The US government should put more effort on green tech research funding over enviro protection laws

October 16, 2018, 2:54 pm

Agree22 Disagree5

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The debate "The US government should put more effort on green tech research funding over enviro protection laws" was started by Matthew354 on October 16, 2018, 2:54 pm. 22 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 5 people are on the disagree side. People are starting to choose their side. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

Matthew354 posted 6 arguments to the agreers part.
TheExistentialist posted 8 arguments to the disagreers part.

Matthew354, YEET, tenyiyi, wth64828, crispsandchips, bae_jil_dong and 16 visitors agree.
TheExistentialist, NitinTher and 3 visitors disagree.

TheExistentialist
replied to...

so please explain how the law you just presented is an overreach when in fact, it seems to be less invasive than a cigarette ban which you used as the basis for your "what-about-ism" argument.

3 weeks, 6 days ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

Now that we've established that plastic straws are an environmental problem with sufficient volume to create systemic problems let's look at the law itself.

(c) “Single-use plastic straw” means a single-use, disposable tube made predominantly of plastic derived from either petroleum or a biologically based polymer, such as corn or other plant sources, used to transfer a beverage from a container to the mouth of the person drinking the beverage. “Single-use plastic straw” does not include a straw made from non-plastic materials, including, but not limited to, paper, pasta, sugar cane, wood, or bamboo.

so the law clearly ID's the type of straw affected by the ban and it clearly ID's viable alternative products.

The law clearly establishes that it only affects "Sit down restaurants" only.

42271. (a) A full-service restaurant shall not provide a single-use plastic straw to a consumer unless requested by the consumer.

The law doesn't even prohibit the distribution of plastic straws, it simply forces customers to make the environmentally worse choice.

If we use your own logic with regards to Cigarettes and Vaping, we can see that this law discourages the worse choice (cigarettes/Plastic straws) by placing additional hurdles on their use and incentivizes the better choice (vaping/bio-degradable straws) by placing fewer restrictions on them.

So by your own standards, this is actually a better law with less overreach than the outright banning of a product (cigarettes) as you seemed to advocated "...cigarettes are permitted for consumption? The only thing the California state government did to regulate cigarettes was permitting the cigarettes to age 21 minimum, and no ban!"

3 weeks, 6 days ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

I'm not sure what is happening to my post, but it seems to be getting cut off. I'll try and post it in smaller sections.
First we'll again establish that plastic straws are an environmental issue. Since the bill you linked is only about straws I'll focus on this.
Let's first consider volume; in the US we use about 500 million straws PER DAY which works out to about 183 billion straws per year.
Being plastic, these straws take anywhere from 200-500 years to decompose and will never fully decompose (rather they become micro-plastics which leech chemicals and seep into the soil and groundwater as well as the ocean)
We know for a fact that plastic straws are recycled at a rate less than that of plastic bags even (so

3 weeks, 6 days ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

@Nemiroff
yeah I'm familiar with a few of the political philosophies regarding socialism, communism, democratic socialism, etc... If you wanna start a topic, I'll keep an eye out.

4 weeks ago
Matthew354
replied to...

"Again, you have also failed to substantiate your claim that states are ineffective at administering policy with environmental benefits. Can you please substantiate that claim?"
There seems to be another communication error here, because I like to take take the word ineffective, I meant over-reaching and cumbersome policy making here in California. But I will substantiate it more with another example why I criticize it: plastic straw regulations by the Senate Bill 1884.

This bill that has already been passed is closer to the main post, and why the California state government is over-reaching and cumbersome in protecting the environment. Case and point, there is no reason why the state/government should step in to curb this issue, when we have the technology to recycle 1 time use plastic with 3D printers with the proper procedure. So I am fine with the state government making some requirements of restaurants, who decide to use plastic straws or utensils, to be required to have a 3D printer with a utensil/straw/plastic recycling bin than to just simply throw them away; than say the complete ban of plastic straws.

And I heavily advise you to look closer at the tobacco ban in the Monterey County, that law being passed helps my point as well about the cumbersome and over-reaching policy making. I'm fine with disposable cigarettes being banned, but the problem is "vaping" is also being banned as well; I find this quite-overreaching. I find the banning of people vaping in public areas ridiculous because vaping is water based, and can be used again and again with little to no risk of fire or littering like disposable cigarettes.

