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CameronD
10-01-2008, 12:26 PM
Just heard on the news that Rudd is going to either ban or tax shopping bags.

Personally, I hope he bans them all togeather.

Capablanca-Fan
10-01-2008, 12:34 PM
Just heard on the news that Rudd is going to either ban or tax shopping bags.

Personally, I hope he bans them all togeather.
Typical of the nanny state approach of the Anointed (http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/anointed.php).

Southpaw Jim
10-01-2008, 01:14 PM
I'm in 2 minds re plastic bags - they damage the environment and kill wildlife. However, if banned, I'd just have to use some other plastic bag as a bin liner. Is that an improvement?

pax
10-01-2008, 01:39 PM
Banning them is pointless. Many people make extensive re-use of plastic bags, and this is generally better than buying bags for various purposes. Also, most plastic shopping bags are biodegradable these days so they don't stay in landfill for decades.

On the other hand, a mandatory charge for plastic bags would encourage re-use.

Ian Rout
10-01-2008, 03:20 PM
I can't answer the question because I have never seen any sort of quantitative analysis of the environmental impact of shopping bags. Obviously they use a certain amount of materials and throwing them into waterways where they strangle otters etc is very naughty.

However as noted by pax the bags are re-used so if you don't have free plastic bags from supermarkets then you have to go out and buy plastic bags from supermarkets. Additionally they can be made from recyclable and/or biodgradable material.

I'm all in favour of being environmentally responsible - we have a hybrid car, a solar water heater, mainly native plants and rainwater tanks. But given that enviro-urgers are keen to tell me my carbon shoe size to any number of decimal places their refusal to quantify the real effect of plastic bags makes me suspect it's largely a greener-than-thou thing, allowing practitioners to feel good as they drive along with their green shopping bags proudly displayed on the back seat of the 4WD.

I must say though that I do like the padded zip-up blue shopping bags that insulate the cold stuff.

Aaron Guthrie
10-01-2008, 03:26 PM
Is the production of them damaging?

I don't have much to say on the issue except I am surprised by the extent of their use. For example I buy a pack of aspirin, and they offer a plastic bag for it.

Garvinator
10-01-2008, 03:31 PM
Out of the three options, tax is the worst. Just another idea for companies to slug consumers and make more profits for companies.

I do not see a good middle ground. Either ban them outright or do nothing.

I can see a bereaucratic mess coming though if the decision is to ban them.

What percentage of plastic constitutes a plastic bag?

Garvinator
10-01-2008, 03:33 PM
I don't have much to say on the issue except I am surprised by the extent of their use. For example I buy a pack of aspirin, and they offer a plastic bag for it.Gets worse, say no and tell them you already have a bag and then you will get bag searched or refuse the bag search and get banned from the store/shop.

Rincewind
10-01-2008, 04:11 PM
Obviously they use a certain amount of materials and throwing them into waterways where they strangle otters etc is very naughty.

We have otters in Australia?

Capablanca-Fan
10-01-2008, 05:09 PM
Good to see that Pax and the other lefty don't approve of this leftist ban. :clap:

Aaron Guthrie
10-01-2008, 07:12 PM
We have otters in Australia?Had, until walmart came to town!

Southpaw Jim
10-01-2008, 08:25 PM
Who you callin' "the other lefty"?! :P

Spiny Norman
11-01-2008, 06:31 AM
Banning them is a complete and utter waste of everyone's time. For goodness sake, haven't these politicians got anything better to do with their time? This kind of pointless green posturing is just a bloody distraction from other issues (like inflation breaching 4%, interest rates continuing to rise and the price of fuel going through the roof).

Rincewind
11-01-2008, 08:09 AM
I can't see what is wrong with introducing a levy? It is the usual way governments try to drive behaviour and certainly more ethical than the inordinate income governments earn from poker machines, alcohol and cigarettes.

Capablanca-Fan
11-01-2008, 09:08 AM
Banning them is a complete and utter waste of everyone's time. For goodness sake, haven't these politicians got anything better to do with their time? This kind of pointless green posturing is just a bloody distraction from other issues (like inflation breaching 4%, interest rates continuing to rise and the price of fuel going through the roof).
But Chairman KRudd can't make up his mind on the last one. He wants us to emit less CO2, but then also wants petrol to be cheaper which will encourage more consumption of it!

