Tara Zrinski’s resolution (see Sunday’s post) regarding plastic bags and straws passed the Northampton County Council, but it got hammered in this morning’s issue of “Lehigh Valley Ramblings.”
In this criticism, we probably see a foreboding taste of what a proposal from our Environmental Advisory Council will encounter.
Here are key sections from the “Ramblings.”
Problems with the resolution:
There are several problems with Zrinski’s resolution. First, it was never vetted by a Council Committee, which is the norm. Second, it is essentially identical to one tabled in December. Zrinski dishonestly or mistakenly suggested her previous proposal was an ordinance. Third, it is nonbinding, meaning it means nothing. Fourth, no municipality I know of looks to Northampton County Council for guidance on anything. Fifth, the research cited in the resolution is flawed. Some of it, I kid you not, comes from a 10 year old’s school project.
The alternate solution the Rambler offers:
I agree that plastic pollution is a serious problem, but an unenforceable plastic straw ban is a joke mostly designed to make Zrinski and her followers feel like they’ve accomplished something while the world still goes to hell. They can pat themselves on the back while whales still die. What is a solution, here in the Lehigh Valley, is periodic sweeps along the waterways to pick up plastic. Open space money could be used for this and pay people with limited incomes, but we’d rather spend that money to preserve undevelopable swamps and cliffs.
It might be wise to answer the Rambler. Good practice. His fifth problem, the charge that a ban is unenforceable, and his alternate solution look to Gadfly as the three specific points on which to focus (Gadfly expertly avoids ending the sentence with a preposition.)
Gadfly asks followers to eschew (good SAT word) caustic and ad hominem comments and language. Best, in fact, to avoid the Rambler’s name. In fact, let’s stick to the facts. Let’s assume these objections will come up again and again and need to be reasonably answered.
In fact (so awkward repeating this phrase three times) some sort of look at the objections that were overcome in places that have a ban and the objections that prevailed in places where the ban was defeated might be good strategy in preparation for a Bethlehem proposal. Gadfly can see in mind’s eye a list of objections with a paragraph answer for each that goes along with a proposal.
One thought on “Objections to the Zrinski resolution”
Don’t discount the potential value, even if it’s not ‘enforceable’. This is more about leadership, about encouraging and setting an example.
Personally, I think the straws issue is mostly overdone, a gimmick—but it might be a good ‘hook’ because it’s talked about so much. In reality, banning styrofoam containers would be an important topic for this or a future resolution.
I think looking at how other municipalities overcame or dealt with objections & barriers could be very valuable.