Bill McKibben's excellent eco-hypocrisy

I’ve sometimes thought Bill McKibben was little more than a do as I say not as I do type fraud, especially since he flies so much. #greensgobyair . Seems I was right. Via Twitchy:


Environmentalist Bill McKibben is the head of the anti-carbon group as well as a “notable member” of the “Plastic Pollution Coalition,” which seeks to make all cities “plastic free.”

McKibben has also said this:

“Some fights, like global warming, are necessarily hard. And some fights are no-brainers: let’s stop using plastic stuff we don’t need.”

Unless there’s no other way to get your groceries home from the store, apparently.


See picture: 



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Jeff Alberts
October 5, 2013 8:59 am

What’s he doing shopping at all?? Shouldn’t he be getting his food only from his pea patch on his penthouse?
Anti-Carbon group? Shouldn’t he then be trying to eliminate himself and all its members?

October 5, 2013 8:59 am


October 5, 2013 9:01 am

Expedience trumps Ideology every time.

Mark Hladik
October 5, 2013 9:02 am

“All animals are equal, but some animals are MORE equal than others.”

October 5, 2013 9:08 am

I guess being an eco-activist and global warming alarmist means never having to apologize for being a hypocrite.
“Some fights, like global warming, are necessarily hard…..”
Yea, especially when there are enough of us skeptics out there who know the whole thing is a lot of B.S.

October 5, 2013 9:09 am

A bit ad hominem; I guess most of the Watermelon crowd are hypocrites.
Goodness, I’m not always totally consistent myself.
But still, a reasonable kick in the nuts for one of the bigger Cucurbitaceae.

October 5, 2013 9:09 am

In Austin TX they have banned plastic bags. I ended up having to buy some other bags that were apparently “green” because they were umm… The color green.

Gunga Din
October 5, 2013 9:10 am

“Plastic Free” or “Save the Trees”. What’s a shopper to do?
(I wonder if the frame of his glasses is metal or wood?)

October 5, 2013 9:13 am

He must have forgotten his cloth bags at home.

October 5, 2013 9:15 am

Actually, plastic grocery bags don’t work well. The groceries fall out of them in the car. The big “green” bags work great. They’re strong and roomy and have handles. Superior totage. Bill McK should get some. Not for ideology, but for functionality.

October 5, 2013 9:17 am

He has to do his own shopping like a peon? Guess Al Gore’s monthly check doesn’t cover the housekeeper salary.

October 5, 2013 9:19 am

Obviously those are biodegradable bags like I get from my local fruit shop.

October 5, 2013 9:27 am

The plastic bag crusade baffles me. Since you’re supposed to wash the cloth bags whenever you put meat or produce in them, how do they save resources? Everyone I know uses the plastic bags twice, once to bring food home and the second to line tiny trash cans in bathrooms. What do they expect us to do with all the black goo leftover from refining crude if we don’t make plastic out of it?

stan stendera
October 5, 2013 9:27 am

Anthony, shame on you. My Braves won last night and it’s college football day. I was in a wonderful mood until I opened WUWT and there is Bill McKibble, as in dog food. Way to ruin my day. What I would like to say about Mr. McKibble would get me banned from WUWT so SELF SNIP.

Michael Jankowski
October 5, 2013 9:33 am

Got to love the twitter folks defending him…apparently their defense of Mr. “plastic free” is that there are uses for plastic.

October 5, 2013 9:34 am

I remember here in Canada it was Dr. Fruitfly that told us all to use plastic not paper bags to save the trees wish they would make up my mind. ;>)

Yet another Mike from the Carson Valley where we deal with cold a lot and heat
October 5, 2013 9:36 am

Et Tu Bill ? Must be thinking about his garbage cans. Is that at his local Wallmart ?

stan stendera
October 5, 2013 9:36 am

Mr. McKibble is against plastic. Well HOO RAH. There exists in the Pacific Ocean a widening gyre of plastic bits littering our world. Maybe those Greenpiece (intentional misspelling) boats would be better off sweeping up some of that junk then harassing whalers and Russian Oil platforms. And, yes I consider it a crime against Nature To “harvest’ a whale. Maybe doing something about plastic bits floating in the sea would be too much like work for the greens.

Rob Dawg
October 5, 2013 9:37 am

How is he going to walk home with all those groceries?

