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  • Writer's picturePGCC

RECYCLING MYTHS DOESN'T MAKE THEM TRUE (Part 1)

The “Green” Agenda is repeated so often that some people take the green claims as given: recycle plastic to save the planet; buy electric vehicles to reduce emissions; climate change will kill us all in a few years.

 

Let’s unpack some of the recycled myths…starting with recycling.  Do you spend energy separating your plastics?  Does a truck consume energy coming to your house to pick up your plastics separately from other garbage?  Is that energy well spent?

 

Even liberal outlets like NPR (Recycling Plastic is Practically Impossible) and the Atlantic Monthly (Plastic Recycling Will Never Work) confess that plastic recycling is a massive waste of energy.  Both report that the amount of plastic recycled into new products is 5% and falling.  Because of the recycling myth, we continue to waste massive amounts of energy separating plastic…so it can go to a landfill.  No one talks about the wasted energy.  Instead, the greens blame the oil and gas industry for making more plastic.  Nevermind that the plastic keeps our food fresh, our hospitals in business, and Coke drinkers happy.  Somehow the oil and gas industry is to blame.

 

Where is the common sense?

 

Let’s apply some common sense to electric-car-charging. Even for an hour-long hook-up, most public electric-car-charging stations can only provide between 5 and 60 miles of range.  Yet the average gas-powered car spends about 5 minutes at a gas pump and gets several hundred miles of range.  Can you do the math?  In California they are estimating they will need about 20 electric chargers to do the equivalent job of a gasoline pump.  Where are all the new charging spots going to be located?  Where will all the new electric transmission lines be placed??  And, given that the majority of our electricity comes from fossil fuels…what is being gained by the forced conversion to EV’s???

 

Lower emissions?  For those interested in facts, not myths, the emissions reality is that pollutants associated with gasoline-powered cars and light trucks have declined significantly.  According to the EPA, all particulate matter classes have decreased more than 40% in the last twenty years. 

 


In a recent interview, Michael Buschbacher, an environmental law attorney with the Justice Department’s Environmental division in 2020-2021, noted that technology has driven the decrease as tailpipe emissions have dropped to almost nothing.  He notes that most particulate matter pollution now comes from…tire wear.

 

Tire wear?  Electric vehicles weigh 15-30% more than comparable gasoline vehicles due to battery weight.  Yes, you guessed it—one of the unspoken problems with electric vehicles is massive tire wear. 

 

We can keep recycling myths.  Or we can start telling the truth.

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