to a ‘society’ of pod people, plugged into the net for approved entertainment and eating bugs and Soylent.

    Maybe it’s a confusion of terms.

    1. That was the old conservatives and the old progressives. There was once a time when Progressives believed in progress, in a brighter future with more nice things. Those Progressives got replaced c 1970 with a new Left with a party line of “Learn to live with less, you greedy hate-filled bastards!”

      (Now the old Progressives did have some very serious flaws, such as their underestimates of just how toxic socialism and regulation was to the economy, and their willingness to bulldoze the little plans of little people in favor of their Great Big Plans for society. But they were still marginally less evil than the “Learn to live with less!” Left.)

    2. The Left is actually reactionary. They keep pushing ideas that were introduced in the 19th century.

  10. A lot of people ignore that much of “recycling” especially of plastic consists of sorting, packing it up, and shipping it to China, paying them to “recycle” it.

    1. Even China doesn’t want it now. Most of your recycling goes into the landfill. Though, how anyone could think that gathering and shipping trash around the world in order to help the environment made any sense defies logic.

    2. And so my ‘recylcing’ is re-purposing. Now, aluminum can be melted down and re-cast. Same for steel, but one must deal with WHICH version of steel. But if a park bench is made from so many bags or bottle caps.. alright, but what will that bench eventually become? Another bench? Part of asphalt (and I ask again….)… new bags or bottle caps? Landfill? Gliptyrrrilioloids for Neomartians?

    3. Where it makes economic sense, recycling has been going on for most of forever, and doesn’t need virtue-preaching or government edicts to make happen. Conversely, when recycling doesn’t make economic sense and has to be forced by government mandates, penalties, and subsidies, then that’s strong evidence that the recycling does more harm than good.

      But to the Left, these facts are bugs, rather than features.

      (And it’s darkly humorous how the eco-left preaches about the delicate balance of natural ecosystems and the disaster – disaster! – courted by disturbing them, while at the same time being willing to clear-cut and pave over economic ecosystems without even blinking.)

  11. It’s the classic “I’m virtuous because I can show everyone I’m virtuous” thing. Classic “Bonfire of the Vanities” behavior, they are unable to do the big things to “make things better,” so they take a small thing that doesn’t really bother them at all and feel good about themselves because they enforce that behavior on other people.

    Yet, if you kick them in the shins hard enough, you’re the one that gets in trouble…

  12. Way back in the last century, when I worked for Big Oil on the North Slope raping and pillaging Alaska, where I lived, where I live, where my children live, where my grandchild lives, one of the networks came up and filmed a documentary depicting our destruction of the pristine arctic tundra.

    One of the money shots showed a vast arctic lake choked with trash and plastic debris. I happened to be there when they were shooting and the vast arctic lake was really a two or so acre dot lake right next to the “hotel:” in Deadhorse. The “Choked with plastic trash and debris…” was actually perhaps an area large as 25 square feet, a 5 by 5 foot spot on the lee shore, where wind blown trash collected (Which was cleaned up, removed, on a regular basis.), the rest of the lake, 99.999% of the surrounding tundra, clean and pristine. I knew before, but that drove the fact home to me, that what you see on TV is not the world, it’s a very narrow window, chosen by the film makers, showing what they want you to think is the world.

    Not germane but BTW: On my weekly commute to and from work I averaged 157 mph, from the door of my house in North Pole, driving to the airport, waiting for the flight, flying to Deadhorse and bused to my office. Also my telephone number consists of three prime numbers multiplied together, 3 times 13 times 125,299. Hey when you spend a lot of time sitting in airports with a small hand calculator you gotta do some figuring to pass the time! -grin-

    1. Michael Moore’s first “big” “documentary” was ‘Roger and Me’. One of the basic facts of the documentary was that Moore had attempted to meet with the titular Roger (the head of GM, iirc), but Roger had refused. Now, decades later, we know that’s false. Moore did meet with him, and did so more than once. But saying that he’d refused to meet with Moore made for a better story, so…

      1. When we visited Fairbanks my beloved talked about driving to Deadhorse so we could see the Arctic Ocean. Then he was told it was gravel all the way and pack your own gas, and he reconsidered.

