One City

One City


NY Times Causes IDP Blogger’s Eyes to Explode

posted by Emily Herzlin

Sorry to post out of turn, but this was in today’s New York Times: 10 Things to Scratch from your Worry List.

“For most of the year, it is the duty of the press to scour the known universe looking for ways to ruin your day. The more fear, guilt or angst a news story induces, the better. But with August upon us, perhaps you’re in the mood for a break, so I’ve rounded up a list of 10 things not to worry about on your vacation.”

According to John Tierney, among other things we can now breathe a sigh of relief and file under “not worth worrying about,” are our good old friends. Number five on the list:

Evil plastic bags.

“5) Take it from the Environmental Protection Agency: paper bags are not better for the environment than plastic bags. If anything, the evidence from life-cycle analyses favors plastic bags. They require much less energy — and greenhouse emissions — to manufacture, ship and recycle. They generate less air and water pollution. And they take up much less space in landfills.”

NY Times…I thought you were a progressive newspaper…and then you publish this….My eyes…I can’t see anymore. I think all the blood vessels in my eyeballs popped open. I think I’ve gone blind. John Tierney has made me go BLIND!!!

Regardless of whether paper isn’t better than plastic, the message of this article: Keep on using those plastic bags – no worries! You deserve a break from all that environmental hoo-hah!

Tierney posted this on his blog, I suppose he’s expecting an attack. I don’t get why everyone is saying replace plastic bags with paper bags…don’t they know there are other options?

Let’s play a game: how many destructive statements/implications can you find in the Ten Things… article?

I am writing a letter to the editor of the New York Times on this one. Seriously. Anyone ever done that before and know of any good ways to get it actually published?



Advertisement
Comments read comments(12)
post a comment
Greg Zwahlen

posted July 30, 2008 at 8:18 am


Tierney is a moron and has been writing asinine things for years.



report abuse
 

becky

posted July 30, 2008 at 10:40 am


my favorite is #3 – savor your fruits sent from across the world instead of looking for local… because “ONE study showed that apples shipped from New Zealand to Britain had a smaller carbon footprint than apples grown and sold in Britain”… while who knows how many studies show the opposite.



report abuse
 

Nicole

posted July 30, 2008 at 12:26 pm


Here are some ltr-to-ed tips:
1) do it right now.
2) keep it under 150 words.
3) refer to the offending article in your first sentence (e.g. "Regarding John Tierney’s recent article, "10 Things to Scratch…," I vote to scratch #5 from the list…")
4) highlight a couple hard hitting facts that the article left out/obscured
5)
don’t forget to be engaging to potential readers…a little punchy is ok.
6) if you are an authority or part of an org that could be considered an authority, note this in closing (e.g. Name, Founder, Plastic Bags Suck, Inc.)
7) here’s an article that might help: http://www.angelfire.com/wi/PaperVsPlastic/ (although you may know exactly what you want to say already…)
8) send it here: letters@nytimes.com (put the letter in the body of the email and address it
9) VERY IMPORTANT: include your address, phone and return email (they will contact you to verify if they intend to publish)
Hope this helps!



report abuse
 

Emily Herzlin

posted July 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm


thanks nicole! i sent in the letter this morning and i’m pretty sure i hit most of the points you mentioned.
we’ll see what happens!



report abuse
 

Nicole

posted July 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm


ew. smileys. let’s try that again. sorry for the repost.
Here are some ltr-to-ed tips:
1) do it right now.
2) keep it under 150 words.
3) refer to the offending article in your first sentence (e.g. “Regarding John Tierney’s recent article, ’10 Things to Scratch…,’ I vote to scratch #5 from the list…”
4) highlight a couple hard hitting facts that the article left out/obscured
5) don’t forget to be engaging to potential readers…a little punchy is ok.
6) if you are an authority or part of an org that could be considered an authority, note this in closing (e.g. Name, Founder, Plastic Bags Suck, Inc.)
7) here’s an article that might help: http://www.angelfire.com/wi/PaperVsPlastic/ (although you may know exactly what you want to say already… )
8 ) send it here: letters@nytimes.com (put the letter in the body of the email and address it
9) VERY IMPORTANT: include your address, phone and return email (they will contact you to verify if they intend to publish)
Hope this helps!



