The Corner

Recycling

An emailer asks whether it makes sense. I’ve read lots of stuff saying, essentially, no. But the economics and technology may have changed since the last time I went to school on this. So perhaps Iain Murray or Jon Adler would have the most up-to-date 411 on the issue:

Jonah, you are the man who would have this at his fingertips: I once read/ heard/ hoped to believe that recycling is environmentally destructive. To wit: it takes more energy to re-collect, re-organize; re-pulp, melt, whatever, a beer can, newspaper, etc., than it takes to generate it from raw materials. The idea being that it’s way more efficient to gather several tons of aluminum ore at one point and process then distribute versus reversing the distribution. And we aren’t running out of raw materials, nor are we raping the landscape (much) to get them. But recycling requires burning huge additional amounts of fossil fuels (in unregulated dirty old diesels!) and thus is worse for the environment than just throwing crap away.

Thus, recycling is ultimately just a liberal guilt trip, and like all the others, makes the world worse than the alternative. It is on this basis that I do not recycle.

I’d love to know if I’m right the next time I go off on a rant about it to someone. In the end I probably still won’t recycle. But I might rant less if I know I’m wrong!

Thanks,

Joel

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More