    2. Longest year of my life was a summer (such as it was) spent in Deadhorse, on the perpetually sunny* shore of the Beaufort+ Sea of the Arctic Ocean. 1990. Tundra was still pristine even then.

      * OK, the sun was above the horizon 24/7, but you often couldn’t actually see it for the ground fog.

      +Named after the fella who came up with the wind force scale – for good reason.

    3. Yeah, I always get annoyed when enviros start bitching about how drilling in ANWR would “destroy the environment”. ANWR is just slightly smaller than South Carolina at 30,000+ square miles, and drilling operations (roads, well pads, pump stations, pipelines, what have you) might occupy 10 of those square miles. Maybe. At peak. Also, it would all be pretty much all right along the coast, not out into the pristine habitat used by caribou and ptarmigan and wolverines or whatever else lives out in that bleak-ass wilderness.

      (My dad was a petroleum geologist who drilled a couple of dry holes in the Matanuska Valley in the early ’70s, so I’m sensitive to this particular form of nonsense.)

  13. If plastic is sooo Eevul, why are recycle bins made out of plastic? 😛

    Plastic is good for a lot of things. What else would you make vapor barriers out of? Or printer housings? Plastic cups don’t break if they fall off the table. Plastic shampoo bottles don’t break if they fall off the shower shelf, either.

    I tried drinking hot chocolate out of a paper cup. The wax melted and floated to the top. Then the cup got soggy.
    Only idiots believe they know how other people should live their lives. The stupider they are, the more blindly they believe it.

    1. Plastic is pretty much essential in medicine, auto parts, cell phones, and food safety to name just a few. There is literally no part of modern life that I can think of off hand that plastics are not a common part of. Wanting to get rid of plastics is like wanting to return to pre-industrial times. Stupid.

      1. It’s not “like wanting to return to pre-industrial times”, it’s part and parcel of that return, between the Gaiaists who buy into the mythical “before man, the world was perfect” and the wannabe feudal lords that make up much of the power structure of leftist organizations and want more people under their control.

        1. If they go back to pre-industrial times, they would actually have fewer people under their control. If they survived, which I doubt.

          1. You expect much more rationality and long-term planning than evidence suggests exists for leftists.

      2. Most clothing and other fabrics are made from plastic, whether it’s polyester or nylon or spandex or acrylic. Pleather — or so-called “vegan leather” — is PVC or polyurethane.

        Anti-plastic people need to either shut the f*** up or revert to a pre-industrial lifestyle. There is no middle ground.

  14. The left is throwing a hissy fit over something that is minimal in impact and distorting it out of all proportion you say? I never would have guessed. It must be a day ending in “Y” then.

    Depending on what I’m buying I might utilize paper over plastic. And it sometimes depends on the store as well. One of the grocery stores has heavier plastic bags that hold up really well. One of the others has the thinnest ones I’ve ever seen and you need to triple bag a half gallon of milk or it rips before you get out to your vehicle. If I don’t have a cooler or insulated bag handy I’ll usually ask for the refrigerated and frozen stuff to be put in paper bags if it’s going to be awhile before I can get home.

    Then there’s the time of year thing, at least around here. I went to the movies with one of my friends one time and stopped off at the grocery store beforehand. He was all concerned about the food spoiling if left in the car for a couple of hours. I had to explain that since it was 40° out, and falling to about 30 that night, it was pretty much refrigerated as is. I also had to explain to one of my coworkers that putting his refrigerated groceries in the cooler in the bed of his truck and driving a couple of hours in -10° weather should be fine. The insulation of the cooler keeps the outside temp, whether too hot or too cold, from reaching the inside of the cooler very fast.

    1. I just lost a bottle of Spanish wine when the handle on the paper grocery bag broke. *Sigh.*

          1. Spanish wine and Cornish hen – a truly international palate, (or palette, considering it is culinary art?). Nice!

            Served with Brussels Sprouts?

