Quote of the Week – channeling George Carlin

Todd Wynn writes on his Facebook page:

Todd Wynn

I am beginning to wonder if the whole world has gone mad and economic logic has just been thrown out the window as irrelevant…..


I distinctly remember when plastic bags were introduced in Oregon grocery stores. I was six or seven years old and I remember my parents and all of my friends’ parents being appalled. In fact, I …

The article he cites goes on to argue why both plastic bags and paper bags are bad for the environment, so naturally the conclusion is that Oregon residents should just grab their groceries in arms, or get one of the new petri dish bags.

George Carlin really sums up this argument well:

And while we are on the subject of environmentalism and Oregon, how’s that “save the spotted owl” thing working out for ya?

Now they’ve gone down the path of “we have to kill the owls to save the owls” since nothing else has worked.

Indeed, maybe the whole world has gone mad. Though, I think it mainly the world that views it through green colored glasses.

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February 25, 2011 12:13 pm

how’s that “save the spotted owl” thing working out for ya?
They obviously need to build more KMarts…..
…since it’s been proven that spotted owls prefer to nest behind the K

Scott Covert
February 25, 2011 12:16 pm

Washing the reusable bags creates more pollution and consumes more energy than single use bags. Find ways to re-use the singe use bags, that is much more efficent use of resources.

February 25, 2011 12:28 pm

I was hiking a trail in Oregon a couple of years ago when I came to a small campground where we had planned to spend the night.
In the public restroom, on the wall in the location where you would expect find a role of toilet paper, there was a nicely crafted little sign that read: “Due to the shortage of cut timber in this region which can be used in the manufacture of paper products, please catch, and use, a spotted owl for your personal sanitation needs.”

February 25, 2011 12:40 pm

Plastic bags tied to your veggie garden fence will keep deer out of your peas. And paper bags make great mulch.

Warren in Minnesota
February 25, 2011 12:42 pm

…[B]arred owls expanded rapidly because they adapt well to mixed habitat and eat a variety of prey, while spotted owls prefer old-growth to nest and, in most of its range, flying squirrels to eat.

February 25, 2011 12:50 pm

Scott Covert says: “…Find ways to re-use the singe use bags[;] that is much more efficent use of resources.”
I think they can be rolled up and then woven together to make handsome throw rugs. I line my wastebaskets with them and then tie them shut before putting in the trash. They also make great emergency rain hats. Yes, they look totally dorky, but if you’re Green, that’s obviously not a consideration. I’m currently experimenting to see if they can be turned into espadrilles to completely replace Birkenstocks. They’re a little slippery and tend to wear out too fast, but, hey, we’re saving the planet, aren’t we? Aren’t we??

Fred Harwood
February 25, 2011 12:51 pm

Some decades ago, I made several weighted bent-rod frames to hold the plastic grocery bags open as waste receptacles. My mother-in-law used hers until she died, and we and our daughter each still have ours, in the cabinet under the sink. When full, just tie the loops together and discard appropriately, and then fit another!

Sean Peake
February 25, 2011 12:52 pm

How many times can a bag made of recycled paper be recycled again? I figure three more times before it ends up as cattle feed or in a landfill (or in Combos “Nacho Cheese” filling)? And how many times can a plastic bag (a by-product from hydrocarbon refining) get recycled into new bags before it gets turned into car upholstery or whatnot? I’m guessing at least 20 times, possibly more—like those evil Styrofoam clam shell containers (70 times). So which one’s the environmentally responsible one again?

February 25, 2011 1:13 pm

Talking of plastic bags…
“Plastic bags less damaging to environment
Plastic bags may not be as bad for the environment as previously assumed, and may in fact be better than their “eco friendly” alternatives, government research suggests.”

February 25, 2011 1:14 pm

I remember when they came out with the plactis shopping bags and said they were supposed to save the planet by saving “X” million trees/year.
I’m totally serious. Plastic bags were going to save the planet…

February 25, 2011 1:14 pm

Carlin is right and he makes his point very well. Plastic bags are good. My wife saves them for use and they serve a lot of secondary purposes. She also saves paper bags and re uses them. The only problem with these bags is the people who want to eliminate them.

