Green Tyranny

Posted on November 10th, 2010

Here’s a story that offends on so many levels. On Tuesday, students and teachers from All Saints Episcopal Day School visited City Hall. The students (or “environmental warriors,” as their school’s director calls them) made a stirring presentation to city officials, in which they decried the evils of—wait for it—flimsy shopping bags (of the kind you’d receive from Shop-Rite or CVS).

According to the “warriors,” flimsy bags threaten our planet’s very survival. As one student put it, the bags are “eating up our earth.” The student went on to claim that many animals have already faced extinction, as a result of the bags.

As it turns out, plastic retail bags have been defamed. And we are here to defend them. In all, they take up a mere 0.04% of landfill space. Furthermore, no animals have been killed off—or face any risk of extinction—as a result of the bags. (To learn more, visit our new friends at

None of this, of course, is the fault of the students. One must question, however, what kind of “education” takes place at All Saints Episcopal Day School. That said, All Saints is a private school, and thus entitled to more leeway than a taxpayer-funded institution.

What’s more worrisome is the reaction of our city’s mayor. She was quick to endorse the students’ call for draconian measures. In the mayor’s own words: “we need to ban the bags.” The mayor explained that she favors a “phased in” response, in which bags would be taxed for a while, and then banned outright.

Even if the bags were a form of eco-vice (and on that point, we’re not convinced), it’s sadly typical of today’s environmentalists to employ coercion, rather than moral suasion, to promote eco-virtue.

Oh, and would it shock you to learn that a driving force behind All Saints' crusade is MY ECO, a "sustainable" bag manufacturer?

Update: The Hudson Reporter is running with the story as well. In addition, they have a poll asking readers if they favor a ban. To vote, click here.

Posted in Commentary    Tagged with Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer, All Saints Episcopal Day School, Taxes, Plastic Bags


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