Unfortunately there is pointless green posturing on the other side, like Turnbull wanting to ban incandescent light bulbs. Fine for millionaires like him who can afford the other ones with their mercury ...

Capablanca-Fan
11-01-2008, 09:14 AM
I can't see what is wrong with introducing a levy? It is the usual way governments try to drive behaviour and certainly more ethical than the inordinate income governments earn from poker machines, alcohol and cigarettes.
But won't it result in the same thing? If the government is earning money from these things, it has a vested interest in keeping them going to some extent. They become addicted to the income from the "sin taxes". But the most unethical taxes of all are the payroll taxes, in effect a fine on employers for hiring people.

Southpaw Jim
11-01-2008, 09:24 AM
But the most unethical taxes of all are the payroll taxes, in effect a fine on employers for hiring people.
Just out of interest, Jono: which taxes are ethical in your view?

pax
11-01-2008, 09:40 AM
But won't it result in the same thing? If the government is earning money from these things, it has a vested interest in keeping them going to some extent. They become addicted to the income from the "sin taxes".

That's rubbish. The government earns an enormous amount from tobacco excise, yet I don't see government encouragement for smoking. On the contrary, most of the money is spent on anti-smoking campaigns.

pax
11-01-2008, 09:41 AM
That said, you wouldn't need to tax plastic bags particularly - a mandatory charge would work just as well.

Capablanca-Fan
11-01-2008, 10:52 AM
That's rubbish. The government earns an enormous amount from tobacco excise, yet I don't see government encouragement for smoking. On the contrary, most of the money is spent on anti-smoking campaigns.
But the government campaigns are so over the top that people seem to be immune. Lots of young women in particular are taking up the disgustipating habit.

And governments just love gambling revenue. The misleading and information-hiding ads for gambling would not be allowed for any other business, but the government connives in this.

Capablanca-Fan
11-01-2008, 11:13 AM
Just out of interest, Jono: which taxes are ethical in your view?
There are several principles of a decent tax system


fair (soaking high-income earners much more is not fair)
should not overly punish productive activity (as payroll tax does) so people have an incentive to divert money into 'tax shelters'
simple to understand (so most taxpayers won't need tax accountants)
easy to comply with (as opposed to the billions of dollars spent on complying with the current one)


This also should not be divorced from a government's duty not to waste taxpayer money. Poor people should not be forced to subsidize the musical and art tastes of wealthy bureaucrats or broadband for wealthy farmers in the bush, and poor single-income families should not be forced to subsidise the childcare of rich double-income families.

The Liberty and Democracy Party's policy (http://www.ldp.org.au/) seems good. It seems to be based on a flat tax as well as Milton and Rose Friedman's negative taxation idea for low income earners, e.g. in their book Free to Choose:


The LDP believes Australians pay far too much tax.

Since the Howard government was elected, real per capita taxation has increased 34%, not including the GST.

Individuals spend their money much more productively than governments. While the Government needs some tax revenue to provide essential services, today huge amounts are simply recycled by returning them back to essentially the same people and businesses (minus large administration costs) in the form of government handouts.

Australians are more prosperous than ever before, so the number of people needing government assistance should be falling. Yet the welfare state keeps getting bigger. And public servant numbers keep growing.

The LDP has a detailed plan for a flat tax of 30% above a tax-free threshold of $30,000. The plan links to a welfare policy, which is based on a low income subsidy of 30% of the amount by which earnings are below $30,000.

Reform 30/30 (http://www.ldp.org.au/federal/policies/tax.html)includes a tax-free threshold of $30,000 and a flat income tax of 30%, with no deductions. All income taxes (company, Capital Gains Tax [CGT], Pay As You Go [PAYG], Fringe Benefits Tax [FBT]) would be equal at 30%, and the Medicare levy removed.

The tax-free threshold (TFT) would be increased to $30,000 per person and all tax expenditures (tax deductions, offsets, and so on) would be removed.

The current welfare system would be replaced by a sliding scale of payments (called a Negative Income Tax or NIT) that phased out at 30% and finished at an income of $30,000.

