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Straw Man argument:  an argument or belief based on erroneous reasoning.

It’s a “juice box kinda thing” as Canadians watched Canada’s favorite virtue signaling Prime Minister “Juice Box Justin” add to his gaffe worthy list of gaffes while speaking at the Gault Nature Reserve on Monday,  as he announced his government’s intention to ban single-use plastics by 2021. 

When asked about his own family’s plastic usage, Trudeau fumbled his way through an incoherent response.

All joking, memes and funny comments aside, what Trudeau is doing with this single use plastics ban is doing what he does best: play politics and virtue signal to his supporters.

Justin Trudeau drinks out of plastic water bottles wherever he goes.

After all, it’s a good diversion from the LAVSCAM and Admiral Norman scandals, their war on Canada’s natural resources and out of control spending that is tanking Canada’s economy.

So much for Trudeau’s promise of “evidence based” policy, a promise made on the 2015 election trail. So far, the evidence, from many scientific sources, argues against plastic bans.

Trudeau’s ban covers (but will not be limited to, knowing the progressive need to ban things) “plastic plates, cutlery, cups, straws, plastic sticks in cotton swabs, balloon sticks and stir sticks, and Styrofoam cups and take-out food containers. Oxo-degradeable plastics including plastic grocery bags, which break down into tiny pieces with exposure to air but never fully disappear, are also to be banned.”

Montreal has already become the first Canadian city to ban plastic bags but what these doo-gooders don’t realize is this: plastic bags consume far less energy, generate far less solid waste, and produce much less atmospheric emissions than paper grocery bags, Banning disposable plastic bags would also mean more people buying the thicker, heavier plastic garbage bags, which are worse for the environment because they use more plastic. Cloth bags and reusable plastic tote sacks must be used many times before they are more carbon efficient than the plastic grocery bags.”

Are tote bags good for the environment? According to a 2016 article, “Just like plastic bags, totes multiply. In a 2009 article about the bags for Design Observer, the Urban Outfitters designer Dmitri Siegel claimed to have found 23 tote bags in his house, collected from various organizations, stores, and brands. Like plastic sacks, tote bags, too, now seem essentially unending. Because of their ubiquity, tote bags that have been used very little (or not at all) can be found piled on curbs, tossed in trashcans in city parks, in dumpsters, everywhere. Their abundance encourages consumers to see them as disposable, defeating their very purpose.

 

 

Something that Trudeau and other  “from the heart” environmentalists don’t understand about their bans is this:

“According to a 2017 Statistics Canada data, of 6.2 million citizens who suffer from a disability, 40 percent suffer from additional challenges to be considered severely disabled. And single-use plastic straws remain the most barrier-free way for people with autism, mobility or muscle issues that make swallowing difficult, multiple sclerosis for example, to take liquid.

Michelle Hewitt, who has MS, was among “hundreds of people” who got the City of Vancouver to back off its total ban, allowing for straws “upon request” in new bylaw restricting single-use plastics.

“They didn’t realize there was a proportion of the population that needs them so we’re asking them to please keep plastic straws, to train their servers when people ask for them,” said the Kelowna resident who speaks regularly on the issue. “There have been some uncomfortable situations where people have been forced to prove they are disabled (to get a straw).”

What’s more said Hewitt, are straws that decompose and are unworkable for her are also being refused by compost programs and end up in the landfill anyways. “While these straws break down eventually..the current recycling and composting equipment used by waste companies cannot process them,” she said.

Even Starbucks, who joined in on the straw ban early on, faced problems like this: “Starbucks plans to replace the tried and true lid+straw for all beverages with the same lid they currently use for their nitro cold brew. If you’ve never ordered a nitro cold brew from Starbucks, the lid resembles a sippy cup and is also made of plastic. This move is a cause for concern among those with disabilities, but it also may not be very helpful for the environment. While these new, strawless lids yield only one piece of plastic waste instead of two, Reason recently reported that they actually use more plastic than the old lid and straw put together.”

So, what  brought about this sudden emphasis on banning plastics? Look no further than the granddaddy of the modern environmental movement: Al Gore.

“There is evidence that some climate activists are seeking to elevate the plastic ‘crisis’ above the climate ‘crisis.’ Former Vice President Al Gore’s producer of his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth,”  — Hollywood eco-activist Laurie David — has been test-marketing the plastic eco-scare. David has touted the plastic crisis over man-made climate fears. “Plastic waste is in some ways more alarming for us humans than global warming,” David wrote in 2009. The rapid rise in global plastic production is leading to a rise in plastic pollution and its devastating effects on our oceans and our lives.,” Laurie David wrote.

