Sunday, May 6, 2018

In Case You Missed It

City Bicycles - Photo by Salt Water New England

“In a pedestrian zone, the advantage should be for pedestrians, not cyclists. Every day there is conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. This is the core of the problem.”

Cotton buds, plastic drinking straws and other single-use plastics could be banned from sale in England next year in the next phase of the campaign to try to halt the pollution of the world’s rivers and oceans.

The Wooden Boat Show at Mystic Seaport, June 22-24, 2018 <https://thewoodenboatshow.com/>

Patagonia’s activism has made the company plenty of enemies over the years. Developers, the fossil fuel industry and lawmakers have all gone after the company, and this time was no exception. 

[S]elling at farmers markets and to restaurants can mean less hassle.

“A Maine boat is always going to have a lot of soul.”

19 comments:

  1. Time to invest in some Patagonia, who, unlike L.L. Bean, are actually living their commitment to conservation and environmentalism with their politics.

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  2. Virtue-signalling by corporations is a very fraught undertaking. Some in-depth market research, not to mention stockholder polling, is called for before any board of directors should chance alienating fully half their potential customer base long-term. Particularly in a political environment where the issues, players, and outcomes change daily in a whirl most people don't remotely have the time or focus to stay current with. It's an erroneous assumption that every person who appreciates and partakes of the outdoors is on board with the anti-capitalist, indeed at its extreme anti-human, agenda of BigGreen.org. It happens that the most committed legitimate conservationists I know, doers not talkers, those who can point to long lifetimes of personal, tangible and recognized achievements in environmental stewardship are politically the antithesis of today's PC "progressives." If clothing can "brand" one politically, many people will refuse to be caught dead wearing it. Can you really afford that, Patagonia?

    With respect to plastics, the answer is proper disposal via municipalities providing accessible receptacles for recycling. Most places in the US are already doing this; the worst problems are primarily found in developing parts of Southeast Asia where modern waste stream infrastructure does not yet exist. This is the new pearl-clutcher for Chicken Little Clickbait(tm) as a number of their other popular doomsday narratives are proving, er, "unsustainable." ;-)

    Meanwhile, many thanks for the GREAT Badminton links!

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  3. It's so interesting, Anon 5:57pm, how a commitment to environmental stewardship is always described by a certain class of person as "virtue signalling," when to rational, intelligent people it's usually recognized as a) responsible, and b) in the case of Patagonia, entirely in line with the company's philosophy. If this is the first time you recognized that stance by Patagonia, then you might be happier doing your shopping at some low-level chain store in some awful midwestern mall. As for "alienating fully half of their customer base," the "base" you're referring to isn't their customers, and even if they wanted to be, would probably be hard-pressed to find Patagonia merchandise in their sizes. They're so rarely outdoorsy, those people.

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    1. Rational, intelligent people turned off by a corporation's agenda can, do, and will spend their money elsewhere, which was my poing. And why the reflexive put-down, is a contrarian opinion always a threat? "Low-level chain store" no thanks--handmade quality to last for a lifetime is more like it. To truly respect the difficulty of bringing things into this world, why not just consume LESS? Doesn't get much greener than that, and your finances will prosper. Buy for one's practical NEEDS, not for any corporate or political or class "message" you want your clothing to send. LIFE, not "lifestyle."

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    2. Companies that refuse to stock merchandise in sizes the average American can actually wear in public also are foolishly diminishing their profit base for nothing more than snob appeal. Not a recipe for growth.

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  4. Patagonia also seems to be losing its balance on the slippery slope L.L. Bean has already face-planted down: Instead of selling practical clothing for genuine outdoor activities, it's increasingly becoming "Overpriced Clothing For Yuppies." Sorry, but who wears skimpy synthetic pastel crop-tops with spaghetti straps and short-shorts on "the trail," (insects and thorns would eat you alive!), anyone hiking in sandals is quickly in need of a tetanus shot, and that day-glo pink shag number in the photo has no practical use on any planet. One more company jumping the shark to trendy cash-grabs from aspirationals (Brooks' "Bobos.") Don't even get me started on the Darwin-awarders who use stand-up paddleboards on tidal waterways . . . usually in a narrow channel with a strong current and a 50-footer headed their way! :-0

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    1. I don't have anything from Patagonia or anywhere else in Argentina but I have hiked in sandals. They're good for a wet trail. And aside from hunters and fishermen, who probably get their stuff from Cabela's, the people you might see on the trail probably really are yuppies, especially those on mountain bikes. And by the way, you won't be eaten alive or scratched to death if you wear shorts.

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  5. ...also, about your assertion regarding "the most committed legitimate conservationists I know," it seems highly improbable that you know any legitimate conservationists. They tend not to associate with people who think environmentalism is a joke, and who think the best way to steward the environment for future generations is to bend over and part their cheeks for capitalist interests and right-wing politicians. Just saying.

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    1. So the only definition of "conservationist" is the far-lefty one? Guess you've never heard of Ducks Unlimited then, among others, eh?
      You have me laughing SO hard, I need another Harpoon. And popcorn! Time to make hot, buttered popcorn with SALT! Melting that pasture-fed butter right now Muffy, enough for you too, 'cause it looks like a big night in the offing at SWNE! ;-)

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    2. Only an absolute goddamn idiot would think of the survival of the planet in "far-lefty" terms. On the other hand, this is exactly why the rest of the world thinks of Americans as the nouveau riche, semi-impaired, violent cousins who smell bad, but whom your parents make you play with on holidays because they have nowhere else to go. And in that light, the current occupant in the White House makes perfect sense, as does the reason to buy some Patagonia immediately.