For example, if you earned $0, you would receive 30% of $30,000 ($9000). If you earned $10,000, you would receive 30% of $20,000 ($6000). If you earn $25,000, you would receive 30% of $5000 ($1500). This would involve a cut in payments to the unemployed and an increase in payments to low-income earners.
…Existing unemployment benefits (http://www.ldp.org.au/federal/policies/welfare.html) would be replacing with the general low income subsidy as outlined in the 30/30 tax policy. This subsidy would end the current process of harassing the unemployed. At the same time the LDP would increase the incentive for employers to create jobs by eliminating the minimum wage and allowing the labour market to operate freely. Combined, these measures would allow some wages to fall in areas of high unemployment whilst protecting the actual income level of workers.

Just as Friedman argued, a negative taxation system for low income earners would provide some support, but also not a disincentive to earn more money. It would also get rid of the hated Centrelink bureaucracy.

So expect the poverty pimps at Centrelink to squeal at such a policy, aided by the Income Tax Professionals who would have far less work, and many ATO bureaucrats would also be reduntant if the tax system was simple enough for most people to fill out on a postcard. But it would free them for productive work.

CameronD
11-01-2008, 01:04 PM
I dont have the numbers, but I would think that most of the countries tax revenue comes from those earning around 30,000. The system above would cripple the governments funds.

Capablanca-Fan
11-01-2008, 02:26 PM
I dont have the numbers, but I would think that most of the countries tax revenue comes from those earning around 30,000. The system above would cripple the governments funds.

The LDP do have the numbers:

The proposal includes a significant reduction in income tax. This is appropriate as Australians currently pay too much tax — more than any previous Australian generation. Still, a reduction in tax must be met with a reduction in spending. Some elements of Reform 30/30 will work to offset the lost revenue — such as less unemployment, lower welfare payments, higher economic growth, less tax avoidance, the removal of middle-class welfare and lower administration costs. In addition, the removal of tax expenditures will save the government $30 billion and remove hundreds of inefficient distortions (which will in turn lead to higher economic growth).

Finally, no reform of the tax and welfare system would be complete without also removing the billions of dollars currently paid to industry as corporate welfare.

Reform 30/30 is unambiguously beneficial to the economy. It offers 500,000 new jobs, less poverty, a $90 billion bigger economy, higher growth rates, lower tax levels and a simpler, fairer tax/welfare system and more money in the budget. The price is that some sacred cows of politics ('progressive' tax, minimum wage, no-person-worse-off) will have to be sacrificed.

Issues of equity will always be contentious, but Reform 30/30 is more equitable than the status quo for several reasons. First, it massively reduces unemployment and poverty. Second, it ends discrimination against couples. Third, it ends discrimination against risky business and inconsistent income.

Finally, this reform will actually pay for itself. Rough estimates suggest a medium-term impact on the budget of +$15 billion per year, and more in the long run.

Full details on this reform policy are contained in Reform 30/30: Rebuilding Australia's Tax and Welfare Systems by John Humphreys.

A copy can be downloaded from: http://www.cis.org.au/policy_monographs/pm70.pdf

Southpaw Jim
11-01-2008, 10:04 PM
There are several principles of a decent tax system


fair (soaking high-income earners much more is not fair)
should not overly punish productive activity (as payroll tax does) so people have an incentive to divert money into 'tax shelters'
simple to understand (so most taxpayers won't need tax accountants)
easy to comply with (as opposed to the billions of dollars spent on complying with the current one)

Yes, I know the principles of taxation (although I'm not sure that I agree with you that payroll tax is punitive), but I'm more interested in which taxes you think are ethical/unethical, and why.

Capablanca-Fan
12-01-2008, 12:24 AM
Yes, I know the principles of taxation (although I'm not sure that I agree with you that payroll tax is punitive), but I'm more interested in which taxes you think are ethical/unethical, and why.
I explained that I thought that the LDP plan was ethical for the reasons stated. The GST is ethical, or at least the original coalition one was without the Democrat emotion-based exemptions. A flat income tax is ethical. The dividend imputation is ethical.

