Scott Hardie | July 22, 2018
What do you think of the movement to ban drinking straws?

Samir Mehta | July 22, 2018
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Scott Hardie | July 23, 2018
When I first heard about the movement, it was in California, where the state had banned restaurants from giving away straws unless customers asked for them. And I thought that was a sensible moderate approach that would eliminate a lot of needless waste -- I rarely use the straws given to me, for instance -- while still letting the people who want or need straws get them.

Then it became about banning restaurants from even stocking straws at all, which seems excessive, but I suppose people who need them could bring in their own.

But somehow the movement has morphed into banning all straws everywhere, which is dangerous and rightly sparking a backlash.

I do not understand liberal activism's impulse to overreach. Why is incremental change insufficient? The first iteration of this in California would have made a significant environmental improvement without negatively impacting anyone. That should have been enough. We could have lived with it for a while and thought it through before proceeding with more change. Ugh.

Similarly, the left's scientific ignorance is shameful too. The science is fake in the case of the drinking straw ban. People rush into planet-saving and society-improving causes without realizing that they're counter-productive or just plain flawed. I will always favor well-funded research and trials before any significant change in the law.

Samir, I hear you about the viral ideas being the only "good" ones. That sort of thing has long been a problem in animal welfare causes. Everybody wants to help cute animals like puppies and baby seals, but when it's gross animals like insects or slugs or deep-sea creatures, people stop caring.

Samir Mehta | July 24, 2018
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