Toronto Sun columnist argues plastics are good for the environment because they pick up dog poop
The Toronto Sun is known for encouraging nonsensical arguments, but this may be one of the weirdest opinion columns yet.
Guest columnist Matthew Lau from the Canadians for Affordable Energy argues that fossil fuels are actually good for the environment. How does he do this? By pointing out plastic bags made from fossil fuels are used to pick up dog poop.
Another example of fossil fuels allegedly dirtying the environment: plastic products such as plastic bags, plastic straws, and plastic packaging. But consider the plastic grocery bag. People use these bags to pick up after their dogs and to line their garbage bins, which makes the environment cleaner. Plus, they are a helpful way to carry groceries, which itself is a good thing.
Lau also argues that “disposable plastic bags also protect people from hazardous bacteria in the environment.” Is that really worth poisoning marine life, ruining habitats and ingesting poisonous plastics?
But that’s not all. Lau says that automobiles actually improve air quality:
Importantly, thanks to technological improvements, the air in major Canadian cities has actually become cleaner over the past four decades even as the number of cars on the road went way up. To be sure, there could be some environmental benefits from people switching to electric vehicles. However, history shows that the rise of gas-powered automobiles cleaned cities while improving the quality of life for ordinary people.
Lau clearly hasn’t read any actual research. Vehicles emit one-fifth of total pollutants from the United States that cause global warming. In fact, air quality only improved because of government regulations to limit the amount of vehicle pollution. In China, it is estimated that vehicles emit between 13.5% and 52.1% all of major pollutants in 15 contaminated Chinese cities, contributing to dust haze, acid rain and photochemical smog.
Lau and the Toronto Sun would have you believe fossil fuels are good for the environment. The facts say otherwise.