, Newburyport, MA


January 25, 2014

Learning economic, environmental lessons the hard way


I laughed about the global warming scientists stuck in the summertime ice in Antarctica over Christmas, but I feel bad about the kangaroos dying in the drought in Australia, not to mention my son and grandson missing skiing in the nearby Sierra Nevada, which has no snow this year. I think something is going on, climate-wise, and would be open to discussion if it didn’t require I make the “ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism” my personal religion — or fund Gov. Patrick’s new state climate change czar and his $40 million budget.

Validating my resistance to enviro-rads: the vote by the Marblehead Board of Health last week for a ban on plastic checkout bags. This came a week after I got a notice from the Marblehead Sewer Department asking me not to put garbage down the disposal, but to put it in a plastic bag and then in the trash.

I don’t have a disposal and always wrap the garbage in the plastic bags I get at the grocery store when my cloth bags are full; then, I put it in the freezer until trash day. But the Board of Health doesn’t want me to have plastic bags, apparently following state Rep. Lori Ehrlich’s argument that they’ve become an environmental menace, harming beaches, oceans and animal life. I won’t mention clogging landfills, because Marblehead doesn’t have one anymore; we send our plastic bags to the Saugus incinerator, where they are burned and, I assume, pollute the air? I’ve never seen anyone here toss a plastic bag onto the beach or into the ocean, but I’d support a crackdown on all litterbugs; remember when we used to beep our horns at them? I suppose that’s noise pollution; instead, let’s put a plastic bag over their heads (with a nose-hole) and shame them in the stocks at Town Hall.

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