Margaret Smith
October 5, 2013 9:45 am

The plastic bag ban started in the British Isles in Ireland, spread to N Ireland and to Scotland. England will follow in due course. The reason was littering – ragged bags flapping stuck in trees and hedges, also damaging wildlife.
The idea of banning plastic altogether came much later turning the issue into a green one.
I support the litter clean up, and it has really helped in this, but the idea of banning plastic completely is just too ridiculous to deserve comment.

October 5, 2013 9:49 am

RobRoy says:
October 5, 2013 at 9:15 am
Actually, plastic grocery bags don’t work well. The groceries fall out of them in the car.
uh Rob, tie the handles together

Margaret Smith
October 5, 2013 9:52 am

Must add that there was no ban actually but just a ban on FREE bags (they now cost 5p each) in order to reduce the litter problem.

October 5, 2013 9:54 am

He is just like the Priests of old acting as the intercessionaries between the masses and God (GCM’s). All their sins are absolved.
The take home lesson here is to lock up your sons, daughters and wealth whenever these oracles come around.

October 5, 2013 10:01 am

I’m sure he purchased plenty of plastic offsets to himself to ease his guilt over using plastic. sarc off

October 5, 2013 10:01 am

Actually the plastic in the bags come from natural gas.

October 5, 2013 10:02 am

I meant “from himself”

Political Junkie
October 5, 2013 10:02 am

All of the stuff in the plastic bags is obviously organic produce (no meat!) grown within an easy walk to the store by oh so sincere and earnest environmental studies graduates.
Local sheep provided the wool for his sweater.

October 5, 2013 10:04 am

Indeed. The problem is not plastic, but the completely slobs who weren’t properly brought up and never learned to clean up after themselves. Just take a look at a park after environmentalists are done holding a protest rally.

Stephen Richards
October 5, 2013 10:09 am

He is just an idiot that keeps on giving. Just priceless. Whoever took that pic should get an award. 🙂

October 5, 2013 10:13 am

Our County recently banned plastic bags because they are made from oil. The fact that they are made from natural gas was simply too difficult for the Council to absorb. We now use paper bags from recycled paper. They are weak in the extreme and extraordinarily vulnerable to moisture. Further they take up to 10 times the area in a landfill as a comparable plastic bag and take 10 times longer, or more, to disintegrate. Plastic bags in my State are treated with cornstarch and are made from a product that is extremely susceptible to ultraviolet light (for litter control). The net effect is the plastic disintegrates in 6 weeks. We are governed by idiots who take their cue from parasitical fanatics who style themselves ‘experts’.

Steve T
October 5, 2013 10:16 am

Gunga Din says:
October 5, 2013 at 9:10 am
“Plastic Free” or “Save the Trees”. What’s a shopper to do?
(I wonder if the frame of his glasses is metal or wood?)
My guess would iinclude plastic and metal.
Steve T

Useful Idiot
October 5, 2013 10:20 am
October 5, 2013 10:23 am

Not only does his organisation fly so much, they even boast about it.

“Now the tour is going global — first to Australia, then to New Zealand, Fiji, and beyond!” – Found 30 May 2013

As for authoring a dozen books, let’s just hope they are extra absorbent and fit for toilet purposes.

October 5, 2013 10:25 am

If plastic bags last forever and it is so terrible to bury them in landfills, one wonders why it is a great idea to bury other kinds of carbon. Why not bury plastic bags and get some kind of a carbon credit? (Of course, I think plastic bag restrictions, fossil fuel restrictions, carbon credits, and all the hype of carbon dioxide effects on climate are stupid.)

October 5, 2013 10:26 am

aren’t plastic bags recyclable?