Payroll taxes are unethical because they punish an employer for hiring someone. The current combination of welfare and taxation is unethical because it traps people in poverty. Double taxation is unethical, e.g. America's taxation of dividends and our GST on petrol excise. The humungous tax codes of Australia and America are unethical, because it is too easy for innocent people to break a law which even many tax experts don't understand.

littlesprout85
12-01-2008, 08:25 PM
hold the phone ppl -

Now this is a real mind bender for sprouty on this issue. There is real merit on this subject. Personally sprout would like to see australia take the lead on this global issue. One thing is for sure stateside they are everywhere. Everystore now here has plastic. It is a rare ocassion now to hear "paper or plastic" :confused:

Sprouty say this issue hits on many a level to ones mind. For plastic does save trees. On the other hand its bad for the wildlife of this planet. Pros & cons on either side.

One thing is for sure is that grray is right on the bag or nothing when leaving the store. But at sproutys age they dont ever give em hard timez with the leather biker jacket & spiked gloves on :D

On a positive note. Sprouty does re-use ems plastic bags, every last one of em as trash bags & moving. A moving tip. Almost everything in your house besides the funiture came in a plastic grocery bag. Only makes sense when moving to new digs, pack it all up in plastic bags. Sprouty can bag up a whole kitchen of dishes in like 10 mins with plastic bags. not even break one dish. its amazing how much time youll save when moving with plastic bags.:uhoh:

-sprout :)

CameronD
12-01-2008, 08:34 PM
hold the phone ppl -

Now this is a real mind bender for sprouty on this issue. There is real merit on this subject. Personally sprout would like to see australia take the lead on this global issue. One thing is for sure stateside they are everywhere. Everystore now here has plastic. It is a rare ocassion now to hear "paper or plastic" :confused:

Sprouty say this issue hits on many a level to ones mind. For plastic does save trees. On the other hand its bad for the wildlife of this planet. Pros & cons on either side.

One thing is for sure is that grray is right on the bag or nothing when leaving the store. But at sproutys age they dont ever give em hard timez with the leather biker jacket & spiked gloves on

On a positive note. Sprouty does re-use ems plastic bags, every last one of em as trash bags & moving. A moving tip. Almost everything in your house besides the funiture came in a plastic grocery bag. Only makes sense when moving to new digs, pack it all up in plastic bags. Sprouty can bag up a whole kitchen of dishes in like 10 mins with plastic bags. not even break one dish. its amazing how much time youll save when moving with plastic bags.:uhoh:
:D -sprout :)

Hi Sprouty

I doubt that they go back to paper (not used here), but rather require consumers to buy or use their own 'enviro' bags instead for shopping. Enviro bags are permanent cotton/fibre?? bags that are reused, you can buy them for a dollar or two each.

littlesprout85
12-01-2008, 08:59 PM
Ermmmm,

yes - would agree on that note Camerons about not going back. Sprout does see the benifits of plastic.

Here in the states meh have been seeing these so called tote bags that are fiber.(1-2$ each) but they are not catching onz. Here everyone or 9-10 ppl in arizona are like peddle to the metal-Get outta the way(multi-tasking) No time- Burn the candle at both ends lifestyle. only ppl that are retired here those like sprouty who have the time really enjoy the scenes will think & take the time to preserve nature. :doh:

Sprouty will vote for a tax on plastic for meh not seeing a ban around these parts & dont like just going with the standerd quo.

-Sprout :)

Davidflude
12-01-2008, 09:33 PM
there is a report in the Age that somewhere in the North Pacific is a place where ocean currents have caused millions of plastic bags to cluster.

Davidflude
12-01-2008, 09:35 PM
I use the green shopping bags. The trick is to put them back in the car after I unload them.

pax
13-01-2008, 01:10 AM
there is a report in the Age that somewhere in the North Pacific is a place where ocean currents have caused millions of plastic bags to cluster.
I think that may be an urban myth.

Garvinator
13-01-2008, 01:40 AM
I think that may be an urban myth.
Not so sure about that:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/pollution/trash-vortex

pax
13-01-2008, 09:33 AM
Not so sure about that:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/pollution/trash-vortex
I've seen a number of references to it, but I haven't seen any actual photographic evidence. It may exist, but I haven't seen any solid evidence.

