The crusade to curb the lifestyles and ordinary choices of Americans continues its decent to new levels of absurdity. The latest examples that caught our attention: banning release of helium balloons and drive-thrus at fast food restaurants. While neither idea is new, they represent examples of the ongoing effort by extremist politicians and enviro groups to exert greater control over society, one step at a time.

Will this ever cease?

In New York State, which is competing with California to be the most environmentally extreme nirvana on Earth, legislation has been introduced to outlaw the release of more than 25 latex balloons within a 24-hour period.

At least five other states ban balloons for release, including—you guessed it—California.

Banning release of such balloons would be one more step to “protecting our planet,” according to one of the bill’s sponsors, primarily by protecting birds, which may get tangled in the strings or eat the latex.

Birds may deserve protection, but banning release of balloons, assuming it is enforceable, will hardly compensate for the environmental assault from wind turbines that already imperils them. As CFACT has reported numerous times in recent years, wind turbines are killing birds by as many as 39 million annually. This travesty also has been downplayed and covered up by the industry and interests trying to expand wind power as a renewable energy source.

Casualties of wind turbines are not limited to winged creatures. Offshore wind turbines are taking their toll on whales.

New York state government is in the midst of pushing wind power to generate electricity. The state’s Energy Authority just signed a mega-contract with Sunrise Wind to develop an offshore wind farm off the coast of Long Island.

If New York legislators succeed in protecting a handful of birds from eating spent latex balloons that were released from children’s birthday parties, it will merely prolong their lives until they get sliced and diced by the state’s proliferating wind turbines.

While New York seeks to join a small number of states trying to curb balloon use, several localities around the country are prohibiting new drive-thrus on fast-food restaurants, with the city of Minneapolis being the latest example. The effort here is two-fold: curbing automobile emissions and discouraging fast-food consumption and obesity.

Research from 2015 on the fast-food drive-thru ban in Los Angeles revealed the folly of such efforts, which had no positive health effect. With or without drive-thrus, people are going to eat fast food if they want to, especially those from lower-income households who eat less often at higher-priced restaurants. The absence of drive-thrus also would inconvenience more elderly individuals and people with disabilities who may be less inclined to get out of their cars.

Before adopting policies that pick on the elderly, disabled and lower-income patrons of fast food restaurants, the proponents of bans on drive-thru facilities should at least be made to quantify the benefits. Of course, they can’t. Rather, they typically spew feel-good sound bites about reduced emissions and curbing obesity while demonstrating neither.

Regardless of facts or evidence, the environmental and food extremists will continue to tell Americans the dos and don’ts for how they should live their lives. This, all in the interests of their doctrinaire need to supposedly stop man-made global warming to keep the earth from burning up years or decades or centuries from now.

States and localities have banned paper receipts, plastic straws, Styrofoam cups and containers, and plastic grocery bags. It will not stop there. The Green New Deal, sponsored by so many national and local politicians is about someday banning the internal combustion engine and the use of oil, gas and nuclear power.

This moral crusade to inconvenience and curb our consumer choices and lifestyles, if not opposed, will continue to greater levels of seriousness. The very purpose of these proposals is, like so much else in life, about power and control. The insatiable urge to control others, one silly proposal at a time, will never cease until people say “enough already” and it is stopped.

Author

  • CFACT, founded in 1985 by Craig Rucker and the late (truly great) David Rothbard, examines the relationship between human freedom, and issues of energy, environment, climate, economics, civil rights and more.