February 25, 2011 1:20 pm

Try using beer cans with a few pebbles in them along the top wire. You’ll hear when they get in the garden and then, POW, venison to go with the veggies…

February 25, 2011 1:35 pm

AND I remember plastic bags’ intro in Oregon they were forced on us by the same green idiots that now want them banned. It was supposed to save trees (those big things that grow like weeds everywhere and are worshiped by some people.)

February 25, 2011 1:40 pm

We save plastic grocery bags and use them for cleaning out Smokey’s litter box [the cat’s box, not mine]. They’re perfect for putting the treasure hunt discoveries in. We tie ’em off and they go into the garbage bin. Clean and sanitary, and better than a paper bag.
And paper bags can be dangerous.

Pat Cabell
February 25, 2011 1:42 pm

Sign of the times. For the past twenty years my husband and I diligently used our plastic grocery bags to collect our kitty’s litter. Great devices. With the introduction of fees for the bags, we’re now using small plastic garbage bags.
Our “carbon footprint” now includes our felines’ (X5) waste disposal. The guilt would be killing us if we actually believed we had a carbon footprint.

David Davidovics
February 25, 2011 1:48 pm

I don’t agree with everything George Carlin ever said, he did seem to be right more often than not. He couldn’t be more right in this case.
Already watched that on Utube a while ago. Cracks me up every time.

Mister Ed
February 25, 2011 1:51 pm

> The article he cites goes on to argue why both plastic bags and paper bags are bad for the environment….
I’m lost. Which article says paper bags are bad? The BlueOregon piece by Jon Isaacs promotes an anti-plastic-bag bill but speaks favorably of paper bags.

February 25, 2011 1:51 pm

@ HeckSpawn says:
February 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm
Try using beer cans with a few pebbles in them along the top wire. You’ll hear when they get in the garden and then, POW, venison to go with the veggies…
No need. I just put out some corn, and sit on the porch for 20 min. Haven’t missed in 10 years.

February 25, 2011 1:57 pm

@ jim karlock says:
February 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm
AND I remember plastic bags’ intro in Oregon they were forced on us by the same green idiots that now want them banned. It was supposed to save trees (those big things that grow like weeds everywhere and are worshiped by some people.)

Some trees are weeds. I spend a lot of time and money every year cutting them down so I can continue to use my 1/4 mile driveway thru the woods, among other things. Some, I cut up for my hobby. I guess that means I’ll be going to ecohell eventually. 🙁 😉

February 25, 2011 2:08 pm

Every dog Owner should carry a used plastic bag, but evidently they don’t around my area at least.

February 25, 2011 2:10 pm

Plastic bags were supposed save the planet by saving paper and trees, margarine was supposed to save our health from evil butter, low fat everything was supposed to save us from ourselves, carob was supposed to save us from the health ravages of chocolate, soy was supposed to replace the cruelty of eating meat, bottled water was supposed to save us from the dangers of tap water, and now high gas prices are supposed to save us from rising temperatures which, like everything I’ve listed, is actually a GOOD thing…
We have farmed trees for generations, butter is natural and delicious, fat has been a mainstay of our diet for millennia, chocolate is a wonderful healthful antioxidant, meat is an important part of our diet, our tap water is fine and never harmed a soul and countless archeological studies have shown cooling to be a terrible source of misery due to increases in crop failures while warming tends to produce more consistent yields…
There must be a “chicken little” corollary to Murphy’s Law – that the richer and more powerful a nation is the more the population fears losing everything to some imagined weakness so that nowadays the sky is CONSTANTLY falling and every little decision can “harm” or “help” the earth…

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
February 25, 2011 2:13 pm

He said ban ‘single use plastic bags’ but many, maybe nearly all people, reuse plastic bags to line small trash cans at home or office. A paper bag is ineffective at that kind of reuse (they’re quadrangular for starters).

February 25, 2011 2:13 pm

Carlin is a national treasure. Language and all.