4 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

existentialist, this is way off topic and I'll start a new thread if you can help me, but do you understand socialism/communism?

I have some questions that I cant seem to figure out, like how it would function as far as enacting laws and other government details. not assuming you are socialist, but I get the feeling you are more familiar with the details of such theories (including opposite ones) then I am.

4 weeks ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

I see the miscommunication now. that's my fault; I should have been more specific in my argument.

It makes no difference however. You're still claiming that a 10 cent fee for reusable plastic bags (which are better for the environment) or forcing people to use paper bags (also better for the environment) is somehow "atrocious" because cigarettes aren't being banned....That makes absolutely no sense. The consumer is still able to get their groceries home, the environment is objectively better off, and no industry is being unfairly targeted.

Your "what-about-ism" isn't even connected in terms of impact. Plastic bags are an environmental impact with negative repercussions measured over generations (bags taking 500+ years to decompose) while the effect of cigarettes is over the course of 1 lifetime with only the person smoking being affected. If plastic bags only harmed the user, then I'd agree it's unnecessary. However, you using plastic bags affects the entire community for multiple generations and thus they are stakeholders in your ability to use them. You smoking, affects you and you alone and therefore the rest of your community is not a stakeholder in your decision.

Furthermore, CA is doing a few things to curb smoking including raising taxes, banning flavored tobacco products, and banning smoking in all public parks, parking lots etc... I believe your county is actually debating/drafting legislation on this very issue right now (at least as of 8/28/2018)
https://www.kion546.com/news/monterey-supervisors-to-look-at-tobacco-ban-at-certain-county-facilities/787423277

Again, you have also failed to substantiate your claim that states are ineffective at administering policy with environmental benefits. Can you please substantiate that claim? So far you have simply stated that they fixed one problem (plastic bags), but have not completely fixed a totally different problem (cigarettes) and this somehow is supposed to be proof of state government being ineffective at environmental policy making....

4 weeks ago
Matthew354
replied to...

We must have a communication error, because I still can't seem to make you understand that *disposable* plastic bags or one time used bags are banned, I didn't say reusable plastic bags or paper bags that were charged a 10 cent fee were banned by the Monterey County of California with the Reusable Bag Ordinance; and I live in the county to see that.

Is that clear between us?

4 weeks ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

So you didn't read my post or the law, so I'll say it again. The Reusable Bags Ordinance DOES NOT BAN PLASTIC BAGS!!!! it forces stores to charge a 10 cent fee for each bag. This is in no way banning plastic bags. That is why I said it's in line with Cigarette legislation.

"the state government is still not efficiently protecting the environment"
by what measure are you making this claim? Every environmental study has shown that since the establishment of the EPA and various state agencies, water quality, soil quality, air quality, endangered species, etc... are all much better. So please elaborate on the standard you're using to make that claim. Otherwise it's simply an assertion without proof.

4 weeks ago
Matthew354
replied to...

"So, the Reusable Bag Ordinance is actually quite in line with how we deal with substances we would like to steer people away from (like ETOH and tobacco)."

Um no, it's not. You are forgetting one important point I'm making and common denominator here: both cigarettes and plastic bags are *disposable.* One case of disposable items is banned (plastic bags), while one isn't (cigarettes), and both are heavily polluting our oceans. Reusable bag legislation and other tobacco products are not relevant in this argument, and the state government is still not efficiently protecting the environment.

4 weeks ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

So you're going with "What-About-isms" in order to state a certain law is "Atrocious"....I don't think that's a very strong argument. In fact, I'll show you that your example of "what-about-ism" isn't even a good one as we can actually show a similar pattern of legislation being used for both plastic bags and cigarettes.

First off, let's look at the law and the inherent problems with plastic bags. To start out, the use of plastic bags wasn't "banned" in the law you described. Rather, the law states that stores must charge (10 cents) per disposable bag. Plastic bags are an environmental problem as we (as Americans alone) consume about 100 billion plastic bags per year which requires 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. We recycle less than 1% of them. Plastic bags are in use for about 12 minutes each on average, and they take about 500 years or so to degrade. We can therefore state with sufficient certainty that there is a societal cost associated with the use Plastic Bags. Using something like the Reusable bag ordinance is simply a way to manage those costs. There is also no measurable negative impact to consumer choice, industry, or revenue by encouraging the use of plastic bags through financial incentives.

