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A shockingly misinformed tweet by Tim Worstall

Someone called sarahknapton tweeted, “I know lateral flow is important etc but all these millions of bits of plastic ending up in landfill every day makes me feel a bit ill.”

Mr Worstall replied, “Umm, why? Lots of bits of plastic in landfill is where those lots of bits of plastic are safe. Dig up the oil, use the products made from it, stick the used plastic back in the ground – the cycle of non-life perhaps. Maybe we should get a warthog to sing about it for the kiddies?”


I love that song, despite the fridge horror of all those sentient animals submitting to being eaten. A happy new year to all our readers. May we find that place on the path unwinding that does not involve eating others or being eaten ourselves.

12 comments to A shockingly misinformed tweet by Tim Worstall

  • Tim Worstall

    Heathen, yep, apparently that’s me…..

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    In a spirit of conciliation, so long as you affirm that the only true “Lion King” movie is the 1994 animated version and have no truck with the 2019 CGI retread, I will not call you a heretic.

    Naaaants ingonyama bagithi, Baba
    Sithi uhm ingonyama!

  • john in cheshire

    I remember taking two of my nephews to watch The Lion King in the early 1990s. They seemed to like it but didn’t talk about it afterwards, so I’m uncertain.

    I thoroughly disliked it, songs and all, and still do.
    Disney haven’t produced a watchable film in decades.

  • Bruce Hoult

    I saw “Beauty and the Beast” somewhere in Queens NYC in 1991. I thought it was rather good. I recall my gf and I went to “Hook” a few days later and I afterwards expressed a regret that we hadn’t just gone to BatB again instead.

  • Dr. Chaotica

    I will never understand why environmentalist types are so afraid of plastic in landfills. The plastic is inert. It just sits there in the ground, doing nothing. Surely there are more pressing environmental concerns you could be focusing on.

    I get especially impatient with people who hyperventilate over plastic in the oceans, and try to tell me that my use of plastic straws is contributing to that. How, exactly? When I’m done with a plastic straw, I don’t toss it on the ground or into the nearest river. It goes into a trash can, and from there to the local landfill, where it’s buried more or less forever. Straws don’t migrate from landfills to oceans; that’s impossible. So stop screaming at me about them. Anyone who has done some research knows that the plastic pollution in ocean comes primarily from some big rivers in Asia. China and India are mostly to blame, so please go yell at them and leave me alone.

    So if the prospect of plastics going into landfills makes Sarah Knapton ill, she should seek medication, therapy, or both. Because the landfills are exactly where those “millions of bits of plastic” should be going.

  • bobby b

    My kids were of that age when it came out, and so I watched that movie at least 100 times by the time the VHS tape wore out. I think I could turn off the sound and remember every line, still, today.

    Loved it.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Dr Chaotica,

    Some of the replies to Mr Worstall’s tweet made me impatient as well. Someone called John Crisp said, “The answer is to give it back to those who created it and let them figure out what to do with it.” He seemed so delighted with the idea that the problem of disposal would be passed on to those he considers baddies that he quite forgot to consider that baddies might not dispose of environmental waste responsibly.

  • Paul Marks

    Many people seem to think that the “tests” are medical treatment that will save them from Covid 19. It is not medical treatment, it will not save them from Covid 19. There is (and has always been) Early Treatment for Covid 19 – but it is not the test kits that governments and corporations hand out or sell, indeed Early Treatment was actively discouraged – almost as if there a fear that it would save “too many” people, and Covid casualties would not be as high as they “needed to be” to supposedly justify other measures. Measures that were imposed for other reasons. But one must not be too cynical – perhaps extreme bureaucratic incompetence (the sort of off-the-chart incompetence that one gets Knighted for) can explain this behaviour in many countries.

    Ditto some people actually believe the masks will stop a virus – the masks that are pushed are NOT the sort of mask that can do that.

    However, the test kits and the masks do produce a vast amount of waste – the Greens, and so on, are supposed to be against all this waste, but it turns out that they are not.

    Just as the left are against the killing of birds – unless they are killed by wind turbines, in which case killing any number of birds (even from the most endangered species) is just fine.

    In the United States wind turbines (which freeze up when it is cold, blow down in a storm, or just rust after a few years anyway) can kill any number of birds (Bald Eagles – any bird) and the regime, and its leftist supporters, do not give a damn.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Well, here in Australia, the authorities do give a damn, and many a viable wind turbine project was cancelled because of some orange-striped parrot- it might have caused some harm in some way, so the government could have lost green votes, and that was intolerable.
    As for Covid, as I saw in a letter to a paper here, if you want a quick test, play England.

  • JohnK

    The sensible thing to do with plastic waste is to burn it to produce electricity. It is essentially oil, after all. But to do so would offend Greta, so it is impossible. I wish I’d had that sort of power when I was 18.

  • Rob Fisher

    Linking to TVTropes when I’m likely to be reading this at bedtime? A low blow, Ms. Solent.