Capablanca-Fan
14-01-2008, 09:06 AM
Yes, I know the principles of taxation (although I'm not sure that I agree with you that payroll tax is punitive), but I'm more interested in which taxes you think are ethical/unethical, and why.
Oh, forgot one of the most important principles of all: that money is best kept in the pocket of the one who earned it, rather than confiscated by the government. It's not only a matter of simple justice, but also a matter of efficiency: a person has more incentive to be efficient with his own money than with someone else's. So the onus is on the government to prove a compelling better use for the money to justify a tax.

Ian Murray
14-01-2008, 08:31 PM
A cursory google reveals that Ireland introduced a levy of 0.15 Euro per bag, resulting in a 90% reduction in usage in the first five months. Factoring in an increase in bin liner sales, the net reduction is >1 billion bags per year.

Australian use 4 billion a year (=21,350 tonnes), most of which finish up in landfill. Their lifespan ranges from 20 to 1000 years.

Approx 65 million per year are littered, deliberately or inadvertently

With that sort of overall environmental impact, countermeasures are certainly indicated

Capablanca-Fan
09-03-2008, 01:11 PM
Banning plastic bags would do nothing to help the environment, despite Greenie lies (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3508263.ece)about how many animals are killed by them. Only 0.8 per cent of plastic bags become litter, and they comprise a mere 2% of all litter items. Hardly the villain that the Greenie cult claims.

A Productivity Commission report (http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23071536-27197,00.html) warns that a ban could be worse for the environment than the bags. If they were banned, more trees would need to be chopped down for paper bags. Also, many plastic bags are used for rubbish; if they were banned by Garrett in his eco-lunacy, more dedicated bin lining bags made of heavier plastic would be used, or else we would have to hose out our bins more and annoy the Wasserspolizei.

Axiom
09-03-2008, 06:38 PM
yet again, the populace side tracked by a relatively trivial problem, whilst more more fundamentally important ones go ignored.

Basil
09-03-2008, 07:45 PM
yet again, the populace side tracked by a relatively trivial problem, whilst more more fundamentally important ones go ignored.
In much the same way that you tie up the mods with your appeals?

Axiom
09-03-2008, 08:54 PM
In much the same way that you tie up the mods with your appeals?
fighting for truth and justice is always important !

TheJoker
12-03-2008, 12:07 AM
I know in the Netherlands you have to pay for the plastic bags causing virtually everyone to bring there own bags (except for me who had no idea about the cost:doh: )

I also seem to remember many years ago Coles plastic bags were advertised as being bio-degradable, anyone know what caused that to change?

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2008, 01:09 PM
Plastic bags choke Garrett (http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_plastic_bags_choken_garrett/)
Andrew Bolt
12 March 2008


IF plastic shopping bags really are so bad, why must Peter Garrett make up so many fake excuses to ban them?

Here we go again—another green crusade in which facts are invented to scare you into doing something dumb.

This time our evangelical Environment Minister says he’ll this year take away your plastic shopping bags—the ones that are so useful that we use more than 4 billion of them each year to cart home our shopping.

What must we use instead to carry home the fortnightly shopping: suitcases? Rolls of green bin liners?

And how annoying not to have those plastic bags to reuse for everything from wrapping leftovers and wet clothes to picking up manure.

In fact, I could use one right now to hold the manure Garrett has used to justify this feel-good ban that will cost us millions and gain us zip.

...

We have 4 billion bags just floating around as if tossed out of a window? In fact, the Productivity Commission in 2006 reported that of the 4 billion shopping bags we use each year, just 0.8 per cent becomes litter.

The rest are buried in landfill, recycled or reused, and aren’t “floating” anywhere.

And how handy those bags are even when buried. The Commission marvelled: “It appears that plastic bags may have some landfill management benefits including stabilising qualities, leachate minimisation and minimising greenhouse gas emissions.”

...

Garrett claim #2:

“I remember that incredible story about a whale, I think it was beached somewhere in France, and it had 800 kilos worth of plastic bags and rubbish inside it, when they opened it up.”

