My wife and I had our familiar recycling argument this weekend (Wife: You need to put that stuff in the recycling; Me: Recycling makes zero sense for anything except scrap steel and aluminum, all the rest is just a liturgy of belief we perform for the church of the environment, where labor costs are assumed to be zero).
Anyway, thinking about it more, I have had a revelation. If we define our biggest environmental problem as CO2 production,shouldn't we stop recycling of plastic and paper? In the first case, we are burying hydrocarbons unburned, putting the carbon back underground. Each bottle not recycled represent a few more hydrocarbon molecules that must be dedicated to plastics rather than fuel. In the case of paper, if we don't recycle then we are using trees to sequester CO2 and bury it back in the ground as paper and cardboard. Once trees hit their maturity, their growth slows and therefore the rate they sequester CO2 slows. At this point, we need to be cutting more down, not less, and burying them in the ground, either as logs or paper or whatever. Just growing forests is not enough, because old trees fall over and rot and give up their carbon as CO2. We have to bury them. Right?
In the last few months, bottled water "” generally
considered a benign, even beneficial, product "” has been increasingly
portrayed as an environmental villain by city leaders, activist groups
and the media. The argument centers not on water, but oil. It takes 1.5
million barrels a year just to make the plastic water bottles Americans
use, according to the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, plus
countless barrels to transport it from as far as Fiji and refrigerate
Dave Byers, 65, from Silver Spring,
Md., discussed the issue with his wife, Pat, on the steps of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art on a 90-degree Saturday. "I think it should
be banned, actually," he said of bottled water.
If you care about the environment, I say buy more bottled water, and throw the bottle away. You too can sequester some carbon.