One word: “plastics”

One word: “plastics”. (May 5, 2011) Another half-the-story from Anthony Watts, linking to a Guardian article about the European Union paying fishers to “catch” plastic.

What does this have to do with climate change, or even just science? Nuthin’. It’s just reflexive regulation bashing and tax whining. Funny how there’s nary a peep on Anthony’s blog about the billions in tax cuts that oil companies receive…

So what’s really going on? Reading the Guardian article might help.

The move is intended as a sweetener to fishermen who have bitterly opposed the European commission’s plans to ban the wasteful practice of discarding edible fish at sea. Fleets fear they will lose money by not being able to throw away lower-value catch.

“Ending this practice of throwing away edible fish is in the interest of fishermen, and consumers,” Damanaki told the Guardian in an interview. “It has to happen – we cannot have consumers afraid to eat fish because they hate this problem of discards.”

Fishermen who clear plastic will be subsidised initially by EU member states, but in future the scheme could turn into a self-sustaining profitable enterprise, as fleets cash in on the increasing value of recycled plastics. Cleaning up the rubbish will also improve the prospects for fish, seabirds and other marine species, which frequently choke or suffer internal damage from ingesting small pieces of non-biodegradable packaging.


2 thoughts on “One word: “plastics”

  1. I’m not too sure what your gripe is here? Having had a look at the article at ‘Watts up with that’ it is clear that the article was never intended to deal with as you put it “…Climate Change, or even just science…” Rather it is a piece for general interest that simply asks the pertinent question – how long will it be before this new subsidy scheme (for landing plastics) is abused. As far as “reflexive regulation bashing and tax whining” the only mention of that is in your item.

    [Anthony’s post is merely another reformulation of “everything the government does is stupid and expensive”. – Ben]

  2. Though you’ve got to admit Ben, paying out subsidies for ‘recovering plastics’ is ripe for abuse. How about just paying fishermen for catching fish?

    The EU is historically well-known for hare-brained schemes, prolific waste and profligate spending – Anthony and WUWT are just pointing out yet another badly designed scheme that has the potential to be very easily abused for profit under the guise of ‘environmentalism’ . Wott’s wrong with pointing that out?

    [In effect the EU is compensating fishers for environmental restrictions. Aren’t denialists always howling about how environmental action will kill jobs? Suddenly the howl is about abuse of jobs compensation. This is called hypocrisy. – Ben]

    Just for the record, here are some additional examples of the ridiculous cost and spending of the EU:
    – The European Parliament spent €830,000 replacing filing cabinets to transport documents during the seven hour trek from Brussels to Strasbourg, because the old ones tended to fall over and injure the removal men.
    – Shared out evenly between absolutely every EU national, the CAP costs everyone £210 each in payments alone. This, of course, ignores the higher food bills that follow. And yet the food mountains still exist. The UK still has 13,500 tonnes of cereal, rice, sugar and milk sitting in silos and warehouses, plus 3,500 hectolitres of alcohol including wine.
    – €411,000 was paid last year to a Hungarian IT firm to “improve the lifestyle and living standard of dogs”, including a hydrotherapy system to “improve dogs’ wellbeing”
    – In Austria, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development contributed €16,000 to increasing Tyrolean farmers’ “emotional connection with landscapes”.

    I’ll sum up by leaving the best comment from someone who saw the waste and corruption up-close:

    “Opportunities for fraud are open and they are taken advantage of. The most elementary precautions are neither taken nor even contemplated. The reverse is the case. People such as myself, who attempt to bring openness and accountability to the system, are pursued, suspended and dismissed.”

    Marta Andreasen. Ex Chief Accountant to the European Commission

    [So governments should never act unless they can guarantee perfect execution. Now that’s a familiar denialist tune. – Ben]

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