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History of Sheeple Part I

San Francisco has banned plastic grocery bags. This is to save the planet. You may remember it wasn’t that long ago that only eco-terrorists asked for paper bags. People would turn in horror and explain how a living tree had to be sacrificed to make that paper bag.

Today we are much wiser. Paper bags are back. We understand that trees are a renewable resource and actually using plastic grocery bags is eco-terrorism. We just didn’t know. Of course really eco-conscious people bring there own burlap bags.

Let me clue you in. There is no right answer. No matter what you do someone will say it is not enough. The reality is we live in a world of Hobson choices.

Let me tell you the next eco-scare that will take about five years to come to fruition. Compact fluorescent bulbs will be banned. California is currently considering banning incandescent lights bulbs because the planet has a fever. Even though most people know compact fluorescent bulbs contain mercury they will buy them because sheeple are followers. Better to do what you are told than to think for yourself.

Do you think the people in California will start recycling programs for Compact fluorescent bulbs before they ban the incandescent bulbs? Probably not. Sheeple have to be led.

17 Responses to “History of Sheeple Part I”

  1. DevilYack Says:

    Actually, I bought CFLs because they promise to last 5 yrs and save me money. I’m not particularly concerned about global warming since I’m not fond of cold weather but I am concerned about the amount of cash in my wallet.

  2. Master of Obvious Says:

    What will they use to pick-up the dog poop. Won’t someone think of the dog poop.

  3. #9 Says:

    Actually, I bought CFLs because they promise to last 5 yrs and save me money.

    Me too. It’s about the money. Some of them put out good light too and are much cooler.

    But now I am trying to figure out what to do with them when they burn out. The recycle people hopefully will agree to accept them.

  4. Sebastian Says:

    Anyone know anything about the paper production process? I’m not an expert, but my understanding is that it’s a nasty process that’s energy intensive and uses a lot of toxic chemicals. I used to live near a paper plant that was a potential superfund site if it didn’t get cleaned up.

    I have my doubts that plastic is materially better or worse for the environment than paper. This is just a way for San Franciscans to keep enjoying the smell of their own farts.

  5. Alcibiades Says:

    Chlorine is a big part of paper mill pollution, but I think it’s only used in the manufacture of white paper. Brown paper is probably less refined, so it probably pollutes less.

  6. Diamondback Says:

    All those poor, poor burlaps.

  7. straightarrow Says:

    Just thank your lucky stars the bags aren’t made out of naugahyde. Do you have any idea how many naugas must die to make one bag. Think of the hides it took to satisfy the furniture industry’s fascination with naugahyde couches, divans, sofas (called padding the list), recliners, dinette chairs, etc.

    Then consider the number of poor naugas that had to give their lives for genuine imitation fake faux leather clothing and accessories. Oh the humanity!

    Naugas have been driven to brink of extinction. There may be no breeding pairs left in the wild and none whatsoever in captivity. While naugahyde wearing humans may breed like rats, naugas themselves will not breed in captivity. Although with the shortage of naugas that is a moot point.

    If you doubt the seriousness of the situation, ask yourself when was the last time you saw a nauga. When? That’s right. Probably never. That is how scarce they are. Ask everybody you know. The odds are prohibitively in favor of you never finding anyone who has seen a real, live, genuine, breathing nauga under his own motive power.

    Bemoan the poor burlap if you must, but let us not forget man’s horrid treatment of the sweet dispositioned and all too trusting nauga. Where the Hell is PETA when they could do some good?

  8. Nomen Nescio Says:

    brown paper is no less “refined”, it just hasn’t been bleached white.

    there are several different methods of separating wood pulp fibers from the resins and other gunk that usually binds them into, well, wood; the most commonly used one relies on various caustics, whereas newer ones use hydroxides. these chemicals are usually purified and re-used on site, but understandably there’s always a bit of lossage. modern pulp mills can be almost, but not quite, closed systems; if a town will tolerate having one nearby enough, the waste heat (steam) can even be used as a power source.

    getting the mix of chemicals “just right” is a form of art, since no two trees are quite the same. then add in recycled paper, and things get no simpler. it’s all pretty nasty stuff, which is why pulp mills invariably stink (the smell is not toxic, though — just disgusting), but the technology is constantly if slowly being refined, and using recycled paper — even a few percent — does help clean things up.

    using brown paper does help the environment, though, because the bleaches used in whitening it can’t be reused or recycled, and are usually nasty stuff. unbleached paper may be no good for letterhead, but it’s just fine for stuff like packaging, coffee filters, pretty much anything you won’t have to write on or need to look pretty. brown paper is not “dirtier” than white, in fact it may be cleaner since it hasn’t been soaked in chlorine.

