, Salem, MA


May 12, 2014

Letter: Climate change can't be breezily dismissed

To the editor:

Barbara Anderson never misses an opportunity to throw a sneer at liberals whatever the issue may be. In her column of May 8 (“On Global warming, natural disasters and plastic bags”), she manages to turn the issues of climate change and the proliferation of plastic bags into lighthearted topics that scatterbrained leftists are using in some conspiratorial way to control the lives of everybody else.

After sitting through a Town Meeting on Monday evening at which “the global warming/climate change types” passed a ban on plastic bags, Anderson became “so fed up with liberals telling me how to live that I’m starting to resist anything they want even when it’s reasonable.” That’s quite a leap. Anderson says that she drove around Marblehead some time after that meeting and didn’t see a single stray plastic bag and wonders “in which alternate-universe Marblehead” are plastic bags getting wrapped around trees and choking marine animals? I think Anderson lives in an alternate-universe planet or wears blinders if she fails to see the assortment of plastic trash that is virtually everywhere. The problem goes beyond its unsightliness. Since the cavemen, human beings have littered, but what they left behind was biodegradable. Much of today’s plastic trash is washed into sewers and waterways and eventually finds its way into the ocean. If Anderson would like to see plastic litter, maybe she should leave pristine Marblehead and, for example, drive alongside the North River on Walnut Street in Peabody. Many of us have been made aware by Charles Moore’s book “The Plastic Ocean” of how vast tracts of the Pacific Ocean have been transformed into a plastic dump. The technology exists to make plastic biodegradable, and that may well be the answer to the problem, but any legislation to bring that about would most likely be resisted.

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