You can’t regulate culture | AspenTimes.com

You can’t regulate culture

Dear Editor:

I think Roy Chorbajian has broad support and is going to be successful in his effort to overturn Basalt’s bag tax. If that happens, we should view it as a beginning and not an end.

We should, as a community, work on a more meaningful way to address environmental issues. If we’re serious, we could implement a progressive environmental policy that doesn’t alienate half of the community. If we make it that far, we’ll look back at the bag tax as a mistake but an excellent vehicle that led us to a better outcome. And cutting down on the use of plastic bags should be a part of that final policy.

The core issue is really about changing the culture. We are wasteful, and that should change. But a regulatory solution to a cultural problem never works. It didn’t work with prohibition, and it won’t work with plastic bags.

We’ll have to find the leadership that is able to help the community decide how much we’re willing to change our ways. That will be a bottom-up grassroots solution, not a top-down edict. The answer won’t come from inside town hall. They already played their hand, and it was codswallop. We’ll have to do this one on our own.

Jim Paussa

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