Dear Aunt Sophie,
The sky is falling. Really. I have to warn everyone before it’s too late. I even wrote a book about it that became an Oscar-winning movie. The right-wingers say it contains untruths but that’s ridiculous – I called it “An Inconvenient Truth” so people would know right away that everything in it is true.
In case you’re wondering, I’m not just the author and star of an Oscar-winning movie. I’ve had a long and varied career. Years ago, before I invented the Internet, a best-selling novelist patterned his main character after me. Later I was a senator and I’ve also been Vice President. I ran for President, too, but my opponent stole the election right out from under me. I’ve never seen anything like it.
I don’t let myself dwell on that, though. Some things are much more important than being President of the United States. After all, how many people have the opportunity to save the Earth single-handed?
We absolutely must reduce our carbon footprint. Let me explain what that means. Suppose I have to go to a film festival – for argument’s sake, let’s say it’s in Cannes – I can’t walk there, so I have to fly. But that puts a lot of pollutants into the atmosphere, so I offset the pollution by buying carbon credits. I’m involved with this great little company that buys carbon credits from people who aren’t going to use them and sells them to people who are. It’s so simple even a cave man can do it, although they’re just about the only ones who don’t need to. You should look into it. It’s very easy to neutralize your carbon footprint - you just send a check to my company. Think of it as a sort of planetary Heimlich maneuver. Aside from voting for me, it’s the easiest way a person in the 21st century can commit a truly moral act. It’s certainly easier than dieting.
If I were president this country would be well on its way to carbon equilibrium, but instead the current administration is busy politicizing the issue. Would you believe I was asked to sign a pledge not to use any more energy next year than the average American? Now I ask you - does this average American, whoever he is, have to fly to Cannes? To Hollywood? Does he have to maintain impressive properties commensurate with his consequential life? Of course not!
I don’t expect others to do anything I wouldn’t do. I have to set the example. People demand that of their leaders. So I’ve already changed the way I live. I wasn’t buying energy offsets before and now I’m buying them. That’s a change. And given the amount of energy I use, it’s a big change.
Are you ready to change the way you live? Are you ready to buy carbon offsets from my company?
Let’s see now - first you scarf up enough energy to power Chicago for the winter and then you tithe to a company of which you just happen to be on the board. Sort of like putting a quarter in the piggy bank every time you say a bad word. I wish I’d thought of that. I must be as dim as the reading lamp in a European hotel room.
No doubt you’re avidly pursuing other carbon-sparing strategies as well. Every one of the 12,391 light bulbs on each of your properties – especially the floodlights on the lawns - is a 25-watt florescent, right? And you do keep them turned off at all times, don’t you? It’s one thing to have lights, but it’s quite another thing to use them.
Now that I think about it, there’s very little excuse for the average American to have any lights at all unless he needs one to locate the English section of the instruction manual that came with his new washboard.
And why, in the twenty-first century are we still using last-century technology like air conditioning? That’s another carbon-squandering extravagance we could easily live without. If each American were to hire just one person to fan him during the dog days, we’d only have three hundred million illegals in the country doing work Americans won’t do. True, we’d be on the hook for their unemployment and medical care the rest of the year, but emissions would be cut dramatically. Of course the energy they’d expend keeping us cool might contribute to glacial melting, but we could always lessen the effect by cutting back on their hours.
By the way, don’t let those cavemen off the hook. They started this whole global warming thing the day they discovered fire.
It’s admirable that you’re willing to show us how to change the way we live. Take the lead - be the first Democrat to stop whining about the 2000 election.
Good luck and God bless.
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