Wow, a whale that can fit almost a tonne of plastic bags in its stomach must be so gargantuan as to make Moby Dick seem a tadpole.

But lets peer more closely into the gut of Garrett’s giga-whale, which washed up on a beach in Normandy in 2002, and count all those shopping bags found inside by researchers from the University of Caen.

Here we go: One, two . . . Er, two.

Garrett claim #3:

“There are some 4 billion of these plastic bags floating around . . . ending up affecting our wildlife . . .”

Here Garrett refers to the greatest hoax of all—those endless claims that a Newfoundland study found plastic bags killed more than 100,000 marine mammals every year.

This claim—originally made by environmental consultants Nolan-ITU in a report commissioned by the then Howard government—was accepted as true by a credulous Senate environment committee inquiry in 2002, and has been hyped ever since by green groups such as Planet Ark.

South Australia’s Labor Government even peddles the claim today on its Zero Waste website to justify its own planned ban on bags.

Small problem: the claim is completely false. As Nolan-ITU belatedly admitted four years later, it had misread that Newfoundland study, which actually said 100,000 animals might be killed—or injured—by discarded fishing nets and lines, and not by plastic bags, which it hadn’t mentioned at all.

...

Enough! How many more times must we have green campaigners puff up their causes with scares, wild claims, half-truths and exaggerations?

That’s the culture of hype that’s produced Garrett himself—with his claim, for instance, that the Chernobyl nuclear accident “caused the deaths of more than 30,000 people”, when the true figure is about 50.

It’s this kind of scaremongering—now seen with global warming—that dismays even a Greenpeace marine biologist in Britain, David Santillo.

“It’s very unlikely that many animals are killed by plastic bags,” he said last week. “It doesn’t do the Government’s case any favours if you’ve got statements being made that aren’t supported by the scientific literature that’s out there.”

So what does that scientific literature actually say?

Fact: Ban these bags and people will probably switch to stuff even worse for the environment, such as paper bags, said the Productivity Commission. A study by Allen Consulting agreed, adding that it took five times more greenhouse gases to make paper bags than it did plastic ones.

Fact: Switching to biodegradable plastic bags could be worse still, said the 2002 Nolan-ITU report. People would probably litter more, thinking it didn’t matter, and their bags would release chemicals in breaking down.

Fact: People love plastic bags too much to give them up even if made to pay. Ask Ireland, which imposed a levy on bags only to find more than ever were being used, with only a small cut in the number turning up as litter.

And the Productivity Commission warned a levy or ban wouldn’t work any better here: “A cost-benefit study commissioned by the governments shows that the benefits of a phase out or a per-unit charge would be significantly outweighed by the costs.”

It concluded: “A more cost-effective approach would be to target littering directly.”

Kevin Bonham
12-03-2008, 02:08 PM
That’s the culture of hype that’s produced Garrett himself—with his claim, for instance, that the Chernobyl nuclear accident “caused the deaths of more than 30,000 people”, when the true figure is about 50.

Bolt does himself no favours at all with this claim. While the 30K figure may well be vastly exaggerated, to use only the number of direct deaths and ignore increases in mortality in surrounding areas is poor form. To what extent these increases are due to Chernobyl and to what to other factors is hard to say, but stating the number of known confirmed deaths as the number of true deaths is misleading when there are so many known difficulties in establishing how many deaths Chernobyl has caused, and how many people are still to die prematurely as a result of it.

However there is indeed a lot of scientifically incorrect enviro-piffle concerning the impacts of plastic bags.

pax
12-03-2008, 02:13 PM
We have 4 billion bags just floating around as if tossed out of a window? In fact, the Productivity Commission in 2006 reported that of the 4 billion shopping bags we use each year, just 0.8 per cent becomes litter.

Only 35 million a year? Oh well, forget about it, it's hardly even worth mentioning.

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2008, 02:17 PM
Only 35 million a year? Oh well, forget about it, it's hardly even worth mentioning.
Basically, yes, that's what the productivity commission thought. But Pax is typical of the Anointed, as is the aging has-been rockstar Garrett, who want certain things done categorically, regardless of whether the costs outweigh the benefits of the last incremental reduction of the thing he hates.

