During the past month, if you have a habit of watching Late Night TV, you may have noticed several jokes being made by comedians, such as Jay Leno, about comments the singer Sheryl Crowe has made on how people can combat Global Warming. The comment most often ridiculed by the comedians was Crowe's suggestion that the amount of toilet paper a person uses be limited to one square per visit. YahooNews, and several other sites, have also posted short articles talking about Crowe's bizare suggestions.
Now it's really hard to tell if this suggestion is really just a suggestion, or if Crowe actually thinks it's something the goverment should impose on us, but the possibility that she could be serious doesn't seem that far fetched, and that's a scary thought O_O. Of course the idea is laughably bad; how does she expect that the goverment could possibly enforce such a limitation, hire attendants to stand around in every public restroom in American and ration out toilet paper squares? Have mechanized toilet dispensers in the stalls? An enforcement of such a limitation for private citizens in their own homes would require an even bigger breach of freedom and privacy. Of course, the effect Crowe wants might be just as easily achieved by charging a toll for toilet paper in public restrooms (as I believe some other countries in the world actually do), but of course people like Crowe seem more comfortable lobbying goverment for it's coercive power, instead of relying on market forces.
And it;s pretty scary to me that this is just a continuation of such proposed resrictions as banning conventional lightbulbs in favor of the low power ones. Makes me wonder what strange proposals will be made next. The precedent that goverment has set to intervene in market operations seems to have opened up the possibility for us to slide into even more bizarre encroachments on our freedom. It's reassuring to see, at least for now, that Crowe's suggestions have been met with the eye-rolling comments they deserve from people in the media. I hope we won't reach a point one day when such a suggestion is really taken seriously.
A few of Crowe's other strange suggestions include designing disposable "diner sleeves" for people to wear on their clothes as a replacement for paper napkins (what does she expect these sleeves to be made out of? and I highly doubt wearable napkins would catch on with anyone who actually has manners. ^^) and creating a reality TV show where people would compete to see who lives the most "environmentally friendly" life, with a recording contract for the prize. (Does she think that living well with the environment really correlates with singing talent? What if someone like William Hung won? *shudder*) Well...at least those suggestions seem like they would be market determined, hopefully ^^.