After billions of dollars have been spent on efforts to educate Americans about the benefits of recycling over the past two decades, and despite the fact that plastic water bottles are recyclable, it is good that council leaders are big enough to admit that county employees are simply unable to grasp the complexities involved in disposing their empty plastic containers in appropriately marked recycling bins.
Recycling: It's just too damn hard to do.
Here at Sound Politics we applaud the forward thinking leadership displayed by the County Council. Like its partner in the Axis of Evil, plastic grocery bags, bottled water is a threat to America that is greater than Islamic fundamentalism, greater than nuclear weapons proliferation and almost as great as Swedish pop bands.
We urge Democrats across the state to make banning bottled water a central part of their election campaigns.
With the ban on plastic water bottles, however, new and innovative ways must be discovered to slake the thirst of county employees whose throats are parched. With the dangers of fluoridated water known for decades the simple recourse of using tap water is not a viable option either.
A "Moon Shot" program is needed to combine the talent and ideas of today's brightest thinkers to create a new personal water delivery device to insure pure distilled water is available so Americans can replenish their precious, bodily fluids.
A compilation of some potential solutions to the plastic bottled water crisis are listed below...
Pro: During a scrape they can be used as an effective weapon in a pinch. The thought of an enraged Dow Constantine waving the jagged end of a broken bottled at opponents during a heated debate over another of his half-baked, feel-good environmentalist schemes would make watching County Council meetings worthwhile.
Con: Silicon-based products will soon be found to be a major contributing factor to Global Warming and Climate Change. Once the United States exhausts its finite silicate reserves the country will be forced to import foreign sand from the Middle East.
Pro: Known as bhistis during the Raj in India these low-caste denizens of the baggage train carried water for British troops and doubled as litter bearers during battles. They were memorialized by Rudyard Kipling's poem "Gunga Din".
Con: Use might inspire a surge in popularity for classic literature or British Empire films.
Pro: Infrastructure is already in place in most public buildings.
Con: Due to the lax WASL standards in this state signs with detailed operational instructions, warning labels and safety goggles must be posted near every fountain to prevent people from spraying themselves in the eye. The signs must be printed in at least twelve different languages including Tagalog, Basque and Sumerian cuneiform
Pro: The apparatus is a product of Washington state native Frank Herbert and his vivid imagination. They play a prominent role in his book Dune. According to planetologist Liet-Kynes the stillsuit is...
"a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system. The skin-contact layer's porous. Perspiration passes through it, having cooled the body ... near-normal evaporation process. The next two layers . . . include heat exchange filaments and salt precipitators. Salt's reclaimed. Motions of the body, especially breathing and some osmotic action provide the pumping force. Reclaimed water circulates to catchpockets from which you draw it through this tube in the clip at your neck... Urine and feces are processed in the thigh pads. In the open desert, you wear this filter across your face, this tube in the nostrils with these plugs to ensure a tight fit. Breathe in through the mouth filter, out through the nose tube. With a Fremen suit in good working order, you won't lose more than a thimbleful of moisture a day..."
Their form-fitting design also looks mighty sharp.
Con: Councilmember Dunn is the only person in King County who knows how to properly wear the stillsuit Fremen-style, which is curious because "Reagan Dunn" also happens to be a killing word...
Pro: The standard water storage tool used by American pioneers in the Old West.
Con: In the movies they are usually shot out of the hero's hands by the villain (who later on is unable to hit said hero at all during the final shootout) or while crossing a desert the canteen is inevitably cast away dramatically once empty. In Nam you have to drink the contents of the entire canteen or else Charlie will hear you coming due to the water sloshing inside.
Pro: When you were a kid, running around the yard all day, playing in the hot sun nothing tasted better than cool water cascading out of a $5.99 hose bought from Chubby and Tubby.
Con: None known to date.
Pro: Mankind's earliest device to store liquids. Often made from stitched pieces of animal skin or animal gut, these water-tight bladders are simple and ergonomic.
Con: Kind of gross and smacks too much of a prop from a bad Hemingway novel.
Pro: Allows mammals to obtain enough moisture to live just from the food they eat.
Con: Despite millions of dollars in state funding by Gov. Gregoire on biotech companies the technology still does not exist to splice kangaroo rat kidney genes into those of humans.
Pro: Made from a recyclable resource produced locally in Eastern Washington.
Con: Just aren't as cool since bottling companies went away from pull-tabs.
Extra: The bottled water backlash is really precious considering it was health conscious environmentalist-types that moved here who are the ones responsible for the bottled water craze in the first place. After all, one most look the outdoors part when you strap on Made-in-China REI gear, hop in your Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer and drive to Paradise on Mount Rainier once every two years.
Nor is it the first, and certainly not the last, of environmentalist fads that have come and gone.
In the 1970s and 1980s plastic shopping bags were the environmentally correct solution to paper grocery bags, whose iniquitous use necessitated the genocide of innocent trees.
In the 1980s and 1990s safety groups, allied with "consumer watchdogs" in the media demanded the use of fire retardants in every household item from beds, clothes to drapes. Today the same PBDEs which were clamored for a decade ago - to save the children - are now a pollutant.
Today the backlash is just beginning against bio-fuels and toxic batteries supposed environmentally friendly hybrid cars.
It will only be a matter of time before organic foods are discovered to be harmful to the environment due to the agricultural technique's lower crop yields per acre and its reliance on natural fertilizers which produce more greenhouse gases.