JEMAIL: Stebbins, Donald M. (MC1961) condemns capitalism for plastic in the ocean

Dear Jasper John

In a bizarre coincidence I read your article toasting the washing machine as the greatest invention
just a day after reading an article saying it may be the worst invention ever to afflict mankind.

As you may or may not know our oceans are being polluted by plastic particles on a massive scale,
threatening our food chain and ultimately our way of life. ( see excerpt below)

Guess which of our many earth unfriendly machines is seen as the main culprit in this case? Of course
it is the washing machine as described in


– While synthetic fabrics are washed they shed bits of plastic that can end up in the oceans.

– Manufacturers are not required to test fabrics for their environmental impact.

– More than 65 percent of plastic in the ocean is in bits that are less than a millimeter thick.

Scientists have found an unexpected source for the rising load of tiny plastic bits in the oceans: Washing machines.

When you wash fleece jackets, polypro running shirts and other synthetic fabrics, a new study found, miniscule threads of plastic seep through filters and escape into the environment. Marine microplastics can penetrate the cells of even the tiniest organisms, raising all sorts of health concerns for both sea creatures and the people that eat them.”

I know you libertarians tend to be unconcerned about the environment and think capitalism produces what is
best for us even or maybe especially when the capitalists are driven by greed, But remember you you do live on the same earth as the rest of us. I suggest you modify your views- even libertarians can not live amidst poison

Sincerely yours,
Donald M Stebbins
BS 1961

Stebbins, Donald M. (MC1961) 

[JR: Ahhh, Jasper Stebbins, long time no hear from you. Thought you’d given up. I don’t think that “capitalism” is the be all and end all. But you have to admit it has a pretty good track record. If I’m worried about something, its Big Gooferment allowing Big Pharma to put all sorts of drugs into the ecosystem. If consumers become aware of an issue, they change their buying habits in an assessment of what is best for them, makes them the happiest, and gives them more bang for the buck. Then the “greedy capitalists” bust butt to make it so. Is the system perfect, far from it. But you have to admit, it has raised the standard of living anywhere that Gooferment didn’t interfere. If “plastic” is a serious problem, the invisible hand of the marketplace will fix it faster than any Gooferment diktat. I’m sure Whirlpool has a machine with a better filter if it can convince people to buy it. Even if Whirlpool doesn’t and people buying a washing machine ask “How does it rate on the Stebbins plastic filtering test?”, then the next model will have that feature. Lost sales are motivation to a capitalist. Note, I am not tailing about the “crony capitalism” we practicing now in the USA! ]

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