Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The elephant outside your school.

Orlando Sentinel Photo

California’s legislature has proven again that, when it comes to the environment, it’s nothing short of progressive, but within limits. It caught the attention of the nation’s media by passing a law that will forbid supermarkets — and eventually smaller stores and pharmacies — from stuffing groceries and other items into single-use plastic bags.

The purported issue is the harm that petroleum-based bags do to the environment. The bags stubbornly refuse — for decades or even centuries — to deteriorate in landfills. That means Poochie’s poop may stay so fresh that future archeologists will know more about what dogs ate than we did back in the 21st Century.

Don’t look now, but it also forces supermarkets and their cousins to provide a paper alternative — for a fee, though, of course. If you hear them complain in public, listen for their laughter on the way to the bank.

If petroleum leeching into the environment is the issue, however, why not take simple and easy steps to reduce the amount of poisonous garbage that cars and SUVs spew into our air every weekday morning and afternoon? It’s pretty easy to recycle plastic bags, but there’s no way to recover the millions of gallons of gasoline mommies and daddies waste every day when they drive their kids to school.