chris y
October 5, 2013 10:37 am

McKibben is becoming a hypocritical legend in his own time.
“If we’re going to stop climate change, we don’t need to just cut our carbon emissions a little bit — we need to cut them down to zero,” he added.”
Bill McKibben,, in Cambridge Chronicle, 07/29/2013
So then what about these little factoids- is McKibben’s ragtag group of fools and incompetents that are trying to rid the world of fossil fuels through college campus mischief. A large chunk of is funded from The Rockefeller Foundation, which has access to a mountain of old-family wealth generated from the sale of…fossil fuels!
McKibben mentioned recently that he doesn’t feel hypocritical about his flying addiction-
“Well, I don’t know that I feel like a hypocrite anymore. I mean, I fly all the time, or I have for the past few years as we’ve organized 350.” Salon, 9/14/2013
McKibben also says he isn’t an activist as he flies around organizing an activist group-
“I, as you can tell, am the furthest thing from an activist leader. I’m a writer.” Bloomberg article, 07/26/2013
McKibben uses green energy at home-
“The roof of my house is covered in solar panels.” Salon Magazine, 9/14/2013
Vermont utilities currently get 99.6% of their electricity from carbon-free or carbon-neutral nuclear, hydro and biomass. Bill’s solar panels in Vermont are probably increasing his carbon footprint!
“When I’m home, I’m a pretty green fellow.”
Salon Magazine, 9/14/2013
Well, the photo of his shopping cart speaks volumes.
Finally, McKibben has a child. He must be aware of the peer-reviewed science that states every child adds 9441 tons of ‘poison’ to his carbon skidmark, and represents the worst possible eco-sin that a touchstone activist can commit.
I don’t think McKibben actually gives a crap about global warming.
I think he is simply acting the part of an eco-activist to pay the bills.

October 5, 2013 10:49 am

Let’s see what the unnecessary things McKibben can avoid?
A partial list of products made from Petroleum (144 of 6000 items)
Plastic bags are derived from natural gas. When you use a plastic bag you are already recycling, otherwise the ethane in natural gas would be burned off and add to co2 emissions. I do understand the case for not using non-biodegradable bags that can be a litter problem.

October 5, 2013 11:02 am

Chris in comments notes:

“I, as you can tell, am the furthest thing from an activist leader. I’m a writer.” Bloomberg article, 07/26/2013

What is so amazing is on his own website on the front page on the second line I read:

“Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist”


by Bill McKibben
the Step It Up Team
Publication Date: November 1, 2007
FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING NOW: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community (Holt Paperbacks/an imprint of Henry Holt and Company/November 1, 2007) is the first hands-on guidebook to stopping climate change. Drawing on the experience of the Step It Up campaign, a national day of rallies held on April 14, 2007, Bill McKibben—the bestselling author of the first major book on global warming, The End of Nature—shows how anyone can build the fight in his or her community, college, or place of worship.
Written with the Step It Up team, FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING NOW offers practical advice and helpful tips for environmental and other community activists, whether they have been in the movement for years or are organizing their first rally or campaign, just as thousands of Step It Up organizers did last April.‎

Yet he says “I, as you can tell, am the furthest thing from an activist leader. I’m a writer.” while addicted to flying when not just promoting his books.

October 5, 2013 11:07 am

The reason was littering – ragged bags flapping stuck in trees and hedges, also damaging wildlife.
That’s true. The British countryside has been completely destroyed by roving gangs of litterers, and you can no longer see the grass for the plastic.
Oh, no, actually, it hasn’t.
I lived in Britain for years, and never once remember seeing a ‘ragged bag stuck in a tree or hedge, damaging wildlife’. I’m sure they exist, but they’re clearly rare enough that I never saw one. Which isn’t surprising, given people use them to carry stuff, and don’t just drive around the country throwing them everywhere.
This is just more nanny-state claptrap from small-minded Greenists who hate oil companies and love making petty rules to harass the majority who just want to live their lives. I mean, really, with the global economy collapsing around our ears, does anyone actually think governments should be worrying about what kind of bags people use?

October 5, 2013 11:09 am

After seeing one lone show lying on the side of the road countless times I started 1shoe project to ban people for wearing more than one shoe. Some fights are hard, but nobody can argue if there were less shoes there would be less shoe pollution. Unfortunately the profiteers from big shoe have fought me all the way because this minor inconvenience is too expensive for saving pollution and helping the planet. What would they say to the poor duck I found with his bill stuck in a shoe who died shortly after?* I will be accepting payments for shoe credits that will be used to offset shoe pollution.
*I may or may not have put the shoe on the duck

chris y
October 5, 2013 11:19 am

Great stuff! Nice find, and thanks for posting it here.

October 5, 2013 11:21 am

I love it. This makes my day.

October 5, 2013 11:46 am

Life is hard. It is even harder if you are stupid or a hypocritical green loon. But then I repeat myself.