Honest ABE
February 25, 2011 2:16 pm

The plastic bag banning has been promoted by big grocery chains like Fred Meyer – this is simply a tax on poor people since they can now charge for the bags they used to give away for free.

Henry chance
February 25, 2011 2:18 pm

I am not kidding. new town, new park near new green buildings a library and city hall, they have rolls of plastic bags to catch animal poo.
I am opposed to reusing bags for groceries. They cross contaminate food from previous trips to the market and different foods in your current grocery order. Reusing bags are dirty. Just as dirty as airport gropers not changing gloves.

James Sexton
February 25, 2011 2:19 pm

Indeed, maybe the whole world has gone mad. Though, I think it mainly the world that views it through green colored glasses.
They do a pretty good job of making me mad. Freaking lunatics. paper/plastic/canvass………I can’t imagine people having nothing better to do than to sit around and contemplate the significance of what people use to haul their foodstuffs. And then others lending credence to the people for their contemplation. What is wrong with these people? We’ve literally have had people obsess about how someone else carries their groceries for about 40 years now. I think they’ve killed enough jobs and wasted enough peoples’ time. I think we should re-institute corporeal punishment for such offenses to usefulness.

February 25, 2011 2:26 pm

George Carlin was a planet-wide treasure.
Rest in Peace, George.

February 25, 2011 2:37 pm

James Sexton,
Too much leisure time can indeed be a scourge…idle hands are the devil’s workshop. I am all for corporeal punishment as a manifestation of corporal punishment! :+)

February 25, 2011 2:40 pm

@ Kaboom says:
February 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm
George Carlin was a planet-wide treasure.
Rest in Peace, George.
Well, for those who believe in such things, George is probably guarding the Pearly Gates about now, having beat out St. Peter for the job. 😉

Bruce of Newcastle
February 25, 2011 2:56 pm

Even the Independent, normally a very warmist lot, couldn’t resist covering the plastic-bags-are-good story this week.
“A cotton bag would have to be re-used 171 times to emit a similar level [of Co2e as a single use plastic bag]”
If I had to use a cloth bag 171 times only the bacteria would be keeping the wretched thing from falling apart. Which didn’t stop them recommending:
“The best solution would be to use a cotton bag several hundred times, probably using it constantly for years.”
Several hundred times….?! That reporter definitely needs to do his own shopping more often.

February 25, 2011 3:17 pm

Dave Stephens says:
February 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm

There must be a “chicken little” corollary to Murphy’s Law – that the richer and more powerful a nation is the more the population fears losing everything to some imagined weakness so that nowadays the sky is CONSTANTLY falling and every little decision can “harm” or “help” the earth…

The way I’ve heard it put is that, as a species, we’re still not far different from those african plains apes we’re said to be descended from, in that our brains are hard-wired to be in a near-permanent state of distress and fear. We’re constantly looking for danger. Now as civilisations grow, for most of their lifetime they’re on the verge of collapse in some way, and their denizens are living close to the edge of sustainability all the time (that meaning, they may just fall over and can’t guarantee continued existence, rather than the modern definition of sustainable to mean “designed by morons”). An low-tech agrarian society runs the risk of starvation every single year, and can easily be wiped out by a relatively small natural disaster. Now we’ve progressed past the agrarian phase in to a high technology phase, we no longer have that constant danger to be aware of, but our brains are still looking for the dangerous thing. In essence, we aren’t built for a life of ease.
I’ve noticed in my travels that environmentalism generally doesn’t have much traction more, ah, politically fraught societies. That is, places where there is a great deal of real danger to be wary of, rather than the made-up danger we have to content ourselves with in the west. Like many things in a mass-production consumerist society, our dangerous things are a pale imitation of reality.

February 25, 2011 3:33 pm

“The plastic bag banning … …this is simply a tax on poor people…”
Just a method to augment the proceeds from the other well marketed poor tax, “The Lottery.”