                1. Makes for a tasty dish, that. For some reason I’m now hankering for a good fondue. Haven’t done the full round with the meat broth, bread, veggies, and fruit in a good long while. And of course a good dry white to season the base with. I may not be drinking but the bite helps the course along quite nicely.

  15. Ages ago I read a news story about the plastics determined to be on one of our outer planets (Neptune? Saturn? Not sure) by spectroscopy. I was rather amazed by this, and so did some research. The plastics we produce are originally imitations of what we see in nature. We take what is a slightly random process in nature and have turned it into a well-understood chemical phenomenon that we harness to improve life and make goods more cheaply but often that last longer. But all that seems to require thinking and stepping outside your comfort zone of People Magazine, so most LLLibs won’t ever have a chance to understand this.

  16. “Mostly because it hurts their aesthetic sensitivities and because of course they don’t want us to have nice things.”

    I’d say “they don’t want us to have nice things” is their primary driver. Seeing us nasty undeserving people having nice things is what hurts the Left’s aesthetic sensitivities, more than anything else about plastic.

    1. Well of course. It’s like a paraphrase from the villain in The Incredibles. If everyone has nice things, then nobody is special. And the overwhelming defining trait of the Left is they MUST be special.

  17. Once again, Sarah, your innate goodness has caused you to overlook the issue. The left is not against the use of plastics by Party Members, just us hoi polloi.

    They’re ultra-pharisees with respect to how the stinking masses live–especially those in MAGA hats; but they’re the pinnacle of decadence and perversion themselves.

    They really are not two-faced.

    Aristocrats have always been that way.

  18. And as usual, the lefties never think outside their own little snowglobe worlds with this stuff.

    Imagine being a stroke or parkinson’s patient and only able to drink with a straw …

    It’s the same principle with those new parking meter systems — if you don’t have a devil phone (sometimes mistakenly called smart phone), you have to walk half a block to pay for parking, then walk back … if you can walk. Imagine being a stroke or parkinson’s patient and unable to go places because those are the only systems in the area …

    Those are only two examples of thousands. Lefties hate the handicapped.

  19. I have a wonderful dream that I can wave a magic wand and all the synthetic products disappear as Certain Politicians are talking about the evils of oil. Elastics, “vegan leather,” cosmetics, hair dye, plastic eye-glasses and their frames, nylon and fleece and polyester, all vanish at once . . . Talk about the empress and friends suddenly being exposed to the drafts. *evil kitty laughter here*

    1. I have a wonderful dream about using flamethrower tanks to push greens, communists, and foreign agent provocateurs into a trench.

  20. Please pardon the interruption for a thought, not about plastic. Someone with a forum read by leftists should point out to those who want to punish the unvaccinated that the most effective thing they could do is stop wearing masks. After all, they’re immune, and the idiots aren’t. Why are you wearing masks that only protect the unvaccinated from their own stupidity and do nothing for you? Kill them with their own ignorance by not wearing your mask. 🙂

    Whatever you do, don’t throw me in that briar patch.

  21. In fact, our very own Foxfier has looked at the pictures of these islands and identified them as carefully cropped debris from various tsunamis.

    And I was able to give links to the original photographs for some of them, too!

    I *think* they got smarter about it– although they haven’t figure out how to get big piles of plastic without getting the whole trees ripped up by the roots floating among them.

  22. The People’s Republic of New Jersey (the correct term; Murphy even referenced his desire to achieve a “Great Leap Forward” in his second term, and yes, he used that exact phrase) not only has banned plastic bags effective this spring, but PAPER bags as well. The only bags you will be able to use to carry stuff home from stores will be fabric bags. The law they enacted sets forth all the alleged harm caused by plastic bags, says nothing about any harm or impact of paper bags, yet bans paper anyway. I presume the cloth bag makers paid off people big time to get that in.

        1. When I walk down to the local QFC (Krogers) I stick a couple old plastic bags in my pocket. Nobody even blinks. (In Seattle)

          1. Here in Mordor west, when you order McDonald’s pancakes and sausage, they give it to you in a plastic bag. I reuse them when I go to the local food sales place. Stuff a few bags in a bag, and use them.
            This in addition to several hundred bags I saved, prior to the evil times. The plastic bags are stored in a dark storage shed to keep them degrading from the sun. At the rate we go thru, we have a 20 years supply. Also have many paper bags.