October 5, 2013 12:09 pm

Some plastic bag energy statistics:
From 100,000,000 bags can be produced from 8300 bbls of light oil. That is 12048 bags/bbl or at 42 gal/bbl it is 287 bags/gal
Now if the family SUV you take shopping gets 20 mil/gal
Then each plastic bag uses enough petroleum to move that SUV
0.070 mile/bag, 368 ft/bag or 110 m/ bag.
If you can carry 5 bags of groceries, you save petroleum by walking instead of driving as long as your walking will save at least 1800 ft or 0.35 miles of driving.
Here is a comparison of Paper or Plastic from

The paper industry has an enormous environmental footprint. It takes more than four times as much energy (2,511 BTUs) to produce a paper bag as it does a plastic bag (594 BTUs). And paper bag production generates 50 times more water pollutants and 70 percent [almost double] more air pollutants than the plastic bag production.

A paper bag generates greater methane emissions in the landfill than a plastic bag. For strength, most paper grocery bags are made from virgin pulp, not recycled materials.

The statistics seem to come from the EPA as noted in another source.
Wikipedia: Reusable Shopping Bag

One reusable bag [what kind?] requires the same amount of energy as an estimated 28 [1] traditional plastic shopping bags or 8 paper bags.…. A study commissioned by the United Kingdom Environment Agency in 2005 but never published found that the average cotton bag is used only 51 times before being thrown away.

[1]That seems low to me. Perhaps they are referring to reusable polyethylene or polypropylene bags, not cotton, which seems confirmed by the WSJ quote below. And it doesn’t count the energy needed to wash them occasionally after being contaminated by raw foods. On the other hand, one reusable bag will usually carry the volume and weight of 2 or three plastic bags.
WSJ, Sept 26, 2008,“An Inconvenient Bag”

Plastic totes may be more eco-friendly to manufacture than ones made from cotton or canvas, which can require large amounts of water and energy to produce and may contain harsh chemical dyes.
Many of the cheap, reusable bags that retailers favor are produced in Chinese factories and made from nonwoven polypropylene, a form of plastic that requires about 28 times as much energy to produce as the plastic used in standard disposable bags and eight times as much as a paper sack, according to Mr. Sterling, of Natural Capitalism Solutions.

Dmitri Siegel, UTNE Sept-Oct 2009

Judging by the cost, producing one tote is equivalent to producing 400 plastic bags. That’s fine if you use a tote 400 times, but what if you just end up with 40 totes? ….
The best thing for the environment is reuse—and that can be accomplished just as easily by reusing plastic bags.

October 5, 2013 12:12 pm

San Francisco instituted a tax on shopping bags. The net effect at the grocery store is that poorer people now load all their groceries onto their shopping cart, then load them directly into the trunk of their car. The process takes much, much longer than it used to.
It has changed the behavior of some people, true. The rich people just ignore it and pay the ten cents per bag without even thinking about it.

October 5, 2013 12:15 pm

If you haven’t figured it out yet, their rules are for you, not for them. The “elites” are always exempt.

Janice Moore
October 5, 2013 12:29 pm

Well, lol, while, YES, indeed, great photo, good luck making it stick. McKibbles (Stan Stendera!) has already put out this damage control (I think he hired an actor, personally) video.
“I wasn’t shopping at Walmart (or where-EVER he was!) I was down at Barnes & Noble, doing my Yoda imitation. See, look here:”

October 5, 2013 12:34 pm

Who guessed that it could be so simple?
All measurements point to the average global temperature TREND since 1610 (the start of regular recording of sunspot numbers) being driven by something(s) that are driven by the sunspot number time-integral. OSCILLATIONS above and below the trend are the net effect of ocean cycles. Since temperatures have been accurately measured world wide, the net effect of ocean cycles has been very nearly ±1/5 K with a period of 64 years. Most recent peak was in approximately 2005.
Aerosols, volcanos, change to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide, etc. have had no significant effect on average global temperature.
All this is shown at and sub links.

October 5, 2013 12:40 pm

Eventually it will come down to carbs.
It always does.

October 5, 2013 1:03 pm

The normal rules are suspended during a Jihad.
Gaea allows her chosen ones, the warriors of nature, special dispensation to pollute the planet, so they can dedicate more time to the great cause 🙂
A wind turbine engineer once told me that because of his job, he felt he did his bit – the “harm” caused by his fuel guzzling family boat was more than balanced by what he did for a living.