View from the Solent
February 25, 2011 3:38 pm

Enough of this plastic bag nonsense, already.
What about the owls ? http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=3510

February 25, 2011 3:41 pm

The thing that puzzles me about the “evils” of plastic bags, which as many have said make great bin liners, is that “they take {insert scary big number} years to break down in a landfill.”
So? Who cares? The bag is buried, it is not blowing around getting stuck in tree branches. It can sit and rot in the ground for millennia, surely? Why is this slow decay when buried such an evil feature of plastic bags?

February 25, 2011 3:50 pm

The lady in this video makes really cool textured “paper” out of plastic bags. I layer several bags to make a bigger page. And I don’t worry about the printed labels on the bags. Still looks cool no matter the color of the bag. I don’t really need the ‘greenies’ telling me how to re-use stuff. I’ve had far more practice than they can even dream of and my stuff turns out way cooler.

It's always Marcia, Marcia
February 25, 2011 3:53 pm

They are not appeased at any point. So they should be relegated to the backwaters. They can meet each other there an commiserate over evil humans.

February 25, 2011 3:59 pm

Here’s a case of eco-insanity that I discovered just a few minutes ago.
I went to the pharmacy to buy a Primatene Mist inhaler. Printed on the inhaler’s box was a notice stating that it would not be available after December 31, 2011. Immediately after returning home I checked the internet to try and figure out why they might be pulling such an effective OTC drug off the market. Answer: The ozone layer. They are pulling Primatene Mist off the market because its propellant contains CFCs! This is so absurd that I hardly believe it myself. Can anyone verify?

Les Francis
February 25, 2011 4:00 pm

Many years ago I bought a large parcel of land very cheaply. The reason for the cheap price was the trees on the land were specifically grown to make paper. The trees had a useful life of 20 years after which they would deteriorate and rot.
Time came for the trees to be cut down. The greenies stepped in and eventually had a ruling made to forbid the tree felling.
Bottom line is that after 25 years the trees started falling down by themselves and started rotting. In 1983 the whole area was gutted by a bush fire – the remaining trees were burned down to the roots.

February 25, 2011 4:01 pm

I truly miss George Carlin. I quoted this routine for years after it was shown on HBO. I think of it every time I see the “forever in a landfill” filtered water commercial. I ask my liberal idiot friends, “So what? What is wrong with plastic bottles?” No one can give me a good reason other than they are unsightly. I see nature using them for condos in the woods and have seen a whole ecosystem in one that washed up on shore, complete with barnacles, algae and little fish hiding inside to avoid being eaten by bigger fish.
Having shown that clip here, this is now officially the coolest website I frequent. 🙂

Joshua Corning
February 25, 2011 4:14 pm

Now they’ve gone down the path of “we have to kill the owls to save the owls” since nothing else has worked.
The irony is that barred owls and Spotted owls can mate.
They are the same f**king species.

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta
February 25, 2011 4:33 pm

Dave Stephens says:
February 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm
Agreed with most of your rant Dave but you went way off-track with the “tap water never hurt anyone” bit. Tap water actually sickens about a million people a year with everything from rota and rhino virus to crpto and giardia. The first commercial use of Chlorine was to kill soldiers in trenches. Then the brain-trust decided to put it into our drinking water to “purify” it. Great for washing your truck but don’t drink that crap!

Gary Hladik
February 25, 2011 4:39 pm

About the owl story: It’s a good thing there were no conservationists around 50,000 years ago, or we’d still be killing off “modern” humans to preserve Neanderthals.
You know, like in Libya…oops.

ferd berple
February 25, 2011 4:41 pm

“Just as dirty as airport gropers not changing gloves.”
Hadn’t thought about that. They are passing germs from person to person and need to change gloves between each passenger. Everyone should insist on it. Otherwise the inspection could end up killing a lot of people if one passenger is carrier.

ferd berple
February 25, 2011 4:46 pm

“A cotton bag would have to be re-used 171 times to emit a similar level [of Co2e as a single use plastic bag]“
That seems very unlikely. There is a fair amount of energy used to produce a cotton bag and transport it for sale. Again lots of energy used to keep it as clean as a plastic bag. You get a lot of bags out of very little oil, and they can be transported in large numbers using very little space.
Imagine a hospital re-using cotten gloves for surgery. Why should food be treated less hygenically?