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    3. It's been my experience that many of those exerting themselves to denigrate capitalism often obtain a large proportion of their income from dividend checks. AND have never lived in a truly socialist country. Just saying. The irony . . .

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  6. Thank you capitalism for choices we have. We can celebrate Patagonia's shrill over the top emotional claptrap about a minor revision of jurisdiction over Bears Ears from the federal to Utah control by purchasing some of their "environmentally friendly" products incorporating modest amounts of recycled materials transported around the globe from their many Asian sweatshops to their many retail customers all over the Western world (carbon-free transportation apparently).

    Or we can choose to purchase a few quality items of natural fabrics, produced in America or another Western land, with fewer retail supply lines. And then annoy those who have to cram their politics down our throats at every opportunity by laughing at them as the crass boors that they are.

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    1. I think you've just established who the "crass boors" who "have to cram their politics down our throats at every opportunity" actually are by—you guessed it—cramming your politics down our throats. Nice one, chief.

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    2. Plausible DeplorabilityMay 6, 2018 at 9:36 PM

      Woot! I salute your courage, my friend. You must have read BOOKS, like Hans Rosling's "FACTFULNESS," to balance the agit-prop of the bubble-bound. Indeed, how much easier it is to go about wearing the purchased identity of some PC "label" than to do the real WORK that capital does of improving the world; putting one's money where one's ideals are by investing in emergent economies, where people need abundant and affordable energy above all to escape dirt-level poverty and have the LUXURY of children surviving childhood, clean running water, a better means of cooking than an indoor dung fire, and education for both sexes.

      Then family sizes decrease to at or below replacement level, the environment is not ravaged by poaching and deforestation, modern infrastructure for trash, sewage, transport and food production are built, and suddenly Presto! Most of the goals "environmentalists" espouse come as a package with economic self-sufficiency. Shouldn't "Saving the Planet" include lifting up ALL the world's people? That takes CAPITAL, and what really goes on behind the closed doors at Davos, where the "celebrities" never tread, is DEALS. Talk means nothing. It takes money to accomplish real world goals. It has been ever thus!

      How many Patagonia puffers eschew all personal air travel? Give up vacations and shopping? Or find a way to work at home to keep that coal-fired Prius in the garage instead of commuting to an office building that has to be heated, cooled, and lit as well? Do they trade their 7,500 sq.ft. McMansion up here, with central air, electric heat and auto-irrigation for a net-zero efficiency studio in a warm state to "keep it in the ground?" How many rare earths (mined by child slaves in the Congo) go into those Tesla batteries again? Do they stop indulging in water flown in from Fiji, kiwi fruit from New Zealand, beef from Uruguay or fake Louis Vuitton sewn in Guangzhou? OF COURSE NOT. Just preen for your tribe in the Whole Foods checkout line with Patagonia and, of course, your NPR and The New Yorker canvas tote bags. ;-)

      Trump carried fully 41% of voters in the State of Connecticut. They are your friends, your neighbors, your teachers, your landlord, your plumber, your First Selectman. Executives and big donors to many causes. The commuter next to you on the train. They are the nice banker who went out on a limb to give you your mortgage, the doctor who saved you when your gall bladder attacked, and the people who grow and process the very healthy food you take for granted, so show some respect.

      Look at the RESULTS, not the noise, the substance not the style and dare to see the prosperity actually HAPPENING right now in America. With a strong economy most things are possible; without it, NOTHING is.

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    3. My goodness, someone's coffee went right through them, didn't it? Did you get any sleep last night, dear? "Patagonia puffers?" Good grief. In the midst of all that rambling typing, someone who wasn't following the thread might easily forget that all this Ex-Lax gush from Anon 9:36 is simultaneously a defence of the minority president opening up a national park for mining, and a perverted sort of assertion that Anon 9:36 is some sort of "committed legitimate conservationist." As the young people say, take several seats. I'm absolutely tickled to see Anon 9:36 try to use Ducks Unlimited to make their point. Ducks Unlimitted is a great lobbying group for the protection of land. They are not a capitalist based group. On the other hand, thank you for reminding readers of SWNE that 59% of voters in the State of Connecticut knew better than to vote for a New York huckster who considers America's natural resources to be nothing more than an undeveloped parking lot. That should reassure readers of this blog that the New England values upon which this blog was founded are alive and well in its home region, however many angry, pompous words outsiders keep blowing at it.

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  7. Yes, thank goodness for capitalism. We have choice. I encourage everybody to practice good stewardship by consuming less, purchasing the highest possible goods from natural resources as you can afford, and intentionally suppprting companies that take on political causes that support environmental issues. Hooray for Patagonia! And, to the comment directly above, don’t be a shrill boor about your politics. It’s unbecoming. You crammed your politics down our throats. I’m glad that Patagonia is calling a spade a spade regarding the most crass of all boors, Trump. P

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  8. What a lovely story about the building and launching of the 'Anna'! Thank you for sharing it.

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  9. Politics on both sides, profanity and arguments. Ye gods. Thank you, Bitsy for bringing us back to the spirit of this lovely site.

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  10. This past weekend, a woman I know received a critical organ transplant. One family mourns the terrible loss of their loved one, another rejoices in the lifesaving miracle bestowed upon them by a total stranger. Be kind to each other. There are two sides to every coin and no one is right all the time. When we are lying on our death beds, will we be glad that we e-screamed at a total stranger over the politics of the day? Will our fervent diatribes hurling nasty insults to assert our moral superiority be the thing of which we are most proud? I doubt it. Sigh.

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