Tom J
October 5, 2013 1:29 pm

As far as paper grocery bags are concerned they can have a minor, little, irritating problem…cockroaches. Supposedly they commute in the bags. And anywhere there’s a concentration of food, such as grocery stores, there’s going to be creatures trying to eat it.
As far as the cloth grocery bags are concerned they have their problems too. I’ve been told you can’t wash them; at a minimum the dye will leech out. And after they’ve been used a bit one can rest assured that there’s going to be unpleasant things coming to life around the fibers within them.
And as far as glass bottles are concerned one thing that occurred as the glass fell into disfavor compared to metal cans and plastic is that the widespread presence of broken glass in our alleys began to disappear.
I guess our ecowarriors want us to rediscover all these treats.

October 5, 2013 1:31 pm

Seattle now charges shoppers for plastic bags. Safeway now sells plastic bags that are much thicker and larger than the ordinary flimsy type. I reuse them. They don’t need washing because they don’t absorb fluids. (If I’m wrong and they do need washing, they only need a quick rinse.)

navytech (retired)
October 5, 2013 1:41 pm

The common plastic bag IS recyclable. WalMart has a bin where you can bring them back. So does Hannaford Supermarket (Bill must live in New England). Any bags I don’t use for liners (if I didn’t, I’d have to buy special liners ) I bring back.
1. What’s all the fuss about?
2. I find it disturbing (somehow) that he shops at the same grocery chain as I do.

Bruce Cobb
October 5, 2013 1:46 pm

Why stop at plastic? What about all the aluminum pollution? And paper pollution, and even glass pollution? Get rid of those. Let’s see, what else can we ban?
How about eco-loons? Ban them. Problem solved.

October 5, 2013 1:50 pm

The register looks like the register that Alister Dabbs (of The Register, aka El Reg) had to fight with
I suspect the antipode of Deus ex machina…
Here in Germany we’re, erm, encouraged to use cloth or reusable grocery totes. Not a bad idea,
except that they often are made in China, with various chemicals added to improve stability,
appearance, and reduce cost, etc. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, I expect. Goodness knows what
actually is in the wax that some of them are coated with…..(hey, maybe they glow in the dark
for safety on the way home….)(maybe cook dinner at the same time…).
The recycling fee for one-way bottles/etc. has met with mixed success, probably because there
are some folks who would rather chuck bottles, cans, etc. no matter how high the fee is.
Kind of funny thinking my parents and parents-in-law, all of whom endured the depression and WWII
(and following) were very concerned with “sustainability”, because they were the
ones being sustained by avoiding waste. My mother-in-law (here in Germany) would
often use food after the “sell-by” date, and found it difficult to simply toss cans and other
packaging material as it might come in handy some time. She made it to 90, so I think
going a few days or weeks longer (on the food) didn’t matter so much after all.
The “Greatest Generation” didn’t need the Greens or anyone else to tell them what to do.
They just avoided waste….waste not, want not.
In Scouts we were always advised to leave a campsite in better shape that that
in which we found it. I think that probably applies to everything………

October 5, 2013 1:56 pm

Let’s see: Paper bags + Garbage Burner Electric Plant (Local County) = CO2 + H2O, CO2 + H20 + Plants + Sun = More paper, Plastic Bags + Garbage Burner Electric Plant = C02 +H2O, again plus Plants + Sun = More Paper. I see the problem. By burning PLASTIC we increase the number of PAPER BAGS. Obviously out of balance!

October 5, 2013 2:04 pm

Polyethylene can be easily produced (and is produced) from sugar cane or corn. (Bioethanol source). So we can relieve the offensive oil stigma from the entire conversation. Of course, bioethanol ultimately starves poor people, especially in developing countries—do the McKiddings of the world even care? Or is depopulation, removing these “useless eaters” their real goal? Sometimes I wonder…

October 5, 2013 2:42 pm

navytech (retired) says:
“The common plastic bag IS recyclable.”
Yes. I recycle mine by using them to empty our cats’ litter box. In fact, we save them for exactly that purpose. And I do not feel the least bit guilty about it.
We are doing our part to Save The Earth™. Our cats are doing their part, too.☺

John F. Hultquist
October 5, 2013 3:05 pm

Many years ago Johnny Carson asked Paul Ehrlich why he was wearing a very expensive suit if such things were part of the reason Earth’s population was doomed. Ehrlich’s answer was of the sense that when one was sailing on the Titanic an extravagance of such nature did not matter. Bill McKibben might say a similar thing. The real answer is they want to and they can. We, however, are supposed to feel guilty for eating.
At the grocery store, I find someone stocking shelves and ask for the cardboard box. Most get crushed there in the aisle. I can use it over, and over, and over. And do.
Jeff says:
October 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm

About those “sell by dates” and the other wordings –
Such things are advice about the peak quality (or plateau of quality) of the product, so do not represent the date after which food should not be used. A lot of food is thrown out and thus wasted because of these dates. Here is a start on the topic:
Folks are trying to improve on the sorts of things put on boxes so as to not have so much good food tossed.