report abuse
 

Nicole

posted July 30, 2008 at 12:31 pm


Oh cool. GOOD LUCK!! Hopefully they will at least post someone’s pissed response!



report abuse
 

Stillman Brown

posted July 30, 2008 at 4:24 pm


Gaa! (EYES EXPLODING SO HARD)



report abuse
 

erg

posted August 4, 2008 at 3:09 pm


I gotta say I sympathize with the times. Thanks to this site I stopped using plastic bags, but If everyone stops using them and our carbon output in total doesn’t change we face environmental catastrophy, and if we DO stop using plastic bags but we fix our carbon output levels then we could triple our plastic bag use without serious effect. Maybe the capital being used on this plastic bag campaign is being misplaced.



report abuse
 

Greg P

posted August 5, 2008 at 10:28 pm


<>
The NY Times has every right to challenge the conventional wisdom that paper is better than plastic. Let’s not assume any of us has an exclusive claim to the term “progressive” because we have take one position on the issue we consider “green.”
The true progressive standpoint challenges established beliefs in the name of “progress.” This article gives several reasons why paper is better than plastic. If we aren’t going to provide evidence that contradicts these points, we’re just standing on a pedestal of self-righteousness declaring our superiority.
Tierney’s points, which he backs up with an EPA study:
1. They require much less energy — and greenhouse emissions — to manufacture, ship and recycle.
2. They generate less air and water pollution.
3. And they take up much less space in landfills.
Anyone care to disagree?
Tierney isn’t saying “Keep on using those plastic bags – no worries!” – he’s trying to speak to those who associate paper bags with “environmentally friendly” even though the evidence points to the contrary.



report abuse
 

Greg Zwahlen

posted August 6, 2008 at 9:26 am


Greg P, he is explicitly and literally saying “Keep on using those plastic bags – no worries!”
The title of the article is “10 Things to Scratch from your Worry List” and number five is “Evil plastic bags.”
But then the only evidence he offers is that plastic is better than paper, which is an irrelevant and false dichotomy that does not at all establish plastic bags as a “thing to scratch from your worry list.”



report abuse
 

Ethan Nichtern

posted August 6, 2008 at 9:38 am


This is the way the issue is being framed:
Paper or Plastic.
We need to step out of the frame and say,
Neither! Reusable nylon baby!
On another note, our worm composting system is a ton of fun. It’s like having pets who eat your waste, rather than making more that you have to pick up after.
I love worms.



report abuse
 

Greg P

posted August 7, 2008 at 2:04 am


@Greg Zwahlen
Point taken w.r.t. when the title is taken into consideration.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting One City. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Most Recent Buddhist Story By Beliefnet Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!

posted 2:29:05pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mixing technology and practice
There were many more good sessions at the Wisdom 2.0 conference this weekend. The intention of the organizers is to post videos. I'll let you know when. Here are some of my notes from a second panel. How do we use modern, social media technologies — such as this blog — to both further o

posted 3:54:40pm May. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Wisdom 2.0
If a zen master were sitting next to the chief technical officer of Twitter, what would they talk about? That sounds like a hypothetical overheared at a bar in San Francisco. But this weekend I saw the very thing at Soren Gordhamer's Wisdom 2.0 conference — named after his book of the same nam

posted 1:43:19pm May. 01, 2010 | read full post »

The Buddha at Work - "All we are is dust in the wind, dude."
"The only true wisdom consists of knowing that you know nothing." - Alex Winter, as Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"That's us, dude!" - Keanu Reeves, as Ted "Theodore" LoganWhoa! Excellent! I've had impermanence on my mind recently. I've talked about it her

posted 2:20:00pm Jan. 28, 2010 | read full post »

Sometimes You Find Enlightenment by Punching People in the Face
This week I'm curating a guest post from Jonathan Mead, a friend who inspires by living life on his own terms and sharing what he can with others.  To quote from Jonathan's own site, Illuminated Mind: "The reason for everything: To create a revolution based on authentic action. A social movemen

posted 12:32:23pm Jan. 27, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.