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June 27, 2007

The Most Environmentally-Friendly Post On Any Weblog Ever

Dear everyone who's been demanding that I post something: I just want you to know that I see you out there. How beautiful you look, sprinkled like little stars across the velvety night of my non-blogging. Because of you I know I am not lost, but merely sailing aimlessly until the light of some fool idea dawns -- and I can see well enough to find the ship's log and scribble something captainlike in it.

Now if I could just find my glasses.

Speaking of glass, and how uncomfortable it makes you feel when it's between you and the sun: I know how to fix global warming. Not through caps and trades and cleaning up dead dinosaurs, which nobody wants to pay for anyway. The solution? Pass a law requiring carbon dioxide to wear safety reflectors.

The proposal is not without its pitfalls, but at its base it's a simple public-safety measure. And really, what public doesn't approve of safety? It's just common sense.

Picture something that's a common sight every day throughout our great nation: an ordinary, everyday photon of infrared radiation, speeding on its way from the planet's surface toward the measureless void of space. Our photon, like so many of its industrious brethren, is returning home after a long day spent heating the ground. Now it's cruising along at the lawful speed limit of 3x108 meters per second, when -- out of nowhere -- a carbon dioxide molecule steps right out in front of it! The result is tragedy.

The collision isn't normally fatal for the photon, since it is equipped with airbags and just bounces back to the earth's surface. But what of the poor CO2 molecule which has been splattered all over the troposphere? And all the molecules just like it? Who will speak for victims such as these?

Our nation's lawmakers, that's who.

Thanks to them, every carbon dioxide molecule will be equipped with reflective safety gear, enabling sunbeams -- and any other type of radiation -- to respect CO2's right of way. Tragedy is avoided, insurance premiums go down, and everybody's happy.

Granted, enforcement will be problematic at best. However vigilant an officer of the law may be, he can only monitor a tiny fraction of the atmosphere's countless billions of CO2 molecules before overtime pay kicks in. Even assuming that the vast majority are law-abiding, the idea of being surrounded by roving, predatory gangs of non-reflector-wearing CO2 is enough to make any policeman's trigger finger itch.

Then, too, there is the issue of discrimination. By conducting random stops of CO2 molecules, law enforcement risks alienating the larger CO2 community. With some justification, carbon dioxide will complain that cops think all molecules look alike.

The answer is not to rely solely on police protection, but also to encourage an environment where law-abiding CO2 molecules can form supportive, close-knit communities -- communities that will voluntarily police themselves better than any carbon legislation could. An environment where CO2 molecules can thrive in peace, without persecution. An environment rooted in faith and moral values, where carbon dioxide is free to worship at the tailpipe of its choice.

But what of the minority of carbon dioxide which, despite its freedom, refuses to obey the law? What of the gases that wallow in the carbon sinks of their baser nature and go right on playing chicken with infrared radiation? Some say that such cases are hopeless, that the only thing to do is sentence them to life in a hole in the ground as an example to other potential offenders.

Despite the value of appearing tough on crime, here too lies a pitfall. Not only does the average CO2 molecule live far longer than the average judicial system. In addition, by locking up vast swarms of offenders (which then must be supported at taxpayer expense), we create a pressure-cooker environment where the most unpleasant gases hold sway over the rest. An environment where the worst elements are just waiting for the carbon cycle to parole them back into a defenseless atmosphere.

The solution is simple and old-fashioned. Rather than lock up carbon dioxide, let it work for its keep. Let it learn to appreciate a day's honest labor.

As always, this kind of work is best done in the open. Fresh air and sunshine build character in ways imprisonment never could. When a formerly shiftless carbon dioxide molecule engages in productive labor such as photosynthesis or dry-cleaning, it cannot fail to become more industrious. It will open its heart to that fresh air, to that sunshine, and keep a piece of it forever. Treated with tough love, carbon dioxide won't just become carbon-neutral. It will become carbon-positive.

I'm happy. Why? How can I possibly justify such a state of affairs? Because Marc and Kelli came to visit, that's why. Marc, who has been traveling the world since the end of the Harding administration, finally came to town and brought Kelli with him. Together, they took all the zingers I'd been saving up since the end of the Harding administration. They also took a lot of Marc's books. But they left me with Japanese t-shirts, sound advice on digital cameras, and the warm glow that comes from knowing good folks.

To top it off, Rory is posting again. Finally, something I can read that won't alienate me.

And in a few months I'll be an uncle.