October 5, 2013 3:06 pm

My apathy regarding Bill McKibble knows no bounds. .

John W. Garrett
October 5, 2013 3:16 pm

The one-size-fits-all dimbulbs are annoying. I always walk to the grocery store. It’s uphill and about ½ a mile. I never drive.
Plastic bags are the only bags that are both sufficiently strong and capacious enough for me to walk the ½ mile home with all the groceries.
The bags are, of course, recycled.
Some of the “save the world” crowd have all the analytical abilities and tolerance of granite.

Janice Moore
October 5, 2013 3:16 pm

Jorge — lol.
John Hultquist!
I’ve noticed you’ve been gone awhile from W-U-W-T. Hope all is well over there east of the mountains. How did the blueberries turn out this year?
That’s good to know about labeling improvements. I tend to just use the “looks okay…. smells okay….” — I’ll eat it! — rule. #(:))
Take care.
(still remembering that we who wait, also “serve” — you sure encouraged me with that, thanks again),

Janice Moore
October 5, 2013 3:24 pm

John Garrett, you get a merit badge! Seriously, that’s great. Good for you.
Re: “analytical abilities and tolerance of granite.” — nice one. If I may, I’d like to make it, more optimistically, “… of cardboard… .” That way, we can expect them to go away, soon. HA — and WATER is turning their propaganda into soggy, useless, slop (water as in truth about ENSO and other water-related drivers of climate DOMINATING climate changes).

October 5, 2013 3:26 pm

“And some fights are no-brainers”
If the cap fits, wear it Bill.

October 5, 2013 3:36 pm

MarkG 11.07am – I still live in Britain, about a mile and a half from a stop off on a major route. My opinion of the people who stop off to but a coffee and a burger and then chuck the rubbish out of the window because they can’t be bothered to take it home with them makes my blood boil as they are littering ‘my’ beautiful countryside. Coupled with the plastic drinks bottles, the odd beer bottle (thanks a lot for the broken glass) and empty fag packets, I have a very low opinion of the general driving public. Maybe if they had a plastic bag in the car they might be more inclined to take it home and bin it there, but I think that might be wishful thinking. The village organises a litter pick once a year and I can’t describe some of the stuff we pick up. It is revolting.

Just Steve
October 5, 2013 3:41 pm

Bill needs to chill out and listen toa little George Carlin:

Martin Hertzberg
October 5, 2013 3:45 pm

Since McKibben’s body contains a large amount of carbon atoms, his zero carbon world would be a world without McKibben.

F. Ross
October 5, 2013 4:29 pm

Maybe he bought some “indulgences” from High Priest Gore?

October 5, 2013 4:38 pm

‘Rube’ is the word that comes to mind

Chad Wozniak
October 5, 2013 4:40 pm

@shenanigans24, Margaret Smith, Stephen Rasey and others –
If ever there were a case of false environmentalism, it’s the bans on plastic bags. Our Agenda 21-driven city council here in Chico, California, has just enacted a ban despite warnings that paper bags are difficult for handicapped people to handle, and reusable bags carry a significant risk of food-borne diseases. And as Margaret points out, 5p (about 8 cents US) per bag could well add up to a serious hardship for lower-income people. Our esteemed city councilors evidently decided that political correctness must prevail over the interests of their constituents, and never mind the energy waste and other environmental impacts (more trees killed, e.g.) of the alternatives.
Funny how “green” really isn’t.

October 5, 2013 4:53 pm

A major food retailer here in Australia has recently abandoned its policy of charging for plastic bags (to discourage use) … its customers voted with their feet and went elsewhere, and its market share went with them … turnover down, profits down.

October 5, 2013 4:56 pm

I think he may be on his way to becoming a bag lady.

