The last straw

In an exstrawdinary move, the city of Santa Barbara has banned plastic straws. And the penalties for using or distributing them could be jail time.

The Blaze?reports: Quote:

Santa Barbara, California, is the latest municipality to ban plastic straws but this city?s ordinance carries some exceptionally harsh penalties ? including potential jail time.

The ordinance for the California coastal city applies to anyone who hands out plastic straws at restaurants, bars, or other food establishments.

Under the measure passed earlier this month, first-time offenders will receive a written warning notice. The second offense could be met with a fine of up to $1,000 and a prison term of up to six months. The ordinance is set to go into effect in 2019. End quote.

Have I told you yet that I think the world has gone mad? Quote:

The driving force behind the laws are concerns over the problems that plastics cause for marine life, according to reports.

Council member Kristen Sneddon reportedly? said Santa Barbara has an important responsibility because it is located along the coast, has an affluent population and is a popular tourist spot. End quote.

Bit of a strawman argument, don’t you think? Affluent people tend to take more care over things such as pollution because they are often concerned about conservation and wildlife. There is no need to threaten?to throw them into jail for the heinous crime of using a plastic straw. Quote:

Santa Barbara?s ordinance is unique because it has no exemption for the disabled. That is a potential problem because some disabled people cannot drink without a straw, according to published reports. End quote.

Tough on disabled people, some of whom will be distrawt. This is virtue signalling taken to exstrawdinary lengths. Why no exemption for the disabled? Quote:

Starbucks grabbed headlines earlier this month when it became the largest global food and beverage operation to adopt a straw ban. Within two years, the company plans to eliminate plastic straws from all of its stores. End quote.

Starbucks is desperate to get some decent press because it has been accused of racism. But this is nothing more than clutching at straws.

What Starbucks is effectively saying is – ‘we will continue to pollute the waterways and cause harm to marine life for the next 2 years, but it’s okay, because, after that, we’ll stop’.? But if straws are so heinously bad, why don’t we just ban them outright now? Quote:

According to National Geographic, straws contribute to the plastic trash polluting the world?s oceans. Americans use an estimated 500 million straws every day, the report said. End quote.

Did you see that? That sentence infers that 500 million straws end up in the ocean every day. Of course, that doesn’t happen. The vast majority end up in landfills.Quote:

?San Francisco has been a pioneer of environmental change, and it?s time for us to find alternatives to the plastic that is choking our marine ecosystems and littering our streets,? Supervisor Katy Tang said in a statement. End quote.

We at Whaleoil know, of course, that banning plastic straws will make little or no difference to marine life. The vast majority of pollution in the oceans comes from fishing boats and often comprises fishing nets. Not much of it comes from America either. It comes from China, India and, surprisingly Japan.

It seems that virtue signalling has become the new religion, even if it makes no sense. Instead of doing some research, city councils go off on a tangent, thinking that they can tell residents how to live their lives, and believing that these things make them look good. Inconveniencing people makes no one look good. And all for what? For nothing. That’s what.

People should go to jail for serious offences. Murder. Manslaughter. Rape. Child abuse. Domestic violence. Robbery. Somehow, using a plastic straw does not quite fit in that list. I can’t imagine why anyone would think it should.

If straws are so bad, then let us just ban them. Force everyone to stop using them. Make them unavailable. Do it now if they are so terrible. But fining people or worse, sending them to jail for using a plastic straw?

Honestly, I thought phasing out plastic bags was bad enough. But this is ……

the last straw.