(Editor's note: Back when Tom Pfeifer was required to read five-plus newspapers a day for his day job, for amusement he compiled news reports from which he could thread a theme and emailed his Initial Thoughts to family and friends. While he works on other projects, he is regurgitating some of them here. We hope you enjoy.)
© 2007 Tom Pfeifer
Current as of April 28, 2007
Only 4% who responded to a New York Times/
CBS News poll cited the imminent end of the
world as the reason for global warming. The
other 96% believe that humankind, with its
superior intellect, can solve the problem, if,
in fact, it is a problem.
Obviously, non-human earthbound life-forms
blame humans for the woes of the world.
They look at our bestial perversions, such
as incarcerating pandas and forcing them
to produce panda porn for the World Wide
Web, and go, “Eeew.”
Sumatran rhinos, for one, won’t put up with it.
They won’t get it on if humans are watching,
even if Marvin Gaye sings in the background,
which is why they’re nearly extinct. It’s their
own fault, you know.
In response to our voyeuristic and environmental perversions, animals have gone on the attack. Some have adopted suicide tactics, such as Washington, DC-area foxes that have infected themselves with rabies and attacked humans with greater frequency—up 150% in some areas from 2005 to 2006. And, if you think animals are thankful humans finally have taken global warming seriously, think again. The mid-Atlantic region became a “hotbed” for rabies when Rocky Raccoon brought the disease to the area in the mid-1970s, just as the earth movement was getting underway. They’re just not impressed.
But we try anyway. Some colleges plan to operate fully on “green electricity,” such as that provided by the sun and wind. Some states are considering a ban on incandescent bulbs and requiring only the sale of compact fluorescent bulbs. (Never mind, of course, that fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and must be disposed of at special toxic waste facilities.)
California cities are providing valet bicycling services to woo people out of their cars and on to a couple of people-powered wheels. Which is all well and good. But has anyone yet done a study on the toxicity of all that body sweat entering our atmosphere, and the tons of deodorant it will take to make men and women want to make whoopee again? F’sure, the new Internet Barbie, which can play music and connect to the world through one’s computer, may take up some of the boys’—and even some girls’—time, but eventually we all need the real thing. There are costs, people.
The state of California may sue the federal government for dragging its feet on whether or not California can force carmakers to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency had said it was awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether it had the power to do so. Three weeks ago, the court said, yup, you got the authority. Now the EPA is deciding whether or not greenhouse gases are an “endangerment.” Sounds like a no-brainer, but nothing is brainless in this life.
After all, if the earth is warming so intently, then how did 100 long-line boats containing about 450 seal hunters get trapped in a tightly packed 140- by 70-mile ice field that even Canada’s largest ice breakers are having trouble getting through—in late April?
Earthlings simply aren’t intelligent enough to have a clue what’s happening to the Earth and global warming. For proof, I give you the dog.
We’ve been living with dogs now for—how many millennia? They are, we’re told, man’s best friend. Yet we just figured out—in the Year of Our Lord 2007—that dogs are happy when their tails wag to the right and angry when they wag to the left. We just figured that out. After several millennia. Are we that bloody dense?
But have no fear. Once Planet Earth is uninhabitable there are others we can invade. Astronomers just found one a mere 20 light-years away, orbiting Gliese 581. (I always knew Gliese 581 was special.) That planet is about five times the size of Earth, giving us plenty of room and time to screw it up.
And we will. Because that’s what we do. At least in the reality of our own minds.
Blakeslee, Sandra. “If You Want to Know if Spot Loves You So, It’s in His Tail.” New York Times. 24 April 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/24/science/24wag.html
Broder, John M. and Connelly, Marjorie. Marina Stefan and Megan Thee contributed. “Public Remains Split on Response to Warming.” New York Times. 27 April 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/27/washington/27poll.html
Goldman, Abigail. Times Staff Writer. “Barbie 2.0 delivers interactive experience.” Los Angeles Times. 27 April 2007. http://www.latimes.com/business/printedition/la-fi-barbie27apr27,1,6843691.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-business
Greenwell, Megan. Washington Post Staff Writer. “’Green Electricity’ to be Fully Funded.” Washington Post. 21 April 2007. Page B03. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/20/AR2007042001962.html
Johnson Jr., John. Times Staff Writer. “Scientists find Earth-like planet.” Los Angeles Times. 25 April 2007. http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-sci-planet25apr25,1,7786496.story?coll=la-news-a_section
Lifsher, Marc. Times Staff Writer. “Bill to ban sale of incandescent light bulbs advances.” Los Angeles Times. 24 April 2007. http://www.latimes.com/business/printedition/la-fi-bulbs24apr24,1,4794823.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-business
Perry, Tony. Times Staff Writer. “Pandemonium over pandas mating at the San Diego Zoo.” Los Angeles Times. 25 April 2007. http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-pandas25apr25,1,4962684.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california
Rucker, Philip. Washington Post Staff Writer. “The Perils of the Wild, Coming Closer to Home.” Washington Post. 24 April 2007. Page B05. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/23/AR2007042301795.html
Schoch, Deborah. Times Staff Writer. “Cities peddle parking for bicycles.” Los Angeles Times. 23 April 2007. http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-bikevalet23apr23,1,2914998.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california
Struck, Doug. Washington Post Foreign Service. “Canada Dispatches Heavy Icebreakers to Rescue Seal Hunters.” Washington Post. 23 April 2007. Page A14. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/22/AR2007042200859.html
Watson, Paul. Times Staff Writer. “A Sumatran rhino’s last chance for love.” Los Angeles Times. 26 April 2007. http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-fg-rhino26apr26,1,2323942.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage
Wilson, Janet. Times Staff Writer. “State may sue EPA over clean air law.” Los Angeles Times. 26 April 2007. http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-epa26apr26,1,1665143.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california
(Editor's note: No one should go hungry during these trying times. If you have the means, please donate to your local food bank. Even a dollar goes a long way. Simply search "food banks near me" to find one. If you're in need, please contact them for help.)
Tom Pfeifer is president and CEO of Consistent Voice Communications and author of Write It, Speak It: Writing a Speech They’ll APPLAUD! Reach him at Tom@YourConsistentVoice.com.
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