There was a picture of Mayor Rob Ford lounging sardonically – I’ve never seen that done before – in a council seat the day of the infamous Toronto bag ban.
I’m going to say it.
Ford looked and acted liked Jabba the Hut, not just the size of the man, but the snarl on his face and his complete disdain for intellectual argument. To me the picture said, “I want, I want, I want and nothing’s going to get in my way.” A very Jabba moment.
Around the same time as the vote to ban plastic bags occurred the Journal of Nature published a study of “tipping points”. A tipping point is a collection of reinforcing crises that send the earth and its inhabitants into new, uncharted but really bad territory. Think ice age or asteroid collision, that kind of thing.
The study wasn’t just another global warming study. No, global warming was just the start. It threw all the current environmental crises together in a great global mash-up: global warming, ocean degradation, species loss, urbanization, forest loss, glacier melts … that sort of thing.
It was carried out by scientists. You know, those folks with few if any emotions and a fact finding way of operating called the scientific method.
The general conclusion of the study was that we were heading towards the cliff. And we’ve got our foot on the gas. Everyone read Cormac MacCarthy’s “The Road” and prepare.
I wouldn’t characterize myself as an environmentalist. I forget my cloth bags way to much to measure up. And my bike is sitting in the basement with a flat tire, but I do worry. As a sometime climber and hiker I’ve seen the clearcuts and shrinking glaciers increase significantly in my short time on this earth. Something is up and it is not good.
We should be doing something. A plastic bag ban is a little something.
What I don’t understand are Jabba and his media followers like Margaret Wente and the entire staff of the National Post with their shrill screams of ‘How dare you take our plastic bags’ as if all that matters is their convenience. ‘Good God’ they say, ‘What living hell will befall us if we don’t have twenty crinkly plastic bags to carry our groceries to our Lincoln Navigator at the mall?’
Margaret Wente ratchets it up. ‘If the Bolsheviks get their way we won’t have anything to pick up our dog shit,’ Wente whines. Oh, the troubles of the haut bourgeoisie. Marie Antoinette never had it so bad.
I’m not saying the plastic bag ban is the lynchpin of our survival. But for crying out loud if we can’t figure out a way to get rid of this sizable form of pollution and deal with the short-term inconvenience until the market figures out a better replacement we are doomed and deservedly so.
Yeah, yeah I hate it when I forget my cloth bag. I feel stupid asking for paper. But geez, if that means the trees won’t be full of drifting plastic crap in the winter, I’ll deal.
On another environmental note, the Vancouver Sun is continuing its pursuit of the pseudo argument “Is Climate Change real?”. In today’s letters to the editor, Kenneth Lawrence represents the naysayers.
Kenneth is well known member of the tin hat brigade. His self published book “The Evolution Delusion” is available on-line if you want to catch up on that.
Last week in the Sun it was an op-ed by an ally of the National Front. This week a letter by an evolution denier.
Scientists/Nutbars? Scientists/Nutbars? Who are we to believe?