Letter: A response to plastic bag woes

Dear Mr. Fletcher:

Re: your article on plastic bags

Anyone can criticize. So allow me. You seem to believe that changing governments is the answer for everything.

Which ignores centuries of good people making good decisions.

You also do not seem to realize that plastic bags are merely a symptom of the problem.

In 1969, we bought 66 acres for $5,000.

That is not a typo. $5,000.

No real estate agent or bank was involved.

We got the money by working one year at low paying jobs.

We survived because we had very good neighbours and those neighbours had cars.

Those cars ran on fossilized plant material that has always been expensive to the individual but very cheap to societies.

Thus, such fuels promoted rapid industrial and population growth that seemed an end in itself.

More than two billion when I was born to near eight billion people now. One lifetime.

So the problem? Cheap fossil fuels created explosive growth which is now creating visible problems. Many scientists are working on bio-plastics: plastics that will be useful to us like a leaf is useful to a tree.

Yet will rot beneficially when discarded like a leaf.

But fossil fuel plastics—such as plastic bags—are so cheap and ubiquitous that they make it very difficult for companies and markets and people to switch to something less harmful.

But this does not mean that attempting to start the process of converting society to more benign energy sources is evil.

I believe you called this process “pointless virtue-signalling.”

You seem to consider such government attempts as evil.

But isn’t writing such a long article full of criticisms “pointless” if it does not include even one positive suggestion for helping to solve this problem?

Your arguments in your article are valid but do not do justice to your intelligence.


Ralph van Drielen

Golden, B.C.

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