Posts tagged ‘Silver Spring’

Like Bill Gates Complaining About Starbucks Prices

I thought this from

At Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, parents fear cuts in
Montgomery County's proposed $2.1 billion budget will threaten the
math-science magnet program.

Schaeffer puts this in perspective:

The desperate schools of Montgomery County will need to find some way
[to] stretch the $15,246 they have to spend on each of the 137,745 students
in their schools.

This is simply hilarious.  Sometimes it is hard to compare per-pupil spending on an apples to apples basis since each grade tends to be progressively more expensive than the last (high school is more expensive than middle school which is more expensive than elementary school).  Recognize that this is only partially because the education per se is more expensive at each step -- it is more because the expectation of extra-curriculars (sports, theater, etc.) go up at each level. 

However, taking 8th grade as a mean, I can say that my 8th-grader's tuition in a for-profit private school that receives no donations or outside scholarship money is less than half $15,246.  And the education he gets is generally considered the best in the city  (though his school is lighter than some rich-suburb public school on extra-curriculars).

If you have any doubt that local media generally act as cheerleaders for increased public spending, look no further than this.  Note the newspaper quote (from the Washington Post) and then Schaeffer's context:

I have saved the most touching story for last . . .

In Loudoun County, School Board members approved a
budget 14 percent higher than last year's to accommodate an expected
3,000 new students. The county faces a projected $250 million
shortfall, and the 54,000 student system will probably have to look for
new places for savings.

My heart goes out to the Loudoun County administrators. I can't see
how anyone can be expected to educate a child with just $15,000 or to
cover a 6 percent enrollment increase with just a 14 percent increase
in the budget.

Save the World -- Stop Recycling

My wife and I had our familiar recycling argument this weekend (Wife:  You need to put that stuff in the recycling;  Me:  Recycling makes zero sense for anything except scrap steel and aluminum, all the rest is just a liturgy of belief we perform for the church of the environment, where labor costs are assumed to be zero).

Anyway, thinking about it more, I have had a revelation.  If we define our biggest environmental problem as CO2 production,shouldn't we stop recycling of plastic and paper?  In the first case, we are burying hydrocarbons unburned, putting the carbon back underground.  Each bottle not recycled represent a few more hydrocarbon molecules that must be dedicated to plastics rather than fuel.  In the case of paper, if we don't recycle then we are using trees to sequester CO2 and bury it back in the ground as paper and cardboard.  Once trees hit their maturity, their growth slows and therefore the rate they sequester CO2 slows.  At this point, we need to be cutting more down, not less, and burying them in the ground, either as logs or paper or whatever.  Just growing forests is not enough, because old trees fall over and rot and give up their carbon as CO2.  We have to bury them.   Right?

Yeah, I know it's silly, but is it any more silly than this:

In the last few months, bottled water "” generally
considered a benign, even beneficial, product "” has been increasingly
portrayed as an environmental villain by city leaders, activist groups
and the media. The argument centers not on water, but oil. It takes 1.5
million barrels a year just to make the plastic water bottles Americans
use, according to the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, plus
countless barrels to transport it from as far as Fiji and refrigerate
it. ...

Dave Byers, 65, from Silver Spring,
Md., discussed the issue with his wife, Pat, on the steps of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art on a 90-degree Saturday. "I think it should
be banned, actually," he said of bottled water.

If you care about the environment, I say buy more bottled water, and throw the bottle away.  You too can sequester some carbon.