Walter M. Clark
February 25, 2011 4:54 pm

When we lived in Riverside, California and had a single stream recycling program we put an open paper bag inside a plastic bag under the sink for trash and garbage. The paper bag held more and the plastic bag around the bottom prevented wet-caused rupture of the paper bag. Now we’re in eastern Washington State and get to separate our recyclables, and they only take about half of what we recycled in California.

February 25, 2011 4:59 pm

When are these green idiots going to learn for every action there is a reaction. Leave the Owls alone for Gods sake!
On the Plastic bags, We shop a different Super markets and they all have 6 to 9 weeks degrading plastic, We stuff them behind the fridge, they even get flaky and fall apart there never mind in the land fill. We use the bags as garbage liners as well as recycling to a fault. What is insane is if we didn’t do that we would buy small glad bags to do the same bloody thing! And we wont use paper bags because that means more trees have to be chopped down. Green’s make up your minds and let the people like myself who really are environmentally friendly and caring alone. Environmentalist there own worsted enemy and have become a dislikeable menace to their themselves and alienated people like me who has ALWAYS tried to do what is right for the environment in action and deed.

February 25, 2011 5:00 pm

Watch a few minutes of James Hansen being interviewed by David Letterman. Both are yuppies to the extreme. Wealthy and sarcastic. Be patient, force yourself to watch it to the end. How would you describe Hansen and Letterman’s personality?

If you believe you are the messiah and you are saving the world, then lying and distorting the data is acceptable as believe you are on a mission.
James Hansen is the head the Earth Science Division of NASA which constructs the climate models and the creates the GISS world temperature data that is used to create the hockey stick. The GISS temperature data which is roughly .25C higher than the satellite data is James Hansen’s group’s creation. The altering of past climate data is done by James Hansen’s group. The Real Climate blog is run by Gavin Schmidt an employee of Hansen, on company time. Do see the underlying problem a possible conflict of interest. Watch the David Letterman interview. Is James Hansen a scientist? Has anyone watched a video of the scientist Henrick Svensmark?
The head “green people” are advocating spending trillions of dollars which we do not have on problem which is not a problem. There are multiple published papers that show the entire biosphere increases in size and productivity as a direct result to an increased in atmospheric CO2. We are carbon based life forms. (Yes or no?) Plants eat CO2. (Yes or no?) Plants make more effective use of water by reducing the number of stomata when the CO2 increases. (Yes or no?) There is less desertification when CO2 levels are higher and more when it is less. (Yes or no?) Increased atmospheric CO2 is scientifically beneficial to biosphere. That is a scientific fact.
The biosphere also expands when the planet warms and contracts when the planet cools. This is related to the planet being 70% covered with water (total precipitations increases when the planet warms and is reduced when it cools) and there being massive ice sheets at both poles. When the planet warms most of the warming occurs at higher latitudes where life is limited due to the cold and massive ice sheets. That statement is also a scientific fact.
Warming period is over, unfortunately over. There are numerous papers warning of the new cooling trend.
There are multiple scientific reasons why the IPCC warming prediction is incorrect by a factor of 5. Cloud cover increases when the planet warms so the planet’s response to a change in forcing is negative not positive.
Roughly 80% of the twentieth century warming was caused by a reduction in planetary cloud cover. Enric Palle published a series of papers that measured the reduction in planetary cloud cover by satellite measurement and by measuring changes in the brightness of the moon. In those papers he calculated that roughly 60 to 80% of the 20th century warming was caused by a change in planetary cloud cover.
The reduction in planetary cloud cover was caused by a mechanism called electroscavenging which is the name for a mechanism where by solar wind bursts create a space charge differential in the ionosphere which creates a voltage potential which removes cloud forming ions. There are other papers by solar specialists that note there were a very high number of solar wind bursts in the later half of the 20th century and planetary temperature changes correlate with the frequency and magnitude of the wind bursts.
The sun has abruptly moved to a low magnetic cycle. In the past the planet has cooled when the sun moved to a low magnetic cycle. There is in the paleoclimatic record cycles of warming and cooling that all correlate with the longer term solar magnetic cycle changes. The Solar magnetic cycle activity was the highest in 8000 years at the end of the 20th century. The late Gerald Bond tracked solar magnetic and climate temperature warming and cooling for 22 cycles through the Holocene interglacial period and into the glacial period. What we are living through has happened before. After the warming period the planet abruptly cools. There is a short interglacial period of roughly 10,000 years followed by a very long abrupt glacial period that is 100,000 years long. We are at the end of the current integlacial period the Holocene.
Physics does not pick sides. Hansen is incorrect and ignores obvious data in multiple published papers that shows the extreme AGW paradigm is absolutely incorrect because he is a messiah (Hansen is not the messiah, he actually just has a large ego like David Letterman.) rather than a scientist.

