WaPo's 'Green Lantern': 'Is Chewing Gum Bad for the Environment?'

Does the hectoring of the leftist green movement know no bounds?

Apparently your stick of Juicy Fruit is a menace to the Earth now.

In his "The Green Lantern" column yesterday, the Washington Post's Brian Palmer took a look at how un-green chewing gum is.

"Unfortunately, there's not a lot of environmental data on the chewing-gum industry. But given how useless gum is, at least for most people, the Lantern isn't prepared to cut Big Chew much slack," Palmer began.

Big Chew? You mean like "Big Tobacco"? What's next, hefty sin taxes on Big Red?

To be fair, Palmer didn't lay out any public policy prescriptions such as a gum tax or cap-and-trade system denominated in Chiclet credits.  And Palmer admitted that "[t]here's probably not enough gum in the world to create a major environmental issue" even as he groused that it would be incredibly difficult to convince "people to jettison their gum into dedicated [recycling] bins."

Yet the columnist did introduce to readers the sort of statistical data that nanny state liberals often use when trying to justify more government intrusion into our private lives, by hyping the calculated "social costs" of politically incorrect behavior, in this case gum-chewing:

Consider London, which has crusaded against street-stuck gum in advance of the 2012 Olympics. The city says that it spent three months steam-cleaning 300,000 pieces of gum off fewer than two miles of street. A piece of gum costs Londoners just a nickel. It cost the city up to a bit more than $3 to remove each wad from the pavement.


Environment Washington Post Brian Palmer

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