During the Presidential election of 2012, neither candidate has addressed global warming. Why? Because as Al Gore has stated over and over, it’s an “inconvenient” problem, and no one likes to be inconvenienced. It’s why any solution must be so hassle-free that people will readily accept it. Thus, the basis for my new global de-warming epiphany.
You’ll note that this revelation eschews any of the conventional scientific wisdom. On paper, energy efficiency and conservation could help us tame greenhouse gases, but why the hell should I have to lug 2.5 pounds of my own grocery bags to the stores? Or turn my thermostat down from 85 and have to get out of my shorts and flip-flops? Or buy those grotesquely-shaped light bulbs?
I don’t want to change, and I don’t have to change. My lifestyle is guaranteed by the constitution. It says we have the freedom to live any damn way we please. Read it, it’s in there somewhere.
Sorry, but the only way out of this mess is to follow the same logic that got us into trouble: Follow the path of maximum convenience. Thus, I proposed an epiphany that will solve global warming, save the polar bears, and most importantly, won’t require you to get off the couch.
Transforming the Great Outdoors into the Great Indoors
Have you ever been to one of those sports stadiums that has the retractable roof? Whenever it starts to rain, some janitor flips a switch and the roof closes. You never miss a ballgame, get wet, or have to risk getting hit by bird poop.
Why can’t we do the same thing with Planet Earth? My proposal is very simple: Let’s enclose the entire planet in a dome. All I’m asking for is a glass dome that will encircle the entire globe and keep us safe from adverse, and potentially deadly, weather conditions. We seal ourselves off from global warming, enjoy day after day of perfect weather, and would no longer need to incessantly check The Weather Channel.
The epiphany makes complete sense, but the more I consider the project, the more I realize it might not be so easy. It’s not like you can just go to the home improvement store and buy an Earth-Dome Enclosure kit. The construction will be a bit daunting. Further complicating matter is the fact that we’d probably need a buy-in from every man, woman and child on the earth. People always put up a big stink if they don’t get to add their two cents worth.
The building and the buy-in are not necessarily insurmountable feats, but where to start? How do I go about getting all the citizens of the earth to vote for a great idea?
To make a change globally, I decided to start locally. I visited our local village office, where the clerk was happy to help me.
She handed me a rather lengthy form. “If you want to start a global initiative, you have to fill this out. The village board only meets on global matters every other week.”
“Perfect!” I shouted, and hastily filled in my information and a brief proposal. I attended the next meeting, and when it was my turn, I pitched my idea.
The board initially was skeptical, until I unleashed all the revenue-generating implications.
“First,” I told them, “if we enclose the entire earth in a glass dome, think about how many local craftsmen we’d need to hire. It would be a huge boon to our local glass earth-dome industry.
“Second, it would also put a lot of unskilled laborers to work, as we’d need people to lift the glass panes into place (or whatever it is you do to install a dome.)” This second fact really hit home, as everyone knows that short-term, menial jobs for unskilled laborers create the engine that drives our economy. This would be perfect.
“Third,” I continued, “with global warming thwarted, we wouldn’t have to worry about some sons-a-bitches polar bears traipsing through our village and dropping bear dung in their wake.“
I think I broke them with the polar bear threat. In an unanimous vote, the board gave their stamp of approval.
Building the Great Dome
The next four months were rather busy, as I had to run around to the villages, states, and countries for every government on the face of the earth. It was a bit tedious, as language barriers and the usual flight delays caused multiple hold-ups. But, thanks to the brilliance of the epiphany, my plan was soon approved.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were a fair share of haters out there. Some people stubbornly clung to their love of fresh air and killer hurricanes. That’s ok. Like our constitution says, they have the right to be wrong. Instead of trying to rid them of their idiocy, I simply purchased a few 3D TVs and gave them some nature Blu-Ray discs. As I expected, that shut them right up.