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2008, 02:20 PM
Bolt does himself no favours at all with this claim. While the 30K figure may well be vastly exaggerated, to use only the number of direct deaths and ignore increases in mortality in surrounding areas is poor form. To what extent these increases are due to Chernobyl and to what to other factors is hard to say, but stating the number of known confirmed deaths as the number of true deaths is misleading when there are so many known difficulties in establishing how many deaths Chernobyl has caused, and how many people are still to die prematurely as a result of it.
OK, where are some figures? The number of deaths is far closer to 50 than to 30,000. And this disaster happened in a Communist regime; there have been no deaths due to nuclear power plants in Capitalist countries.


However there is indeed a lot of scientifically incorrect enviro-piffle concerning the impacts of plastic bags.
Enviro-piffle is par for the course with this type.

pax
12-03-2008, 02:25 PM
Basically, yes, that's what the productivity commission thought. But Pax is typical of the Anointed, as is the aging has-been rockstar Garrett, who want certain things done categorically, regardless of whether the costs outweigh the benefits of the last incremental reduction of the thing he hates.
The thing is that it is very cheap and easy to reduce the consumption of plastic bags. Plastic bags are currently free almost everywhere - as you know this means there is zero incentive to reduce consumption or reuse them beyond a vague moral responsibility. A mandated charge (even a small one) would immediately reduce the consumption of plastic bags and encourage re-use.

Why object to such a simple solution?

Other environmental problems are not so simply and cheaply solved.

TheJoker
12-03-2008, 02:33 PM
We have 4 billion bags just floating around as if tossed out of a window? In fact, the Productivity Commission in 2006 reported that of the 4 billion shopping bags we use each year, just 0.8 per cent becomes litter.

That is still 32 million plastic bags floating around!!!


What must we use instead to carry home the fortnightly shopping: suitcases? Rolls of green bin liners?.

Or you could use the re-usuable fabric shopping bags available at all the major supermarkets.


Why should the price of the plastic bags be included is the ticket price of grocery items; customers not using plastic bags shouldn't be forced to pay for them. It's just another example of how governments are stealing from the people (oops I mean corporations stealing);)

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2008, 02:37 PM
That is still 32 million plastic bags floating around!!!
So punish the litterbugs, not those responsible for the 99.2% of bags that don't become litter!


Or you could use the re-usuable fabric shopping bags available at all the major supermarkets.
Already do. But plastic bags are useful for rubbish disposal and help stabilize the landfill.


Why should the price of the plastic bags be included is the ticket price of grocery items; customers not using plastic bags shouldn't be forced to pay for them. It's just another example of how governments are stealing from the people (oops I mean corporations stealing);)
That's between the people and the supermarkets; none of the government's business, as much as you lefties want to make everything the government's business. You really are clueless, just like all the Anointed: the difference is like night and day, i.e. force v freedom. No one is forced to pay anything at a supermarket, while governments operate on force.

Kevin Bonham
12-03-2008, 02:41 PM
OK, where are some figures?

2005 Chernobyl Report (IAEA, WHO etc) estimates 4000 premature deaths likely to occur among cleanup workers and a further 5000 in surrounding areas.


The number of deaths is far closer to 50 than to 30,000.

I suspect that in orders-of-magnitude terms this claim could be false.


And this disaster happened in a Communist regime;

Where under-reporting of deaths and cover-ups are standard practice, except when it doesn't suit Andrew Bolt's agenda to remember it.

TheJoker
12-03-2008, 03:05 PM
That's between the people and the supermarkets; none of the government's business, as much as you lefties want to make everything the government's business. You really are clueless, just like all the Anointed: the difference is like night and day, i.e. force v freedom. No one is forced to pay anything at a supermarket, while governments operate on force.

It was a sarcastic comment Jono.... lighten up a bit!!!

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2008, 04:16 PM
2005 Chernobyl Report (IAEA, WHO etc) estimates 4000 premature deaths likely to occur among cleanup workers and a further 5000 in surrounding areas.
How many have already occurred?


Where under-reporting of deaths and cover-ups are standard practice, except when it doesn't suit Andrew Bolt's agenda to remember it.
Yes, it was standard practice, despite the Leftmedia's long love affair with communist despots. but a far as western nuclear reactors are concerned, more people have died in Teddy Kennedy's car, to say nothing of people killed in coal mines.