“Greenpeace founding member and Ecologist Dr. Patrick Moore — who has turned against the organization describes  it this way: The ‘sea of plastic is a fiction. The ultimate in Fake News.”

“What I don’t get is why it is assumed that a bit of plastic in your digestive tract is probably ‘harmful.’ This is the same plastic nearly all our food is packaged, transported, stored, and often served in. It is essentially inert and with the main exception of PVC, which contains chlorine, is made of 100% carbon and hydrogen. And because it is so inert it goes right through us like a small pebble or the cellulose in a kernel of corn. Now the ‘sea of plastic garbage’ is the ‘size of Alaska.’  Last month it was ‘the size of Texas’ yet no satellite photo has been presented because the sea of plastic is a fiction. The new report finds that “Greenpeace is deliberately misleading the public by fabricating a fictional ‘crisis.’ and “the infamous ‘oceanic garbage patches’ are not nearly as dramatic as people think. It is making people feel guilty and worried about a ‘crisis’ which isn’t actually real,” the new report notes.”

Of course, the UN had input into this so-called “crisis.

The United Nations Climate Change Director Achim Steiner has called for a world wide ban on plastic shopping bags saying, “Single use plastic bags, which choke marine life, should be banned or phased out rapidly everywhere. There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere”. Mr. Steiner made the plea a day after World Ocean Day, June 8th 2019. The request came after the U.N. Environment Program released a comprehensive report on litter in the world’s oceans, which identified plastics as accounting for over 80% of the debris collected in some regions. This has led to floating plastic debris patches of increasing size, with at least one being nearly twice the size of the State of Texas. (see above – Now the ‘sea of plastic garbage’ is the ‘size of Alaska.’  Last month it was ‘the size of Texas’ yet no satellite photo has been presented because the sea of plastic is a fiction.)

 

 

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, ever the climate zealot, wants Canada to try to persuade its fellow G7 countries to adopt goals for plastics recycling and waste reduction.

The target would be part of what she calls a zero-plastics waste charter. says that would mean all plastic packaging would be either reuseable, recyclable or compostable. She says there’s significant momentum among governments and multinational companies to take action on plastic waste.

The whole problem with these strawman arguments is that the countries that are mostly responsible for this ocean of plastic waste – China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are dumping more plastic into oceans than the rest of the world combined. Canada doesn’t even show up as a factor on lists of the polluters.

Indonesia’s Citarum River, the most polluted river on Earth, is essentially a massive trash heap on a giant aquatic conveyor belt. Every day, 20,000 tons of waste and 340,000 tons of wastewater are dumped into it and then ferried to the ocean. In places like Vietnam, plastic in the water is the least of anyone’s concerns. Raw sewage is discharged directly into water ways, turning the rivers toxic.

   Indonesia’s Citarum River

We could collect all of the straws in North America, bundle them together and shoot them into the Sun, and the state of the ocean would hardly be improved at all.

“Indeed, we could stop using plastic altogether and it would barely make a dent in the problem. Does that mean we should be totally unconcerned about our own waste? No, but it does mean that our waste is, comparatively, not a significant problem. The ocean is being destroyed by Asia and Africa. Until they get their acts together, only minimal progress can be made.”

Sun columnist Jerry Agar hits the nail on the head here:

“This is all bunch of virtue-signaling by Trudeau at the expense of Canadian business.

Look, I am solidly behind finding alternatives to plastic. I am convinced that private companies, already researching alternatives, will solve the problem.But right now Canada’s plastics industry supports 100,000 jobs. Jobs which seem to be far less a concern to Justin Trudeau than the ones he tried to improperly — perhaps illegally — save at SNC Lavalin.

If those jobs are phased out or moved over to whatever replaces plastic due to innovation and competition, that’s how business works.But to thrust a ban upon people who aren’t causing the problem the government is supposedly trying to solve is irresponsible.”

Irresponsible, virtue signalling, playing politics, all hallmarks of the Trudeau government. These bans had been talked about during the past few years but took on relevance only because this is an election year and Trudeau, falling in the polls faster than a snowball rolling down a hill, needs to take the heat off of what Canadians really care about. They have seen their cost of living skyrocket thanks to his ill thought out carbon tax and of course, his government’s war on Alberta oil.

Liberals make policies based on feelings, not facts and it’s up to Canadians to see the facts and not get caught up in the hype.

Remember than on October 21 2019 – election day and vote for those who choose to unite Canada with responsible policies, not divide Canada as this current government is doing.

 

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