We Should Use Less Plastic

Bans of plastic straws and bags has been in the news for months. Yesterday, Donald Trump gave a speech at a developing Shell factory that will someday produce a million tons of plastic each year.

Stories of dead animals washing ashore with stomachs full of plastic have become heartbreakingly familiar. Efforts to remove a fraction of the tons of plastic polluting our oceans are getting some traction.

The political disconnect between those promoting plastic and those recognizing the damage caused by too much plastic highlights the political disconnect of the time that will someday be seen as a primary reason behind earth’s decline. Currently, it doesn’t look like too many want to stand with earth.

Trump’s reelection campaign has sold more than 44 thousand plastic straws adorned with his name; rather than being part of the solution, Trump is making the problem much worse.

Many on the left are promoting all-out bans on plastic straws with no consideration of the reality that to people with some disabilities they are currently essential.

Some companies, including McDonalds, are using paper straws as a wink to those understanding the danger of plastic. But McDonald’s rarely discusses the fact that its paper straws aren’t recyclable.

The fossil fuel industry and its backers in both parties are selling Shell’s plastic plant and others as a way of revitalizing areas suffering through job losses thanks to our rightful reduction of coal mining. They aren’t telling people that fracking, which has its own serious environmental issues, has resulted in industry having more oil than it can use. In typical greedy fashion, corporations and their political enablers have decided to magnify environmental damage in the long run to create a few jobs now.

Accept for a small group of Americans, no one is even pretending to care much about animals; in fact, the Trump administration announced plans to reduce protections for endangered species.

In a country where health care and education aren’t considered fundamental rights, we can’t hope for too many people to consider ramifications that will not be catastrophic for decades. Still, it would be nice if at least one politician would tell the American public about the hard choices that must be made and the benefits of making them now. Sadly, the best we can hope for is that in 2020 America will reject Trump, the GOP, and the corporations that have nothing to offer but fear and a rejection of science. After all, science is for elites. If Trump and his political and corporate enablers win, breathing reasonable air and drinking somewhat safe water will someday be for the elites too.

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