October 5, 2013 5:21 pm

First world problems.
I NEVER shop where someone charges me for a plastic bag. And if they try to I make sure they know that I’m not coming back, and that’s the reason. Yes, it’s petty, but if enough people did it they would have to take notice.
NO plastic bag goes to waste here, they are reused. I’ve yet to see anyone throw a plastic grocery bag into the street.
And if bags are blowing in the wind or getting stuck in fences or trees, then pick them up. Don’t think you need to inconvenience the world because of your little issues. Personally I think most bags that do escape to blow in the wind are falling right out of the stupid city-owned garbage bins that almost every place in the first world are going to.
But if you’re one of these anti-plastic-bag campaigners but you still use them, then you are of less value that pond scum.
They enacted a cigarette butt law here: up to $1000 if you’re caught throwing one out your car window. In case anyone didn’t notice, cars don’t come with ashtrays anymore, and yet a large percentage of the population DOES smoke. I once had a cop follow me home because he saw I was smoking and wanted to see what I did with the butt. I’m sure anyone reading this will know what I was tempted to do with it… (I have a dollar store ashtray that fits in a cupholder, and I keep some water in so the combustion stops immediately when I throw them in.)

ed mister jones
October 5, 2013 6:19 pm

Rob Dawg says:
October 5, 2013 at 9:37 am
How is he going to walk home with all those groceries?
As brevity is ‘…the Soul of Wit.’ . . . Grand effing Slam!

October 5, 2013 6:23 pm

bubbagyro says:
October 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm

“Polyethylene can be easily produced (and is produced) from sugar cane or corn. (Bioethanol source). So we can relieve the offensive oil stigma from the entire conversation. Of course, bioethanol ultimately starves poor people, especially in developing countries—do the McKiddings of the world even care? Or is depopulation, removing these “useless eaters” their real goal? Sometimes I wonder…”

Gapminder kCal/capita/day 1061-2006
Doesn’t look like successful depopulation strategy to me… Even in Africa, some progress – note that this is per capita, so Ehrlich’s starvation scares have entirely missed the point. The biggest failure amongst the catastrophists yet still revered by leftists the world over; unfortunately, I don’t have a statistic of IQ correlated with political leanings.

October 5, 2013 6:24 pm

Coupled with the plastic drinks bottles, the odd beer bottle (thanks a lot for the broken glass) and empty fag packets, I have a very low opinion of the general driving public.
Oh, I saw plenty of empty fast food containers, beer cans, water bottles and other litter, most of it tossed away on city streets.
But no plastic bags. Which is what the Great Green Crusade wants to ban.
Why would anyone be driving along, throwing plastic bags out of their car? It’s nonsensical to anyone other than a small-minded Greenist.

October 5, 2013 7:28 pm

If I forget to take my planet-saver bag into the store (about 8 out of 10 times), I just get a couple of the veggie bags and use those.
So FU** YOU Bill
… but I do recycle them too, when possible.

October 5, 2013 7:47 pm

Assessment of the Potential for Cross Contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags
Charles P. Gerba, David Williams and Ryan G. Sinclair

Most foodborne illnesses are believed to originate in the home. Reuse of bags creates an opportunity for cross contamination of foods. The purpose of this study was to assess the potential for cross contamination of food products from reusable bags used to carry groceries. Reusable bags were collected at random from consumers as they entered grocery stores in California and Arizona. In interviews it was found that reusable bags are seldom if ever washed and often used for multiple purposes. Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and coliform bacteria in half. Escherichia coli were identified in 12% of the bags and a wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens. When meat juices were added to bags and stored in the trunks of cars for two hours the number of bacteria increased 10-fold indicating the potential for bacterial growth in the bags. Hand or machine washing was found to reduce the bacteria in bags by >99.9%. These results indicate that reusable bags can play a significant role in the cross contamination of foods if not properly washed on a regular basis. It is recommended that the public needs to be educated about the proper care of reusable bags by printed instructions on the bags or through public service announcements.

Grocery Bag Bans and Foodborne Illness
Jonathan Klick
Joshua D. Wright

Recently, many jurisdictions have implemented bans or imposed taxes upon plastic grocery bags on environmental grounds. Plastic bags are thought to endanger marine animals and add to litter. San Francisco County was the first major US jurisdiction to enact such a regulation, implementing a ban in 2007 and extending it to all retailers in 2012. There is evidence, however, that reusable grocery bags, a common substitute for plastic bags, contain potentially harmful bacteria, especially coliform bacteria such as E. coli. We examine deaths and emergency room admissions related to these bacteria in the wake of the San Francisco ban. We find that both deaths and ER visits spiked as soon as the ban went into effect. Relative to other counties, deaths in San Francisco increase by 50-100 percent, and ER visits increase by a comparable amount. Subsequent bans by other cities in California appear to be associated with similar effects.