It is no different than charging additional taxes on Tobacco and Alcohol products. Cigarettes, carry a $1.0066 tax per pack on the federal level, with additional taxes being levied by states against that product (rate varies by state, CA adds another $2.87 in taxes to each pack, increasing the cost of each cigarette in a 20 pack by by about $0.20) So, the Reusable Bag Ordinance is actually quite in line with how we deal with substances we would like to steer people away from (like ETOH and tobacco). Rather than outright banning it, the government is allowing the consumption of a product that is harmful to society but offsetting that cost to society through taxes that disincentivize the use. So if anything, the Reusable Bag Ordinance is modeled after the way we treat Cigarettes already.

I'd argue that your statement of "this is too much government/state control over the general populous" is actually false. I'd argue that the legislation you mentioned is actually a way to shift the societal cost of people who use plastic bags away from people who use reusable products and thus making them pay their fair share.

4 weeks, 1 day ago
Matthew354
replied to...

If you want one example of atrocious environmental policies, I will give you one then: the Reusable Bag Ordinance of Monterey. There is no reason to ban plastic bags nor straws when cigarettes have been proven to have a much higher concentration of water borne pollution, why are plastic bags and and plastic utensils banned while cigarettes are permitted for consumption? The only thing the California state government did to regulate cigarettes was permitting the cigarettes to age 21 minimum, and no ban!

Sure, we now got e-cigarettes technology to encourage less disposable cigarettes, but why couldn't the state government be more efficient in regulating cigarettes to prevent the biggest water borne polluter by banning it, and just make some regulation on plastic bags and plastic utensils? This is too much government/state control over the general populous. From what I can tell, the Reusable Bag Ordinance didn't get governed by a sufficient scientific study, and we have too many regulations based on sensational press overages of animals getting more attention with being victimized by plastic straws that determine policy making.

4 weeks, 1 day ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

You make a very strange or at least very incomplete point here. You claim that some environmental laws are "atrocious" yet you don't give any example of "atrocious" environmental laws. Then you claim that we should get rid of complicated environmental laws but you don't state a reason as to why or which.

I wanted to point out that just because something is complicated doesn't make it bad. Striking a balance between industry, private stakeholders, public stakeholders, as well as managing resources across state lines (like water), protecting migration routes, spawning/nesting grounds, local flora, state and national public lands, as well as outdoor industries (like ski areas) and the economic impact they have on the local economy is complex and thus complex laws are required to fulfill those needs. So unless you can argue against specific regulations on specific grounds, throwing all of them out simply because they're complicated is short sighted and ignorant.

Environmental laws should be governed by scientific study of a given query (migration patterns, emissions, etc...) and then should be implemented to protect the public and the environment to the greatest degree possible with the least amount of intervention needed to do that job. However, whether or not a law is complicated in the way it achieves that goal is irrelevant as to it relates to its validity.

As Nemiroff has said; you can do both: invest in green tech and protect the environment. As a matter of fact, the two can play nicely together. If we force coal plants to have stricter emission limits, we reduce the profitability of such plants and thus incentivise green technology. So there we have an environmental law that is good for the public/environment and good for technological innovation (through the shifting of market competition towards green tech rather than fossil fuels).

4 weeks, 1 day ago
Matthew354
replied to...

"you can invest in green tech all you want, that still wont stop some upstream farmers from dumping poisonous runoff into a cities water supply"

I never said the government or state that they should to remove all their laws, I'm only arguing to have much less effort of it. As well as put more state effort into in the funding of green research, and put less effort in the already atrocious and complicated amount of laws protecting the environment.

1 month ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

you can invest in green tech all you want, that still wont stop some upstream farmers from dumping poisonous runoff into a cities water supply.

the 2 are unrelated and if there is value in a move, it should be done.

theres a difference between sensible laws and a nanny state. there a ton of middle ground between nanny state and the wild west. even the wild west had laws and regulations!

1 month ago
Matthew354
replied to...

Here is my gripe: we are relying mostly on state or government intervention, over using technology and innovation to protect the environment.

1 month ago

establishing laws doesnt require investment (besides enforcement), it doesnt need to be an either/or. if there is benefit to each, we can do both.

1 month ago
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