February 25, 2011 5:08 pm

Reusable fiber bags work better than your arms.

James Sexton
February 25, 2011 5:31 pm

William says:
February 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm
Watch a few minutes of James Hansen being interviewed by David Letterman.
I understand your noble cause, but there’s no way I could bring myself to watching either a$$bag for any length of time. My stomach’s a bit queasy as it is.

February 25, 2011 5:36 pm

Reusable Grocery Bags could pose more of a health hazard than improve the Green environment—with 97% never washed, holding items that have been placed in grocery carts, conveyor belts, and raw meats and food, bacteria abounds. Among the plethora of bacteria discovered in reusable bags–50% contain Coliform bacteria, at least 12% E. Coli bacteria.
Researchers at two universities–University of Arizona and Loma Linda University–questioned grocery store shoppers who were headed into stores in the states of California and Arizona. The question at large: whether shoppers wash those reusable grocery bags that are supposed to save our environment and lend us all a “greener” planet. ”

Jeffrey Naujok
February 25, 2011 5:43 pm

@ Curiousgeorge says:
Well, for those who believe in such things, George is probably guarding the Pearly Gates about now, having beat out St. Peter for the job. 😉

I thought he was stuck on the roof…


February 25, 2011 5:44 pm

If George Carlin were alive, he’d be a warmist.


Jeffrey Naujok
February 25, 2011 5:45 pm

Mr Moderator:
My last comment lost the link I put in:

The Expulsive
February 25, 2011 6:32 pm

I prefer the Osaka way for garbage: trash, recycle, burnable. They run a very efficient co-gen operation there and plastic is just another fuel

February 25, 2011 6:33 pm

Plastic bags DID save the planet… think of how many billions upon billions of trees were NOT cut down to make the paper to make the paper bags since plastic bags came along.
Then think of how much CO2 those trees (that weren’t cut down) managed to pull out of the atmosphere.
And, to take the California Air Resources Board’s argument a bit further, plastic bags instead of paper bags has increased employment and boosted the economy tremendously. See, paper bags cost much more per bag than plastic bags. Grocery prices are therefore lower with plastic bags. Lower grocery prices puts more discretionary spending money into each person’s pocket. That discretionary spending can then be spent on coffee at the corner coffee shop. There will be more people employed in making and selling coffee.
(The above is EXACTLY the argument that CARB makes in defending the economy-destroying state law on carbon emission reduction, known as AB 32, or the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.)

J. Felton
February 25, 2011 6:37 pm

The problem with trying to show warmists they’re wrong, is that you’re trying to teach common sense….to people who have no common sense.

James Sexton
February 25, 2011 6:39 pm

SamG says:
February 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm
If George Carlin were alive, he’d be a warmist.
He was. My wife and I went to go see him about a year or two before he died. His routine had devolved to a slurs/rants/insults to conservatives, Christians, and just about anything that didn’t agree with the leftist narrative. It was depressing. We didn’t stay for the whole thing. We weren’t the only ones either. Apparently either idiocy or senility had set in and he didn’t realize he was playing to a crowd in SE Kansas. But as I recall he had a bit in his schitck poking at skeptics. He did get one thing right, he said the earth didn’t have a problem when it got tired of what we were doing, it would shrug us off. The idea that we can permanently effect the earth is absurd. If we all vanished tomorrow, 500 years from now, one would have to look far and wide for the traces of our civilization.

