'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
BEING GREEN REQUIRES A LOT OF GREEN
I have a new lucrative part-time job: selling Carbon Indulgences to the faithful.
It all started at the Academy Awards ceremony back in February, when Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore appeared together. (And by the way, Little Leo standing next to Big Al kind of looked like a Volkswagen Beetle parked alongside a Ford Expedition.) They announced that for the first time in history the Academy Awards ceremony had gone green. The entire production that evening was “carbon neutral.”
What did that mean? I wondered. Did all the movie stars vow not to use hair dryers that night? Unlikely (except for Bruce Willis). Did everyone ride a bicycle to the theater? Kind of difficult while wearing a tuxedo or a gown. Some of the traditional features of Oscar Night each year are the fleet of stretch limos, the dozens of private jets, and enough floodlights to illuminate the entire city of Cincinnati for a month. All these activities, so I’m told, spew large amounts of nasty carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. How could such a glitzy production possibly be considered “green”?
Then I learned the Academy neutralized the event’s so-called “carbon footprint” by purchasing carbon credits. They paid a fee to a carbon broker, who took his commission off the top and then promised to use the remaining funds to do something to offset the amount of carbon emitted by the stars that night. Possible carbon dioxide-reducing options include: planting trees in Uganda, putting filters on smoke stacks in China, or getting Rosie O’Donnell to shut up for one day.
So the bottom line is the stars pay a little money out of petty cash—an indulgence to assuage their guilt—and then preen before the public at their annual energy orgy with clear consciences. And in the process, as Leo and Al did, they get to scold the public for not being as “green” as they are.
My new lucrative business is to skip the middle man entirely. Who knows if those carbon traders will keep their promises? Do a Google search for the phrase “carbon trading scam” and you’ll instantly get a zillion horror stories about this new, unregulated, unenforceable, unverifiable business.
Instead of that, I propose to sell indulgences directly to the stars. For a slight fee (slight to them, huge to me), I will personally take steps to offset their carbon emissions. For example, I like candles. I’ll gladly use only candles at night rather than electric light bulbs—if Leo or any other celebrity sends me $10,000.
For $20,000 I’ll plant hundreds of thousands of trees. OK, I’m referring to all those maple tree helicopter seeds on my lawn, which have little chance of ever growing into trees—mostly because of my carbon-spewing lawnmower—but it’s the thought that counts, right?
For $30,000 I’ll turn down the thermostat in my house to 62 degrees during the winter. Hey, 30 Grand will buy a lot of sweaters. And in the summer, I promise not to run central air conditioning in my house. (Easy to do, since my house doesn’t have it. Don’t sneer, many of the real carbon offset activities in China and India do pretty much the same thing.)
For $40,000 I will greatly reduce the emission of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, by avoiding Mexican food. I’m sure the planet, not to mention my wife, will be thrilled.
And in keeping with the “guilt transfer” theme of the original indulgence system five centuries ago, if a Hollywood celebrity gives me a mere $50,000 I will promise that he or she will not spend a moment in Purgatory.
|Home||Current Faith||Current Funnies||Faith Archive||Funnies Archive||Contact Bill|