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Good ideas, not-so-good outcomes

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webmaster | 02/11/13

As we have said here before, sometimes the law of unintended consequences catches up with you.

A couple of cases in point: A rule you expect to be “green” turns out not to be, and “the cloud,” at least for me, does not have a silver lining.

In 2007, San Francisco passed a law banning plastic bags in grocery stores and drug stores, and the San Franciscans were patting themselves on the backs for being so environmentally correct. But now, we find the law may not have been so wonderful after all. Debra J. Saunders, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle reports that a study by the Wharton Institute for Law and Economics has found that the ban led to an increase in food-borne infections, resulting in emergency room admissions and food-borne-illness deaths “immediately upon implementation.”

That, says the Wharton report, is probably because the bring-it-yourself cloth bags shoppers use instead of plastic bags don’t get washed between uses and thus are loaded up on germs. But if you wash the bags, they don’t last as long, and therefore you have to buy more, which eventually is no more environmentally sound than the ban on plastic bags.

She quotes a spokesman for the California Grocers Association, who says that not many people use reusable bags, but instead have turned to paper bags, which the enviros also would like to ban.

If you use reusable bags, that’s fine, but be sure you wash them, or you may find yourself on the way to the hospital.

My iPhone, which I’ve had for more than a year,seems to work okay, but I find it inconvenient to use.

So, when it offered to put all my data on the iCloud, I said yes. Bad idea. Since doing that, I’ve been in a panic. I can’t find my contact list. I’m trying to put my contact list back together, but it’s a chore.

Unless you’re a lot smarter than I am (as most people are) stay offa that cloud.


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