Kevin Bonham
12-03-2008, 05:05 PM
How many have already occurred?

It's impossible to tell according to the report. The only ones that can be confirmed as definite are those resulting from acute radiation not long after the accident, or those resulting from thyroid cancer, and these added together give the 50 or so that Bolt refers to. But to what extent Chernobyl has caused other mortalities is extremely difficult to assess.

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2008, 05:13 PM
It's impossible to tell according to the report. The only ones that can be confirmed as definite are those resulting from acute radiation not long after the accident, or those resulting from thyroid cancer, and these added together give the 50 or so that Bolt refers to. But to what extent Chernobyl has caused other mortalities is extremely difficult to assess.
There's no question that a nuclear accident would be harmful. But it should be a case of weighing the harms caused by various sources of power, and with the harms caused by lack of power, rather than focusing on just one sort of power generation.

Kevin Bonham
12-03-2008, 05:18 PM
There's no question that a nuclear accident would be harmful. But it should be a case of weighing the harms caused by various sources of power, and with the harms caused by lack of power, rather than focusing on just one sort of power generation.

I'm not debating nuclear power in this thread. I'm just pointing out that Bolt's attack on Garrett was very likely exaggeration in the opposite direction.

TheJoker
13-03-2008, 12:13 AM
I'm not debating nuclear power in this thread. I'm just pointing out that Bolt's attack on Garrett was very likely exaggeration in the opposite direction.

Yes an since it is an "opinion" piece it can't really be taken seriously in any debate.

Capablanca-Fan
15-03-2008, 02:42 PM
Yes an since it is an "opinion" piece it can't really be taken seriously in any debate.
Why not, if the facts supported his opinion? They were clearly not on the side of the scientifically illiterate rockstar, who was rightly sidelined during the election campaign.

Capablanca-Fan
15-03-2008, 02:45 PM
The thing is that it is very cheap and easy to reduce the consumption of plastic bags. Plastic bags are currently free almost everywhere — as you know this means there is zero incentive to reduce consumption or reuse them beyond a vague moral responsibility. A mandated charge (even a small one) would immediately reduce the consumption of plastic bags and encourage re-use.

Why object to such a simple solution?
Because there is a negligible problem to be solved, since they are a small fraction of all litter (I remind you of your post 4 (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=178833&postcount=4)). And the "solution" would likely generate more problems than it solves, as usual with the Anointed. E.g. paper bags are less "green" to produce, heavier plastic will be substituted, or else more water will be used to rinse out bins.

Capablanca-Fan
08-04-2011, 09:00 AM
China Sees the Evil of Plastic Bags (http://patriotpost.us/opinion/jonah-goldberg/2011/04/07/china-sees-the-evil-of-plastic-bags/)

By Jonah Goldberg, 7 April 2011

...

For years, I've been going after Friedman hammer and tongs for his authoritarian fetish. But perhaps the most damning critique is that banning plastic bags isn't necessarily the optimal policy.

A new study by the Environment Agency of England finds that those thin plastic bags have a smaller carbon footprint than reusable plastic or cotton satchels as well as disposable paper bags. According to "Evidence: Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags," you'd have to reuse a fashionable cotton bag at least 131 times to equal the low carbon footprint of a simple plastic bag. If you reuse a plastic bag -- as a wastebasket liner perhaps -- they pull even further away as the most green technology.

Also, as other studies have shown, those trendy reusable bags provide a wonderful breeding ground for E. coli and other bacteria. That is, unless you wash them regularly. But if you do that, as my American Enterprise Institute colleague Ken Green notes, all that bleach, soap and hot water expand their carbon footprint as well.

Now, the humble plastic bag is far from perfect, but it is even further from the plague it has been made out to be. Certainly, the paper bag (my preferred food conveyance) is more deserving of outlaw status. That is, if you measure the worth of something solely by its carbon footprint -- a debatable practice to say the least.

Intriguingly, the British study was commissioned in 2005 but only came out in February. Some allege it was suppressed by Greens inside the former Labor Government. If true, shame on them.

...