Statistics

Single use plastic bags- 80% cut to common sense

Queue the virtue signaling. The National Retail Association (NRA) claims there has been an 80% drop in the use of “single use” plastic bags in the past three months since it was introduced across supermarkets in Australia. The irony is that this claim is not backed up by the increased sales of plastic bags from “aisle 7” so consumers can dispose of household rubbish. All they did was substitute bags, not cut down on the total use. Spuriously quiet on that front!

Who cares when one can shout out their empty environmentalism that aren’t backed by facts?

Putting the substitution argument to one side, not one group has told us what the “correct level of plastic use” actually is. Perhaps we should ban takeaway outlets for the obscene short term use of plastic trays and cutlery!

In 2006 the UK Environment Agency did a study on the effectiveness of alternative packaging solutions to HDPE (conventional plastic bags) in terms of lowering environmental impact. It said,

The paper, LDPE, non-woven PP and cotton bags should be reused at least 3, 4, 11 and 131 times respectively to ensure that they have lower [impact] than conventional HDPE carrier bags that are not reused.”

So if conventional biodegradable plastic shopping bags are used to throw out garbage that means 6, 8, 22 and 262 days.

While we’re at it, do people realize that the majority of take away wax-lined coffee cups aren’t recycled even though you can feel good about yourself when disposing of it in the right bin? How many people elect to have their brew poured into a ceramic cup? Look next time – hardly any! The cost to recycle the 500 billion (and rising) coffee cups consumed annually is so astronomical (it is hard to separate the wax that stops the cup disintegrating because of the energy intensity involved to do so) that over 90% end up in landfill. No one talks about that 300 million tons of virgin paper used to make these cups! How many of us give it one thought when we need a shot of caffeine? Right?! Although Starbucks is trialing a 5p latte levy for those that elect to use a paper cup.

All this ban has done has inconvenience people. 60% of mismanaged plastic waste was from East Asia (i.e. China), 11% from South Asia; 9% from sub-Saharan Africa; 8% from MENA; 7% from LatAm; 3% from Europe and 0.9% from North America. Australia doesn’t even get a mention. Our impact is zero.

So much like the “save the planet” renewables movement in Australia with regards to electricity generation. Our efforts to push for less reliable sources of power which will cause higher prices will create zero impact in lowering world temperatures by 2100.

So our cutting of plastic bags will likely have zero impact on plastic waste unless we get the environmental vandals of China, SE Asia and Africa to lift up their socks. Why do we self-flagellate when we’re not the problem? Do we honestly think China cares what Woolies do inside supermarkets?

Why does the mass media not ask simple questions instead of regurgitate incomplete stats?

Lies, more lies & statistics?

Sweden rape

Believe me there is no joy in researching this topic for a whole lot of obvious reasons  but it is part of a much larger report under construction of how the world’s social fabric is fraying which I guarantee will be an eye opener for anyone on either side of the left/right divide. It will hold no punches but before people run up the flags of bigotry and bias by those who are prone to shut down debate about its content it will be balanced as this example should highlight.Remember this is the marketplace of free thought. As I often contest, many people are prone to reading headlines of poorly researched articles and this topic has found some real doozies.

A lot of media reports make bold claims that Swedish asylum seekers/refugees/ immigrants are a large wedge of total rapes and sexual assaults in Sweden.In order to get to the bottom of sensationalist reporting I spent the day delving into the official statistics bureaus of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark as well as the UN Office of Drugs & Crime (UNODC). Honestly if people actually wanted to discover the truth (assuming you trust the official statistics bureaus) it is not hard if you look deep enough.

The UNODC reports that Sweden has the world’s second highest rate of rape in the world at 69 rapes per 100,000 people. There are definitional issues with rape between countries which skews the statistics. As you can see above chart there has been a sharp increase in rapes as a % of total crimes. Crime has doubled in Sweden since 1975 but rapes have grown 7.7x with a population that has grown only 19% in 40 years. At the same time court convictions of rapists has fallen from 14% to under 3% at the same time. 1975 marked Sweden’s multicultural policy which involved a call for mass migration. One conclusion is rapes were sharply up since 2000 and convictions have sharply declined since 1985. However we have no reference within the Swedish Stats Bureau to show any correlation with the claim. There have been plenty of admissions from the Police in Sweden that they have been deliberately keeping information from the public on ethnicity (most infamously at the “We are Stockholm” youth festival) so as to prevent civil unrest. Dozens of girls as young as 11 reported being sexually molested at the event by gangs of Afghani refugee youth. It is this type of cover-up that has incited many Swedes to put their support behind the right wing Sweden Democrats who are polling as the most popular party.

Sweden Democrats

As a fact checker I cross referenced bold media claims that two thirds of criminal court appearances in Denmark involved immigrants in 2011 & 75% of juvenile crimes were committed by first descendants of immigrants. Statistics Denmark (the official website) enables one to break down crime by year, country of perpetrator, age cohort and act. Even if one aggressively tried to fudge the figures there is no way such numbers could result. So any stats that I’ve seen on Denmark are complete garbage. I’m still looking to do the same for Norway.

There is a natural simplicity to blame the foreigner. Outside of murder, rape is probably considered the most despicable of crimes to be committed. However if there has been a proactive cover-up (by police, state and media outlets) of crimes committed by predominantly refugees (Stockholm & Cologne are the prime examples) who appear to be behind it you cannot expect the public to take a positive view of those in power. If the government wish to claim their policies are working then they should not feel the need to hide realities. If they continue to do so, the following blue bars will continue to lurch further right.

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