The at 2016 is coming to an end tonight. By the way, if you plan to stay up for the switch from 2016 to 2017 remember this is also a leap second year. Meaning that the new year will begin one second later than usual. So, your ten second count down will actually be eleven seconds beginning with ten. It has to do with the earth rotation slowing down and needing to keep the clocks synced.
Speaking of the earth. The other day, the Rochester Institute of Technology reported that 21.8 million pounds of plastic flow into the Great Lakes annually. The amount entering Lake Michigan each year is equivalent to 100 Olympic-size pools full of plastic bottles, according to the study.
If things continue down their current path, the world’s oceans will be home to more plastic than fish by 2050, according to a January report from the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
We know that plastic pollution is a huge problem. Plastic does not disintegrate in land-fills like other materials. Even if they do break down a little, plastic still pollutes the ground and water.
Trying do something about this pollution and preserving the environment a little at a time, Washtenaw County decided to take a stand. The county is located in southeastern Michigan and is on Lake Michigan. They passed a law that imposed a 10-cent tax on both plastic and paper grocery bags beginning in April 2017.
So, we have a local government deciding what its population wants and trying to do something to stop or at least reduce plastic pollution. As you might expect, the small government Republicans in the State Legislature said “oh hell no!”
They decided they would pass a law about this themselves. Only, they decided to pass a law that prohibited local governments from banning plastic bags and other food containers. In other words, they passed a law banning bans.
The water poisoning Governor Rick Snyder is out-of-town this week, so Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed the bill into law. Now we have a state that poisoned the population of Flint with lead in their drinking water, banning laws that would help reduce the plastic pollution affecting the Great Lakes the state’s main source of drinking water.
The bill introduced by state Sen. Jim Stamas, a Republican, preempts local ordinances from “regulating the use, disposition, or sale of, prohibiting or restricting, or imposing any fee, charge, or tax on certain containers,” including those made of plastics.
Michigan is not alone in this banning bans on plastic either. Idaho, Arizona and Missouri all have similar laws. They are also all Republican controlled states.
However, you would think that after poisoning the population of Flint with their own drinking water, Michigan would have learned something. But, no. They are still far more interested in passing business-friendly laws than they are about the health of their own citizens.
Besides that, Republicans are always screaming about the need for small government. Yet, every time their world view is challenged by a local community, they sweep in and pass restrictions on those governments from passing their own laws. How very Big Government of them. Or should I say how Putin of them.
As I have said before, if you really want to see where the Republican Party wants to take our country, watch what states controlled by Republicans are doing.
These states have passed a myriad of anti-civil rights laws, anti-LGBT laws, anti-abortion laws, and voter restriction laws. That is what the country will look like if we fall asleep and allow Trump and his idiots to get away with it.
2016 will end tonight. 2017 will begin tonight. What happens to our nation by the end of 2017 will depend on us being vigilant and telling our Senators and Congressmen we won’t tolerate any steps backwards.
When it comes to our environment, if the policies espoused by Trump and his cronies are allowed to take place, Climate Change will speed up and in your lifetime places along the coasts like Miami and New Orleans will be under water. Think about that.
Anyway, I hope you all have a very happy and safe New Years Eve tonight. I hope you all find happiness in everything you do. But, please do not drink and drive tonight.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!