October 5, 2013 9:35 pm

Grumpy says:
October 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm
MarkG 11.07am – I still live in Britain, about a mile and a half from a stop off on a major route. My opinion of the people who stop off to but a coffee and a burger and then chuck the rubbish out of the window because they can’t be bothered to take it home with them makes my blood boil as they are littering ‘my’ beautiful countryside. Coupled with the plastic drinks bottles, the odd beer bottle (thanks a lot for the broken glass) and empty fag packets, I have a very low opinion of the general driving public. Maybe if they had a plastic bag in the car they might be more inclined to take it home and bin it there, . . . .

Maybe the govt. should require carmakers to provide a built-in metal trash bucket with a shelf for grinding out lit cigarettes. And also ban glass bottles for beverages.

October 5, 2013 11:30 pm

This is awesome. Inspired me to post my first tweet. As I point out there, this sad sack’s own organization sells reusable cloth grocery bags. To add to the deliciousness, when I returned to this WUWT page what did I find? The banner ad across the top is for cafe press with the very same reusable bag featured in pole position! Classic. If he could have just brought himself to expand beyond his narrow, hypocritical alarmist boundaries and frequent WUWT, perhaps he would have been made aware of the products his .org offers and could have avoided this PR disaster. What a loser.

October 6, 2013 12:46 am

I didn’t know a whole lot about common plastic materials like Poly Ethylene and Poly Propylene and the like till I started into the Automotive Plastic Injection Molding industry. Basically, all in a nutshell, if what the enviro-mental nuts were saying about plastic were true you’d be able to walk from New Yuck city to London on a fifty foot thick mat pf plastic waste.
By the bye I understand tha the mat of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas and as deep as the Golden Gate Bridge and that you’re supposed to be able to see from space doesn’t even exist.
In the case of auto parts, we mix what are called UV inhibitors into the materials used to make parts so that the stuff doesn’t immediately start to break down in the presence of sunlight.
The latest land fill technology that I am aware of, you bury plastic with the right bacteria and properly ventilate the landfill to the intake manifold of a device called an Enerator or more commonly a “Thunder-Punkin” and you get electricity from methane gas.
The real enviro-mental agenda is to reduce the human population of planet earth. I think that the Green Peace nazis had it all figured out to half a billion of the “right” people.

October 6, 2013 2:01 am

But the plastic bags issue is one that is so important to the green cause because it’s so damned intrusive…

Russ R.
October 6, 2013 7:16 am

Not that I care how the man bags his groceries, but if he’s gonna talk the talk, he oughta walk the walk.

October 6, 2013 7:27 am

I updated the screen shot by adding a caption. Cheers!

October 6, 2013 10:01 am

Where are Bill’s hemp bags?

michael hart
October 6, 2013 10:46 am

The McKibben Diet: Carbon-free, but high in irony.

Gunga Din
October 6, 2013 1:19 pm

michael hart says:
October 6, 2013 at 10:46 am
The McKibben Diet: Carbon-free, but high in irony.

A “carbon-free diet”. I hope he likes salt!

Janice Moore
October 7, 2013 2:32 pm

Cute, McKibben, lol. And he’s so weighted down by now, it likely took him a week to slowly shuffle up and down the aisles, fill that cart, and push it out the door.
Good points, Hammer. Data as in: observations from the real world. How refreshing.

Janice Moore
October 7, 2013 2:34 pm

McKibben?!! Sorry, Michael Hart. Laughing at your wit. Laughing at him.

Gail Combs
October 7, 2013 4:01 pm

Tiredoc says: @ October 5, 2013 at 9:27 am
The plastic bag crusade baffles me….
It was in retaliation of Novacor out maneuvering BP and Royal Dutch Shell in the matters of Husky Oil and Polysar. CEO Blair was an upstart who stepped on some very royal toes so a month before the TV ads were to be broadcast announcing a deal between Novacor, Sweetheart Plastics and McDonalds on some truly innovative post consumer recycling in a plant specially designed to use the handicapped, a nationwide media blitz swept out of NH from a nobody….
You just can’t make these type of fairy tales up.
And yes I was there. My boss designed the plant.
(It was actually a New Hampshire school teacher who ‘Started’ the campaign.)
I wrote on the subject more fully HERE

Brian H
October 10, 2013 3:58 pm

Save the Trees? “Recycle your breadcrumbs! Save the Wheat!” (Both are crops).

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