The regulators in the United Kingdom forgot an anti-smoking activist’s maxim on research: If you can’t get the result you want, don’t do the study. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) knew what result it wanted on the issue of whether reusable diapers are more ecologically correct than disposable diapers. The social engineers there were firmly rooting for the reusable diapers, which is in line with the orthodox view that convenience is an evil needing to be snuffed out. Pampers and other disposable baby diapers long raised the ire of the good earthers because they end up in the land fill. Lately disposables have joined the ever growing list of products and activities deemed to be contributors to man-made climate change. After placing products or activities on a societal hit list, the next step is conduct a study.
Defra did just that but, unlike researchers tackling issues dear to social engineers, such as tobacco, the researchers evaluating diapers apparently conducted an honest study. Their honesty can be inferred because the result of the study ran counter to the wishes and desires of the social engineers who want to discourage and ultimately forbid the use of disposable diapers.
Having forgotten the anti-tobacco activist’s first rule on research, Defra did remember his second rule: Bury the offending research. Defra has instructed its employees, who are civil servants, not to publicize the diaper study and to adopt a "defensive stance" towards its conclusions. Just as conclusions to secondhand smoke studies, which found no harm to nonsmokers, were treated as bad news rather than good, so has the exoneration of the disposable diaper been met with chagrin by those who, one would think, would be happy to find that the ubiquitous product is less harmful to the planet than the competing product that is losing favor with the public.
As to which type of diaper truly has "a higher carbon footprint," that contributes more to global warming, who cares? Only in a world run by hysterics and flat-earthers would any effort have been made to measure the hypothetical imprint of something that may or may not help cause a phenomenon that cannot be proven to exist. Defra is shelving future research on diapers. If only other social engineering gangs would do the same.