A Shop Tried Shaming People Out Of Using Plastic Bags And It Went So Well They Became A Collectors' Item
So, where can we get these bags now please?
If this was a different sort of a site then this story would have launched a thinkpiece about how we live in a post shame society where people feel no pressure to hide their most venal and disgusting qualities.
But more importantly, I want to know where the hell one might get a bag with “Into The Weird Adult Video Emporium” emblazoned thereon.
East West Market in Vancouver decided that they would be able to shame their customers into not using plastic bags by putting embarrassing slogans on them.
And why wouldn’t they? Sassy fonts, great layout and fake retailers like The Colon Care Co-Op: it’s amazing they don’t already have their own Etsy store.
That said, the market has learned its lesson and is now making reusable tote bags using the designs because what person wouldn’t want to show them off at every possible opportunity?
Hot tip: when you’re trying to make something less appealing to human beings, don’t make it . both brilliant and collectable.
Can You Really Say You're An Environmentalist If You're Not Doing This Easy Thing?
It's a thing we could all be doing. Ideally, a lot.
Trees are great. They’re green and leafy and take our carbon dioxide and break it into its chemical bits, using the carbon to built themselves and exhaling the oxygen that we non-plants use to maintain life, which is very community spirited of them.
“Oh!” you justifiably say, “If carbon dioxide is a big environmental problem at the moment thanks to it being a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming, then maybe we can get trees to do more of that!”
And the answer, refreshingly, is yes! That’s exactly a thing we can do that will help.
In fact, you can go and do it right now. There’s an oft-quoted saying “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best is today,” and it’s not wrong.
And of course there’s a tiny little catch.
Specifically, that The Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich has crunched the numbers and found that a) yes, it’ll work and b) it would involve reforesting an area around the size of the US, and involve planting about a billion trees.
But, again, it could be done!
“Once mature, these new forests could store 205 billion tonnes of carbon: about two thirds of the 300 billion tonnes of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity since the Industrial Revolution.”
Prof. Thomas Crowther
What’s more, Australia is uniquely well suited to contibute to such an effort. In fact, the Crowther Lab reckon that the optimum reforestation strategy would involve just six countries.
It looked at nations with land not tied up by things like cities and agriculture and existing forests and in, order of land commitment, it could be done with cooperation between Russia, the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and China.
So yes: there are, shall we say, some political and diplomatic realities which would need to be finessed. However, we just need to replant 58 million hectares with bushland and boom, Australia’s contribution is sorted.
Yes, it’s ambitious. But it’s also genuinely possible. That’s refreshing, right?
Oh God, The Conspiracy Theorists Were (Sort Of) Right About Aeroplane Contrails After All
At least it's not aliens. As best as we can work out.
One of the most pervasive conspiracy theories is that the guvmint are controlling the population via chemtrails, the white streaming gas-looking things coming from the wings of jets as they go about their gravity defying business.
And it’s bollocks, just to be clear – that’s a super inefficient way to distribute mind-control serum, for one thing, and there’d be noticeable cluster of unusually placid people under flightpaths which doesn’t appear to be the case in Sydney’s inner west.
Also, it’s a really silly theory.
But it turns out that contrails are genuinely worse than we’d realised. Just not for mind control reasons.
Contrails – condensation trails – happen when the moisture from jet exhaust freezes into ice crystals in the cold upper atmosphere. And, counter-intuitively, that actually has an effect on global warming because it forms short-lived cloud layers called contrail cirrus which contributes to the heating of the earth by preventing heat from escaping into space.
And yes, those clouds only exist for hours or days – but given the level of global air traffic, there’s a hell of lot of it. And recent calculations suggest that the effect on climate change is greater than the effect of CO2 from aeroplane fuel emissions.
And that… look, that’s bad.
Not least because all the work on reducing the impact of air travel is based around CO2 reduction, and because more and more planes are flying at higher altitudes where the contrail cirrus effect is made greater.
So yes, the conspiracy theorists were right, a bit – if not about the mechanism, then certainly about it being bad.
Honestly, if it turns out that tinfoil hats really do stop people reading our minds then we might have rethink everything.