"There is no reasonable room I have seen for the right to take the lead. You would have to be very, very quick to beat the left to the punch."
I disagree. First you have to be emotionally available. For example, I see no reason that a Rep could not seize upon the plastic bag issue, using the ED analytical framework I describe. Yes the left has yapped about PBs first, but with no discernable limiting principle. Lots of people intuitively understand the lack of cost-benefit in watermelon thinking and the lack of limiting principle and here we have a great chance to establish the principle while simultaneously allaying concerns that Reps are always going to find the analog the of the definition of gyres to quibble about.
The Rep who gets on our front with this, and similar problems will be seen as a uniter, the kind of leader that we need, blah blah.
[Add GM's link to the points made below. "Without presenting any quantitative evidence, the editors wrote that plastic bags pose a huge cost to the environment..." In 2011, the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency released a study that evaluated nine categories of environmental impacts caused by different types of supermarket bags. The study found that paper bags have a worse effect on the environment than plastic bags in all nine impact categories, which include global warming potential, abiotic depletion, acidification, eutrophication, human toxicity, fresh water aquatic ecotoxicity, marine aquatic ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity, and photochemical oxidation.]
Since yesterday's posts: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/08/28/4092575_on-second-try-california-plastic.html?&rh=1
On second try, California plastic bag ban passes Assembly
Crafty, Respectfully, may I assume this 'solution' (above) is not the approach you are describing? But do you support this ban?
Giving credit where due, Crafty's gave support to this quite a ways back:http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=976.msg78134#msg78134
"plastic bags at the grocery store foul our planet, both land and sea, at great cost to marine life in particular."
I trust our host but still would like to see the math and science on this problem and this policy. What about stores other than grocery, dollar store, home depot, mall stores, etc. Why is it okay to target one industry and not all? What about the other plastic wrapping in a grocery store? I have made a conscience effort to take and use fewer plastic bags in all stores since that post of yours, while awaiting convincing evidence.
We could asses everything a packaging tax. But I am already paying a waste disposal charge - to my local government who chooses and pays the hauler and landfill. Why am I paying a flat rate - for water, sewer, garbage - when my usage is a tiny fraction of my neighbors? And I pay nothing in marginal cost for adding more bags to whatever garbage is there now. It is actually against the law to NOT bag my garbage. Reforming that is a better approach.
Common sense conservatism says that excessive waste is stupid, and wrong. Libertarian principles say that people should retain choices - until they are hurting someone else. Business economics tells businesses that packaging serves a valuable purpose, increasing quality and satisfaction while decreasing (direct) costs. "External Dis-economies" tell us that the business and consumer can't feel the entire cost, therefore the government should intervene by levying that cost onto that transaction. But that is not at all what is happening here!
I thought carbon was the largest problem on earth. Toward that end, nuclear power is the only major source that is carbon-free. (We didn't come to agreement on that either.) Paper bags in place of from grocery stores triple the greenhouse gas emissions of plastic, require 4 times the water consumption to produce, and emit harmful methane in the landfiull.
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=976.msg78144#msg78144 How does that math compare with the math on this ban? [See GM's post.] Re-use bags carry harmful bacteria, also viruses. Even more so after we ban dangerous chemicals. We could wash more, but these are current facts, repeatably measurable. Public health and public healthcare costs are affected. Where is that externality measured? Government mandates have consequences, and usually not the intended ones. My proposal is that new taxes and new regulations should require the passage of an accompanying, unintended consequence statement, not just an environmental impact statement.
How mush clearer will the ocean be after this ban goes into effect? They will tell us none until everyone, everywhere does it. How much clearer will the ocean be and how much healthier will marine life be after the inland states follow? None, so we switch over to the landfill argument. What proportion of landfills are excessive grocery bags? More importantly, we will feel better about ourselves if we pass more laws, and more laws are certain to follow this one.
The lesson learned in California is that government makes better choices than people. Good luck translating that into conservative, free market enthusiasm.
The Republican who gets out in front of plastic bag bans (and soda bans, gun bans, SUV bans, campfire bans) across the country won't be the nominee. Speaking for the 10% who need facts, evidence and reason (I don't buy that either), I will be emotionally available to these kinds of policies after I see the math and the science that supports it.
The issue regarding ocean crap IMHO is proper disposal. The fact that we generate too much waste is way more complicated than a grocery store plastic bag ban. For one thing, why do I have to buy two or three of something when I need only one? Maybe government could pass a law...