            There are advantages to being a hoarder. Married to one who would throw everything out, one must justify keeping things. Why do you need those boards?…”You can never have too many bookshelves.” It was helpful when TP vanished to show her that we had a 6 month supply stored away.

    1. The environmental impact of making fabric bags is enormous — you would need hundreds of uses to match the paper or plastic, IF you don’t wash it, which is dangerous.

    2. They banned plastic bags in California supermarkets, and made you pay an additional fee for paper bags. But then SARS-2 happened, and it was noted that people who bring their own bags are more likely to spread diseases. So the plastic bags came back.

      We still get charged for them, though.

      1. But then SARS-2 happened, and it was noted that people who bring their own bags are more likely to spread diseases. So the plastic bags came back.

        Happened in Eugene too. They couldn’t get paper bags so they had to haul out the plastic bags. But they couldn’t charge for the plastic bags. Not that I didn’t stop taking my semi-hard-sided reusable plastic lined boxes with handles (Kroger and Safeway/Albertsons have them). Just the clerks couldn’t fill them. Not a problem.

        Petsmart I put the items in after they were rung up.

        Kroger? Used the self checkout anyway, because I have specific ways I pack what I get.

        Costco? Left them in the vehicle, either got a box, or had stuff put back in cart and loaded my “bags” when I got to the vehicle.

        The bags, paper or plastic, available from local groceries are so thin they are worthless if only one is used. Takes double and sometimes triple bagging to actually work. So I am not using the more sturdy reusable options to be environmentally prudent. I just don’t want to have bags fall apart moving from cart to vehicle, or vehicle into the house. It makes me grumpy when that happens.

    1. Interesting.

      Ideas aren’t new.

      But they are coming from an academic psychologist in Canada. (Wait, that is Peterson, isn’t it? )

      Guess we will figure out how bad things are, if he disappears after this.

  23. My sewing machine is solid metal. All its bits are made of metal. Thread is polyester (plastic) or cotton; fabric I use most of is cotton/cotton-poly blends, and fabric storage is plastic. So are a lot of the notions and tools I use alongside the sewing machine.

    I *had* a plastic sewing machine with plastic gears. It…didn’t last past one use by a relative that borrowed it and tried using it to hem jeans.

    My knitting needles are wood and plastic (the cords for my interchangeable circular needles, and the “luxurious vegan leather” in the cases). Most of the knitting notions (stitch markers, stitch counters, gauge rulers, etc) are plastic. A lot of the yarn I use is acrylic or acrylic blends. My yarns are stored in a set of plastic drawers.

    My trash cans are all plastic; the bags that hold the trash are all plastic; the bags I bring meat home from the store in are plastic; the bags I get from the store and use for several different things (stuffing knitted kid or cat toys–all plastics. A lot of single-use items for hygiene are made from plastics, and can’t really be made from much else.

    Plastics are *awesome* for what they’re useful for: semi-long-term storage, synthetic fabrics, straws, disposables, toys, etc. In those and several other instances, plastics are irreplaceable.

    If I could write and pass a federal law, I would love to be able to fix things so that people who want to ban something can’t use it, have it in their home, or benefit from the use of the thing in any way. Which would make the bunch that screech “MUST BAN PLASTICS!” and “MUST BAN GUNS!” (and other such nonsense) either wise up or go extinct from their own stupidity in rather short order, since all homes contain synthetic materials made from plastics, all medical supplies have some plastics somewhere in the process, and all services (including cops) come with the use of either plastics or guns. (And yes, this is something I *am* willing to see people killed over.)

    1. My favorite was a “protest” I saw in the 80’s. Barely a gathering, by today’s standards. They were standing outside of a department store (remember those?) chanting about animal rights–with leather boots, shoes, belts, etc.

        1. Lucy, of course, is a fine one to talk. I’m guessing that this strip is before her “The Doctor Is In” schtick started.

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