February 25, 2011 7:16 pm

James Sexton
I think that’s where the confusion lies with this video. As you state, he didn’t believe the earth had a problem, he did however say “the people are f****d” . He also refers to the natural equilibrium of the planet and the universe as a big electron. Is this not remarkably close to the concept of Gaia?
Based on the second link I posted, Carlin implicitly endorsed militant civil disobediance. Hicks wasn’t much different either.
I used to find these guys funny until I realized they were serious proponents of the left.

February 25, 2011 7:31 pm

I have a theory on the connection between a popular paper product and the decline of the Spotted Owl. Too many Oregonian tree huggers apparently took to heart the message on a bumper sticker of the 1980’s: “Save the trees! Wipe your a$$ with a spotted owl”.
To find a solution to the current Barred Owl problem, the Oregon legislature should fund a study to see if a process could be developed to recycle Barred Owl carcasses into shopping bags. If a process is found, declare an open hunting season on the critters and put a bounty on them. Several problems are solved with the bonus of establishing a new eco-friendly industry in Oregon. Unemployed loggers represent a huge pool of future forest-wise bounty hunters. sarc

Brian H
February 25, 2011 9:22 pm

Dave Stephens;
As a backup to your need-and-love-fear thesis, consider the immortal Mencken:
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Brian H
February 25, 2011 9:24 pm

Actually, the above should have been to Archonix, citing Dave S.

February 25, 2011 9:51 pm

While driving through Oregon I also spotted a simpler bumper sticker:
Eat an Owl, Save a Logger
Obviously a sentiment to some local situation. /sarc

Amino Acids in Meteorites
February 25, 2011 10:16 pm

Richard Jeni’s stand up comedy on politics, ending with folks that ride in private jets to energy conservation meetings.

February 25, 2011 11:59 pm

Huh! My mom uses large sturdy baskets. They are in the trunk, so she packs the stuff from the trolley right in there. And I put most of my stuff in a rucksack, which works for my bachelor life-style.
The average Brit can walk with so many plastic bags from an average shopping tour that I sometimes feel I should challenge them in the car park over their out of hand conduct. Some people reall need a dozen bags to pack the contents of one trolley. Sounds familiar to anyone?

Neil Jones
February 26, 2011 12:43 am

The simplest way to recycle paper bags is to burn them for heat.

Stephen Brown
February 26, 2011 1:17 am

Plastic shopping bags? Great things.
Put one bag inside another to form a double-skinned bag, half fill with potting soil that has a dash of well rotted compost in, plant a chitted potato. Top up as the potato grows, feed with tomato fertilizer once a week. I grow Arran Pilots, a delicious first early.
After ten weeks empty the bags into a wheelbarrow and collect your bug ‘n’ slug free potatoes.
No digging, trenching, backfilling etc. and the outer plastic bag is well on the way to decomposing into brittle flakes.

February 26, 2011 7:10 am

I have always re-used plastic bags until they are no longer practical (torn). Why not produce and encourage the re-use of bio-degradable plastic bags by offering a small discount or shopping points at the checkout?

Pamela Gray
February 26, 2011 9:08 am

Pretty soon we will have a tax on clean clothes, meant to encourage us to reuse our garments instead of washing them. I could turn my bras inside out, but then you would notice all the hardware that goes into making middle age bras that are worth a damn. Talk about yer panty lines!

Pamela Gray
February 26, 2011 9:13 am

I’ve started fires with plastic. Pretty flammable stuff, burns hot, and can keep wet fire starter material burning long enough to get the kindling going.

