We are in a climate emergency, but Californians can wait 3-4 years

Nobody can accuse Californians of being slackers when it comes to tackling the climate change emergency: “California bans hotels from using tiny plastic bottles” (USA Today).

When does the planet-saving ban take effect?

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday he had signed a law banning hotels from giving guests plastic bottles filled with shampoo, conditioner or soap. It takes effect in 2023 for hotels with more than 50 rooms and 2024 for hotels with less than 50 rooms.

Violators could be fined $500 for a first offense and $2,000 for subsequent violations.

So it will be 3-4 years before (a) hotels have to go to CVS and buy some Softsoap and shampoo with a pump, and (b) people can apply for government jobs (with health care and pension!) inspecting and fining hotels that are filled with hate for Planet Earth.

If we’re in an emergency situation and hotels don’t typically stock more than a few months of supplies, why wouldn’t the ban take effect sooner than 2023-2024?


19 thoughts on “We are in a climate emergency, but Californians can wait 3-4 years

  1. “…reservoirs, designed to store water during exceptionally wet years, were considered all but useless… never built… 2016 & 2017 California received record snow & rainfall… windfall of millions of acre-ft of runoff was mostly let out to sea.” http://bit.ly/2HnjQTR

  2. What if the bottle is made of plastic but identifies as glass? They should really ban all internet comments that call plastic bottles another material.

  3. Just imagine all the people who, in the 60’s, said vehicle emissions standards were ridiculous. Because, the air is fine where I am. California led the world with vehicle emissions standards and as a result, there are no more smog alerts in LA and cleaner air everywhere in the US. You’re welcome. We’ve come for your plastic bags and straws are next.

    • California’s lack of effort in cleaning up its filthy air is another great example of “urgent, but let’s wait.”

      They could have taxed automobiles based on pollution output, thus giving drivers of older cars an incentive to sell them and giving automakers an incentive to make cars as clean as possible. Instead, they established standards for the newest cars, thus inviting people to keep driving filthy old cars and inviting automakers to reduce emissions only as necessary to meet the standard (there was no reward for doing better than the standard).

      Go out on the 405 tomorrow. You can sit there stuck in traffic for hours in a filthy 20-year-old car, paying nothing for either the emissions or the congestion that you’re helping to worsen (which in turn increases the emissions).

    • California could cut pollution in half with a tax that would be high enough to get the 15 percent filthiest/oldest cars off the road: https://www.mercurynews.com/2014/02/28/report-15-percent-of-californias-vehicles-produce-half-the-states-air-pollution/

      Pollution in California cities could be cut essentially to zero with a tax that would encourage people to use electric cars and trucks (thereby shifting all of the pollution to the powerplants in rural areas that urban hipsters disdain!).

    • Your tax plan is penny wise, pound foolish. Raising the taxes on the vehicles won’t get rid of them, it will just artificially lower their value. It also stands to increase wealth inequality. Not to mention the wasted energy and resources resulting in pollution, required to build replacement cars. And who is going to build these non-poluting vehicles, absent government mandates? The automakers, who fought tooth and nail for decades to resist banning leaded gasoline? Good luck with that.

      I notice that you’ve historically been fond of tax plans in that vein, so called congestion taxes. Burden the working class so that the wealthy can live their true, more convenient lives free of the common mans burdens, all at a fixed, regressive tax rate. Anything we can do to ease the onerous lives of our supremely productive job creating overlords!

      You may want to calibrate your timeline. 20 year old cars were built in 1999. Probably orders of magnitude cleaner than the cars of the 70’s when LA smog was at it’s peak, despite far lower population than today.

      California also led the way with public smoking bans, though Arizona of all places seems to have taken the first brave step. Taxing cigarettes didn’t work to prevent people smoking, just as your plan won’t curb pollution.

    • Senorpablo: Why would a Los Angeles local or California state tax on older vehicles lower their value dramatically? There is a national market for used cars here in the U.S. The high-pollution 1999 car that an emissions tax made impractical to operate in the LA basin would still be about the same value to sell in a state without smog problems, no?

      Consider a thought experiment in which California imposes a $600/month tax on gasoline-powered cars. At that point, the only cars that would make economic sense to drive would be electric (since a Tesla 3 can be leased for $600/month; see https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2019/04/25/true-cost-of-tesla-ownership-can-now-be-calculated/ ). Would gasoline-powered cars become worthless in the rest of the U.S.?