We moved on to the construction phase, which surprisingly enough, proved to be a bit tricky. We had a few mishaps, like the time we forgot to have a little office party to celebrate a fork lift operators’ birthday (boy, was he pissed) or when hundreds of people drowned when we tried to enclose the Indian Ocean. But that stuff always happens when you’re trying to enclose an entire planet in glass. I overcame those minor little setbacks by instituting “Jeans Day” on Fridays, which really seemed to boost morale.
After a couple weeks, we managed to enclose the entire earth, and I have to tell you, it was AWESOME. We had some bitchin’ HVAC guys, and they managed it so that the temperature is always at 78 degrees with no humidity. We did have to water plants a little bit more, but as a result, a number of gardening clubs sprang up, which further stimulated the economy.
Things got much better on the international front, as every nation was free to ignore Kyoto Mandates (or whatever they were supposedly following). Liberated from annoying environmental concerns, industrial production went through the roof (or the dome, as the case may be). Economies exploded, people got rich, and everyone was happy — except for the people who make sweaters.
Then, as usually seems to be the case, some rotten apple spoiled the global bunch.
The Insurgents and the Thermostat
One day, I stepped outside to retrieve my morning paper, and something very strange happened. I shivered.
You’re not supposed to shiver when the temperature is always 78 degrees. I called my neighbor, who answered the phone with teeth chattering.
“My temperature reads 58 degrees,” he said.
“That’s insane,” I replied, and called the guy in charge of the global thermostat. It turned out his phone had been ringing off the hook, and there was significant alarm in his voice.
“Someone turned down the thermostat last night,” he said. “All the way down to 58 degrees.”
“Who would do such a thing,” I pondered.
“I don’t know, but we’re going to hire some mall cops to keep an eye on that thermostat.”
“Yeah, great, but who will keep an eye on the malls?”
“That’s not my problem,” he said, and hung up.
It was a bad idea on all fronts. Not only were the defenseless malls overrun by thieves and looters, but the seven mall cops hired to guard the global thermostat failed miserably. They were gunned down the first night they were hired, and the temperature once again dropped to fifty-eight. We all mourned their deaths, but were slightly more annoyed that it was so darn cold when we stepped out to get the morning paper.
Insurgent raids on the global thermostat continued for weeks, with mall cops being slain by the hundreds. Finally, someone had the bright idea we should let these guys arm themselves in self-defense (I think that’s in the Constitution too), and so we gave one of the mall cops a taser.
He used it the next night to subdue and capture one of the insurgents. When I arrived on the scene, I studied the face of the insurgent. He was a seventy-three year old man, and boy, he looked awfully familiar.
“Dad?” I asked. “Is that you?”
“Yeah,” he replied, disgustedly. “It’s me.”
“Dad, why are you doing this?”
“Why?” he shouted, his eyes wide with fury. “Because my utility bills are going through the roof. Can’t you and the entire world put on a sweater?”
It turns out my father was the leader of the insurgency. He and a legion of elderly men, the guys who congregate at McDonald’s and drink coffee every morning, had been commiserating about the earth dome. Each of them was blistering mad that they no longer controlled the thermostat, citing their constitutional “right to regulate airflow.” They’d thus decided to wage war on the keepers of the heat.
“You can’t stop us,” my old man said as they hauled him away. “We are legion.”
Indeed they were, and the assaults on the thermostat continued. Soon we had exhausted our supply of mall cops. We had no choice but to deconstruct the entire earth dome. We were all saddened by the thought that global warming would now be allowed to run its course, but we were happy that the malls would once again be safe for shopping.
Other bright spots soon emerged, I’m happy to report. Deconstructing the global dome proved to be another huge boon for the economy, as we had to employ thousands of unskilled laborers to take down the glass panels. The government set aside trillions in stimulus money for the project, which made everyone happy, especially the local politicians who hand-delivered hundred dollar bills to their constituents.
I expect more long-term benefits to result. With rampant floods expected, we’ll probably need to hire people to fill sandbags, or pick up dead bodies off the street corners. As we’ve seen, capitalism thrives during massive destruction. How convenient for us all.
(Photo by nigelhowe, remix by Anna Mischio)