February 26, 2011 10:36 am

Plastic bags have all kinds of uses, from burning in the woodstove for heat (get a hot fire going first, and they’ll burn completely w/no smoke or leftovers), or balling up & tossing overtop the fiberglass insulation in the attic for some additional insulation. Doing that once of yr for several yrs has built up a respectable new layer for free. I also use a screwdriver to jam them into crevices in the house’s ground-level cement block/wood transition to cut air leakage & infiltration.

February 26, 2011 2:04 pm

The 1994 Northwest Forest Plan had (has) four fundamental goals. It has failed spectacularly to meet any of them.
1. The NWFP has failed to protect northern spotted owls
By most estimations, the northern spotted owl population has fallen 40 to 60 percent since inception of the NWFP.
2. The NWFP has failed to protect spotted owl habitat
Since inception, millions of acres of spotted owl habitat have been catastrophically incinerated. Millions more acres are poised to burn.
3. The NWFP has failed to preserve habitat continuity throughout the range of the northern spotted owl
The dozens of huge and catastrophic forest fires have left giant gaps in the range. The Biscuit Burn alone is 50 miles long and 20 miles wide.
4. The NWFP has failed to protect the regional economy
Since inception of the NWFP, Oregon has experienced 16 long years of the worst economy in the U.S., with the highest rates of unemployment, bankruptcy, home foreclosure, and hunger of any state. These are not just statistics, but indicators of real human suffering. Over 40,000 workers lost their jobs, and the rural economy has been crippled ever since.
The plan to save the owls has not saved anything; not owls, not old-growth, not the economy. The cost for nothing? $100,000 per job per year x 40,000 jobs x 16 years = $64 billion. That’s what Northwesterners have paid, for nothing. And the bills continue to mount.
The parallels between junk wildlife biology, junk climatology, and junk government policies are too numerous to detail. Suffice it to say that when the junkers hold sway, everybody suffers enormously.

February 26, 2011 2:19 pm

The solution is one much of the world is too hypocritical to endorse: Grow hemp, weave bags from it. Trees stay uncut and the plastic not made into bags leaves more for fuel and other value-added items we’ll miss if the Peak Oil theory holds water…no pun intended.
Meanwhile, we waste corn on the ethanol scam while hemp for paper, cardboard and yes, fabrics, is NOT grown on marginal land that doesn’t require irrigation.
And no, I don’t smoke dope.

Pamela Gray
February 26, 2011 6:14 pm

Wallowa County, Oregon, 90 years ago, ranked 2nd in the state for number of hogs sent to slaughter. Several other agricultural products ranked high. And logging kept forest floors clean.
Now we rank highest in cougars, wolves, and rotting fuel strewn forests. No hogs, just a few bags of wool, maybe a train car of cattle, less and less elk and deer, and empty buildings.
All this will not end well.

February 26, 2011 8:36 pm

What a picture.

February 27, 2011 6:16 am

It´s simple economics: The more items we recycle, the less items are produced, the less jobs are created to produce new ones and the more poorer we will become…..Oh!,,,,,,How intelligent we are! (BTW: The more madcows we will have, because of prions´generation by recycling).

Dr. Killpatient
February 27, 2011 6:57 am

Carlin was brilliant, but very much a leftist who became extremely bitter, fatalistic, and angry after the death of his wife. The tone of his routine became remarkably different towards the end of his life.

February 27, 2011 1:58 pm

George Carlin might have done a skit like this:
It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then — to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone — “to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true.
Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s.
I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunch time so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”
One day the boss called me in. He said, “Listen, I like you, and it \hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.”
This gave me a lot to think about.
I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking …” “I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”
“But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”
“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won’t have any money!”
“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently. She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.
“I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors… They didn’t open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.
As I sank to the ground, clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting.
At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.
Life just seemed … easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me. Today, I registered to vote Democrat.

February 28, 2011 12:38 pm

Plastic bags are very handy to catch and eventually reduce the expulsion of CO2. All your eco friends will love this solution – simply put the bag over your head and wrap it tightly together with tape at your neck. Eventually you will no longer expel CO2 and help save the planet.

Billy Liar
February 28, 2011 1:33 pm

Smokey says:
February 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm

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