      To your point about 1999 cars being clean, it is remarkably tough to find the emissions limits as a function of year. However, https://www.delphi.com/sites/default/files/inline-files/delphi-worldwide-emissions-standards-passenger-cars-light-duty-2016-7.pdf is a starting point. It shows that there is an 8:1 ratio right now in cars that are, apparently, legal to sell (SULEV20 to LEV160). Everything seems to have been phased in gradually, with a lot of lower limits introduced since 1999.

      Who would build SULEV20 vehicles or “zero emission” (except for all of the emissions used to build them and to run powerplants!) electric cars? It looks as though Hyundai has already figured out how to engineer a SULEV SUV for $26,000. https://www.cars.com/research/hyundai-santa_fe-2020/trims/ And if we want to push all of the pollution into rural areas and wherever the factories are, there are plenty of electric cars. I think that Honda has been making cleaner-than-average cars for years, but I don’t think California provides no tax incentive for buying a Honda Accord compared to a GM sedan that might emit quite a bit more.

      [Not all of the automakers fought regulations, incidentally. Honda and Mazda were happy with regulations that engineers at U.S. automakers couldn’t meet. See https://global.honda/heritage/episodes/1972introducingthecvcc.html ]

    • How many people consider purchasing a typical car outside 60-120 miles from where they live? Let alone a used car, which you would want to specifically evaluate the condition of? There would be a tremendous cost associated with inter state used vehicle shopping, including travel and lodging, time off from work, perhaps increased out of state registration fees.

      Increased taxes on a used car, would lower the value in the same way that higher mortgage interest rates depress home values. Most people have finite resources to allocate to vehicles or housing. If your budget for a car is $150 a month, and the taxes are going to be $50, a car that was worth $150 before your pollution tax just became worth $100.

      Also, the Tesla plane is extremely regressive. It’s fine if you own a single family house and can afford to have a charger installed. If you live in an apartment or condo, you’ll end up wasting a hour a day trying to find a retail charger and paying the associated fees.

      In the LA area, I think the low hanging fruit in terms of pollution is no longer passenger vehicles, but commercial and industrial sources. I’ve heard it suggested that the semi trucks that transport shipping containers from the port of LA and Long Beach, for example, are responsible for a tremendous amount of current pollution. There’s been an ongoing battle with the truckers, the port and unions to get the old trucks off the road.

    • “There’s been an ongoing battle with the truckers, the port and unions to get the old trucks off the road.”

      Why would there be a “battle”? As Yoda said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

      A tax on old trucks would get rid of the trucks in however long it takes to order a new truck that isn’t subject to the tax. If Californians don’t impose this kind of tax, we can infer that they are not serious about reducing pollution.

  4. The air quality comments are a bit off topic, but stir memories of ’60’s – ’70’s airliners and military jets that spewed a black trail of carbon particulates. Arriving and departing the Los Angeles basin was like diving into a carbon lake. These smoke trails can be seen in some old movies still streaming today.

    On the ground, going up the slope to Palos Verdes Estates, one would drive out of the smog into clear air.

  5. “but Californians can wait 3-4 years”

    Because this is the one and only initiative regarding the environment. Also Californians are exclusively Hollywood elite and Silicon Valley nerds, There is little to no agriculture or other industries in California, so its very easy to unilaterally make any changes the social justice warriors desire.

    Right-wing virtue signalling at its finest.

    • 10-15: I love the elitism on display in your comment. I think you’re saying that Californians who don’t live in Hollywood or Silicon Valley are not competent to arrange Softsoap and shampoo with a pump in less than three years. And the ones who get their hands dirty with agriculture are totally hopeless, in your view. They will never be able to figure out what to do without the little plastic bottles.

    • Sounds more like poor reading comprehension combined with projection.

      You accuse Californians of not doing enough about climate change while ignoring any reason progress doesn’t happen overnight. Then you choose a trivial aspect of environmentalism ( plastic hotel bottles ) to signal to your buddies how superior to are to dumb-o-crat led California.

  6. Now that’s the sort of agile, out-of-the-box, Silicon Valley-style thinking we expect from super-entrepreneur Gavin Newsome! And in only five years too.

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