Far Worse Consequences of an Oil-Based Economy



Re: “Unintended Consequences.” Last week’s partially plagiarized “Letter to the Editor, Feb. 8,” linking reusable bags to higher foodborne illness can be found in its original form at: www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/02/put-a-bag-over-it.php

The study mentioned in last week’s letter has been harshly criticized by peers, as it was an industry requested and funded report. (You get what you pay for.)

The authors, Wright and Klick, were paid by the American Chemistry Council. The very same trade group that represents plastic bag manufacturers, and the same group that wrote letters to city managers threatening to sue any city that enacted a plastic bag ban. Adding even more insult to their credibility, the stats cited from San Francisco were from a time period before S.F.’s bag ban took effect. The mystery writer also failed to mention that washing your reusable bags, just like washing dirty clothes, kills 99.9% of all pathogens.

If you really want to discuss “Unintended Consequences,” how about the unintended consequences of being a petroleum based society. Disposable plastic bags are made from petroleum. So is aspirin, adhesive, antibiotics, artificial colors and flavors, carpet, chewing gum, clothing, diesel fuel, gasoline, insecticide, lipstick, nail polish, perfume, paint, pillows, petroleum jelly, toothpaste, and most every other plastic.

What are some of the unintended consequences of being a petroleum-based society? National security, international competition for oil, wars, resource depletion, environmental damage, air, water, and soil pollution, climate change including increased flooding, storms and weather, and increased cancer and disease rates.

Sorry anonymous American Chemistry Council supporter, I’ll take the unintended consequences of a reusable bag over the deadlier consequences of poisoning our planet and our people any day.


Chris Prelitz, Laguna Beach


(Editor’s Note: The letter writer’s name was accidentally omitted from the print edition, but was published online.)

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