[Contentless] ITT you post right now [ASAP] your current thought [Brains][Thinking][Personal][#28] (999)

563 Name: (*゚ー゚) : 1993-09-9067 00:31

"Whether recycling should be government funded is a political question you can answer for yourself (it probably should though), but like a number of other episodes relating to libertarianism Penn & Teller's desperate search for evidence to support their pre-conceived notions leads to misrepresentation, cherry picking, and general terrible research.
For example, Daniel K. Benjamin's "Eight Great Myths"[38] is described as a "landmark paper" by Penn, and describes how recycling paper pollutes more than creating new paper. Problem is that much of it is based on a 1989 study and ignores a 1995 and 2002 update which show that recycling is less polluting.[39][40] The statement that "Recycling does not save trees" is also not exactly true.[41]

They comment that it costs more energy to recycle than it does to make a new plastic bottle, and include in the list of reasons for this the cost of transportation. But there's also a transportation cost associated with moving trash to a landfill, and the fact that the landfill is not the final destination of recycled materials would seem to bear this out. They also comment that cities often make a net loss on recycling, while failing to mention that this is also true of landfills, and that the recycled material is often then given or sold to manufacturers, so while the city takes a loss, you end up paying less for recycled goods.

They claim that aluminum is the only substance that is economical to recycle, and showed as evidence scenes of homeless people rooting around in dumpsters for empty soda cans. They neglected to mention that most U.S. states have enacted "redemption" legislation, which collects a 2-5 cent deposit on each can when purchased and pays 2-5 cents for each can turned in to a redemption station—in other words, the empty can collectors aren't being paid based on the scrap value of the aluminum: they're being paid based on what essentially amounts to a government subsidy. (This doesn't mean it isn't economical to recycle aluminum, just that their example was a bad one).

The only thing the episode really got right is that landfill space isn't running out, although there were genuine concerns in the 1980s as many smaller landfills closed due to new safety and environmental regulations, and it took some time for the larger (and conforming) landfills to be built and take up the slack. The trend since the 1980s has been toward fewer but much larger landfills. This was somewhat misjudged and hugely overblown by various media and politicians, but the problem wasn't non-existent or "made up" as was claimed.

It should be noted that in a Reddit interview Penn expressed a shift in personal belief while researching the recycling episode, saying "it's not that we're not open minded, it's just that we're working on it. So our opinions don't change when we do the show, they change when we're working on the show."[42] Yeah."

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