It’s becoming far too difficult to keep up with the hyper-ridiculous claims made by supposedly independent and rigorously researched reports.
Honestly, whether environmentalism in general, or climate change in particular, the numbers and predictions never stack-up to anything resembling objective reality (yeah, old fashioned concept, that one), yet the media diligently report absurdities as if quoting from Baby Jesus.
I fear I will not live long enough to see an end to this global credulity.
Are we really such gobemouches as to believe that Australians used 4 billion plastic bags last year? That Australians used an extra one billion plastic bags, last year - a whopping 40% increase? Or that the weight of those bags in land fills was 22 million tonnes? That’s some awfully, awfully, awfully heavy plastic we’re carrying about our persons.
I'm damned sure that I didn't use my per head of population allocation of one point something tonnes worth of plastic bags.
I’ve always believed that an Australian billion is one million million, not the lesser American billion, which is only one thousand million (they cheat, I guess it makes the rich people feel good, so Britain is soon going to go the same way, which probably means Australia will too).
So, an alleged 4 billion plastic bags used by Australians last year, with a population of 21 million:
that would be 190,000 or so bags for every man woman and child in the country, including all the people who refuse to use plastic bags, or have at least cut down their use, in lieu of taking reusable carry bags when shopping, (which I do, btw, pretty much 100% of the time), nor does it encompass the myriad of goods that are packed into paper style bags, of which I would have a stunning collection, if I kept them all, and many more if I accepted them all (which I don't) - many stores do use paper, not plastic.
If we (incorrectly) use the American idea of one “billion”, it would be 190 plastic bags per annum for every person, which would be 3.6 plastic bags for every person each week – hardly what you’d call a plastic bag pig-out.
"Plastic carry bag use has skyrocketed in the past 12 months, despite repeated industry claims that fewer bags are being used by shoppers.
A confidential draft report prepared for the Federal Government shows that up to a billion more bags were handed out by supermarkets and shops last year than in 2006, an increase of more than 40%.
"It blows out of the water once and for all the misinformation being put out by the retail industry on this issue," said Planet Ark Founder Jon Dee. "It shows that the voluntary approach for banning plastic bags has been a total failure."
The Government has come under attack for considering an option to impose a $1 levy on bags at the check-out and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was forced this week to rule out a levy on bags.
"We remain committed to forging a sensible solution to protecting our environment from the impacts of plastic bag litter," Mr Garrett said yesterday."
Even if plastic bag use has increased by some small or even large amount, and given population growth, that in itself wouldn't be an outrageous finding, it would tend to suggest, unhysterically, that we plucky little Aussies are not nearly as fussed by environmental concerns as *we* claim.
Maybe we just like the sound of our voices droning on about how *concerned, alert, alarmed and perpetually anxious* with are. Maybe we're obsessed with creating the perception of "fighting above our weight" when it comes to both emitting and reducing CO2s. Maybe we're gigantic hypocrites. Maybe we have all drastically reduced our use of plastic bags, but that doesn't support the political agenda - create a crisis and cure it with an unnecessary financial or social hardship, so that the pain makes if feel worthwhile, ultimately achieving nothing at all.