As I read Angie DeRosa's story about ITW Hi-Cone being unhappy with the misleading depiction of a six-pack carrier in the movie Happy Feet, (Dec. 11, Page 1), I couldn't help but think of the city of San Francisco's ban on polystyrene food-service products in restaurants.
Here we have one geographical area making decisions based entirely on junk science that could affect the entire country. Rather than sound, scientific evidence, decisions are made based upon emotional, anti-plastic rhetoric.
This is much the same as the World Health Organization's ban on the pesticide DDT in the early 1970s. Many of you may not realize that WHO has lifted its ban on DDT for use in the homes of families in Third World nations. The original ban started with a book called Silent Spring, written by Rachel Carson in the early 1960s. She is considered to be the origin of the modern environmental movement that now shackles many industries and products. With her book filled with pseudo-scientific facts and a well-placed political shill by the name of William Ruckelshaus, true science was beaten down. Ruckelhaus was an attorney with ties to the Environmental Defense Fund and was tapped to head up the fledgling Environmental Protection Agency. Despite having verifiable, repeatable facts to the contrary, DDT was banned in the United States because it was deemed hazardous to human life and nature in general. Ruckelshaus is even said to have bragged about his “streamlining” the process to ensure that DDT was banned. With this ban in effect, many nations suffered a tremendous resurgence in malaria, resulting in millions of deaths, mostly pregnant women and children.
Now, apparently someone at the WHO has dug through the environmental rhetoric and uncovered the truth that DDT isn't the “devil's potion” that ecologists reviled.
I'm not saying that stopping the ban on PS in San Francisco is going to save millions of lives. But this ban is being shoved down the throat of the people of San Francisco with the same type of blather. “Polystyrene is not recyclable.” Not true, in fact, it's one of the more easily recycled polymers. “Six-pack carriers kill thousands of birds.” Another falsehood, since 1989, the plastic used in making these carriers has been, by federal law, photo reactive, expressly designed to fall apart after use and exposure to the elements and sunlight. The Warner Bros. spokeswoman says that one of the film makers, speaking of the films depiction, personally “saw it in real life.” My question is: When was that? 1975? Instead of going after the people who actually do the polluting, which is already against the law by the way, they want to hold an entire industry responsible. They know that any financial return from a fined individual pales in comparison to the pay day of fining a corporation.
Right now there are people who are looking into holding legally responsible the people and organizations that shoved the DDT ban down our throats with the false “scientific facts” that ultimately ended with millions of deaths. I believe that we should do the same with the people who are trying to foist their baseless plastics bans upon us. Maybe when they are held financially responsible and have to write the checks instead of receiving them, they will stop passing their false rhetoric as scientific fact and quit ignoring the truth when it gets in the way of their crusade.