BY MOSHE HILL OPINION COLUMNS JUNE 28 2023
In a move that could impact historic pizzerias across the city, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has proposed new rules targeting coal-and-wood-fired ovens, seeking to reduce carbon emissions by up to 75 percent. This is just the latest in a long line of useless gestures made by bureaucratic activists based on fake science.
Anyone who has had the disgusting taste of a paper straw after paying an outrageous sum for an overpriced drink should be very familiar with the campaign to end the use of plastic straws. What they may be less familiar with are the origins of that movement. The idea for banning plastic straws came about in 2011 when a nine-year-old contacted straw manufacturers as part of a science fair project. He estimated, based on a phone call, that the United States uses 500 million plastic straws per day. This statistic, put together by a nine-year-old, has been used by nearly every major media outlet and environmentalist group, and has found its way to government websites.
It should be obvious to everyone that this is completely untrue. The notion that Americans use more straws per day than there are people in America is absurd on its face, but it was taken as fact by adults who have their own agenda. That agenda is to control every aspect of American life through ever-increasing governmental control. The best and easiest excuse that allows them to do this is “environmentalism.” There’s a joke going around about climate change radicals: “Why doesn’t China put more emphasis on combating Climate Change? Because they already have communism there.”
Putting the environmentalist arguments under the lens of religious extremism exposes just how ludicrous their entire movement is. Imagine how seriously society would take it if a religious fanatic screamed that the end is coming if we don’t accept his god within five years. Yet that is exactly what has happened over and over again with the climate change fanatics. When high school dropout and Time Person of the Year award winner Gretha Thunberg tweeted that the world was going to end, adults with agendas gave her an enormous platform to speak, even though what she says is nonsense.
A five-year-old tweet of Thunberg’s was making the rounds on conservative media recently, as it exposes the ridiculousness of the environmentalist mindset. “A top climate scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years,” Thunberg tweeted on June 21, 2018. Yet it’s five years later, and the climate change radicals have kicked the can down the road yet again. Climate change radicals, like snake oil salesmen, can only get away with their scam if they leave town immediately and are never heard from again. Yet the Internet doesn’t allow them to, so they need to come up with new types of snake oil to sell to the public.
The newest form of snake oil is now pizza ovens. The DEP argues that these ovens contribute significantly to harmful pollutants in neighborhoods with poor air quality. The rule would require pizzerias with such ovens installed before May 2016 to invest in expensive emission-control devices. The DEP, however, did not bother to release any study or data backing up their claims, merely going along with recommendations made by the socialist former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Yet plenty of people are not going to take this lying down.
In what is being called a “Boston Tea Party moment,” Scott LoBaido, an artist in New York City, has gained attention and inspired many with his recent act of defiance. In a video posted online, LoBaido marched up to New York’s City Hall, criticizing the city’s leadership and various issues it faces. He introduced “The New York Pizza Party” and proceeded to throw pizza over City Hall’s fence in protest. Although his language may be rough, LoBaido’s actions highlight the misplaced priorities of New York City, which focuses on climate change while neglecting other significant problems.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses lambasted the move, calling it “absurd and illogical.” In a statement, the NFIB said, “Small businesses continue to face an avalanche of immense financial pressures stemming from inflation and labor shortages, while also navigating the state and city’s high taxes and stifling regulations. These small, often generational, and family-owned pizzerias cannot possibly absorb tens of thousands of dollars to install and maintain scrubbers to comply with this radical proposal. Pizzerias will close, and neighborhoods and communities will suffer. This is yet another example of an out-of-touch and overly burdensome regulation from New York’s bureaucrats that are single-handedly making the Empire State and City hostile to business while also destroying what’s left of the small business economy.”
After the recent ban of gas-powered stoves made by Governor Kathy Hochul and the myriad of other regulations pushed forward by climate change radicals, it’s far past time for the public to say, “Enough is enough.” None of these measures are going to accomplish what they want, and that’s not the goal. The goal is to create a compliant public that will readily and easily conform to whatever insane regulation they put next. While the fight may have left many in New York, it’s possible that pizza may be the last straw.