  9. #9 Says:

    I always ask for plastic. Then I use them to line a garbage can. I prefer plastic because they have handles.

    If you really care about pollution and the planet you can do what the husband and wife in Manhattan are doing. If you have not read this link to the NY Times it is a story of how insane this whole Gaia Captain Planet thing can be.

    The Year Without Toilet Paper


    DINNER was the usual affair on Thursday night in Apartment 9F in an elegant prewar on Lower Fifth Avenue. There was shredded cabbage with fruit-scrap vinegar; mashed parsnips and yellow carrots with local butter and fresh thyme; a terrific frittata; then homemade yogurt with honey and thyme tea, eaten under the greenish flickering light cast by two beeswax candles and a fluorescent bulb.

    A visitor avoided the bathroom because she knew she would find no toilet paper there.

    Welcome to Walden Pond, Fifth Avenue style. Isabella’s parents, Colin Beavan, 43, a writer of historical nonfiction, and Michelle Conlin, 39, a senior writer at Business Week, are four months into a yearlong lifestyle experiment they call No Impact. Its rules are evolving, as Mr. Beavan will tell you, but to date include eating only food (organically) grown within a 250-mile radius of Manhattan; (mostly) no shopping for anything except said food; producing no trash (except compost, see above); using no paper; and, most intriguingly, using no carbon-fueled transportation.

    Also, he needed a new book project and the No Impact year was the only one of four possibilities his agent thought would sell. This being 2007, Mr. Beavan is showcasing No Impact in a blog ( laced with links and testimonials from New Environmentalist authorities like His agent did indeed secure him a book deal, with Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and he and his family are being tailed by Laura Gabbert, a documentary filmmaker and Ms. Conlin’s best friend.

    Since November, Mr. Beavan and Isabella have been hewing closely, most particularly in a dietary way, to a 19th-century life. Mr. Beavan has a single-edge razor he has learned to use (it was a gift from his father). He has also learned to cook quite tastily from a limited regional menu — right now that means lots of apples and root vegetables, stored in the unplugged freezer — hashing out compromises. Spices are out but salt is exempt, Mr. Beavan said, because homemade bread “is awful without salt; salt stops the yeast action.” Mr. Beavan is baking his own, with wheat grown locally and a sour dough “mother” fermenting stinkily in his cupboard. He is also finding good sources at the nearby Union Square Greenmarket (like Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, which sells milk in reusable glass bottles). The 250-mile rule, by the way, reflects the longest distance a farmer can drive in and out of the city in one day, Mr. Beavan said.

    There is much much more, but even factoring out the book deal these people are more than a little nuts. Actions have consequences and our elected “leaders” need to get a grip on the “Law of unintended consequences”.

    I gave the example of banning incandescent light bulbs without having a recycling program for the compact fluorescent bulbs that contain mercury.

    Government needs to get smarter now. Letting newspapers lead us is very bad karma.

  10. markm Says:

    I’m with #9: I prefer plastic, because I can reuse those bags as small garbage can liners, etc. Also, there are a couple of stores around here that bring their cardboard boxes up front so you can pack the foods in them instead of bags. This works for us because rolled-up cardboard works pretty well as kindling for the woodstove – unlike paper, it holds it’s shape and stays open to airflow while burning, and even retains enough strength that you can put a small log on top.

  11. JustinB Says:

    Hey #9 wtf is wrong with a couple who wants to do that? Free fucking country isnt it? Why are they nuts? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black…douche.

  12. #9 Says:

    Why are they nuts?

    JustinB, if you read the article, you will learn they have a small 3 year old daughter.

    What kind of people live in Manhattan and wipe their ass with their hands?

  13. JustinB Says:

    I read the article…on Drudge…about 5 days ago. Can you ever come up with anything original or are you happy being a Drudge Report whore? I didn’t realize it was your responsibility to govern how people they wipe their asses.

  14. #9 Says:

    I didn’t realize it was your responsibility to govern how people they wipe their asses.

    You asked me why I thought they were nuts, I told you why.

    If you wish to do the same please by all means go right ahead, it is your right. I don’t even care if you wash your hands. I am a constitutionalist.

  15. Sebastian Says:

    It’s a free country JustinB, for sure. And they are free to live as they do. And I’m free to call them a bunch of fucking tree hugging dirty hippies who don’t know how thankful they should be they were born into 21st century Manhattan instead of 19th century Manhattan. I’ll trade global warming for typhoid epidemics any day of the week.

  16. straightarrow Says:

    What kind of people live in Manhattan and wipe their ass with their hands?

    Muslims???? and nuts??? or is that redundant??

  17. SayUncle » The Law of Unintended Consequences Part 47 Says:

    […] told you so piece on CF bulbs was back in March. Rich Hailey expanded on the mercury issue in May after R. Neal at […]