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Global Warming, The Price of Prosperity

December 7, 2009

Today while smoking my pipe, using, as always, my favorite brand of tobacco, that pungent and ever-satisfying aroma of the gods, Chief Hockaloogie, I chanced to read a most interesting and curious article from among the many newspapers and magazines with which I have abundantly covered the floors of my residence, and upon which my trusty and stout guard dog, Mr. Twinkle, at times finds it fit to relieve himself. I began my habitual and invigorating breakfast of Old Castle beer and six vanilla cream marshmallow pies, then commenced to reading said article.

Apparently, or so writes the author of the aforementioned article, the massive release of carbon dioxide into the planet's atmosphere -- caused chiefly by human activities such as large-scale coal burning plants, Boy Scout campfires, widespread ingestion of bean burritos, Ronald Reagan's soul-stirring and glorious declaration that ketchup is a vegetable, the excessive emission of carbon dioxide by overgrown forests that should be reduced to quivering stumps for the sake of American industry, the sundry activities of Islamic terrorist training camps, among other things -- is causing the entire earth to heat up like a weenie on a sizzling hot grill, which is then placed in a soft, hot, steamed bun and served up with sauerkraut, pickles, and a healthy dose of ketchup and spicy brown mustard, plus a side of salt and vinegar chips.

Further perusal of the article revealed that certain animals of no real importance, such as polar bears, penguins, and a worthless baby seal here and there, are quickly losing their habitats as a consequence of the swift reduction of ice cover occasioned by global warming. Folks, let's be honest here. Nobody gives a tinker's damn about some poor stupid arctic creatures. If they can't hack it up there, we can round them up and put them in our American zoos. Little kids love those furry tundra critters. The whole zoo industry will make a killing, and that will help the national economy grow. What could be more patriotic than that? As for me, I love to throw popcorn at the beasts and watch them fight over it. So, global warming really is a good thing for endangered-so the leftist press says-species at the poles. End of discussion on that point.

But I digress, of course. I beg your forgiveness, dear reader. After digesting its contents, I offhandedly tossed that disreputable and satanic UN-sponsored rag, National Geographic, to the floor, hoping that Mr. Twinkle might find a suitable use for it. Quite frankly, the author's whiny bleeding-heart-liberal arguments had imbued me with the curiously strong impulse to drive my Hummer at top speed through a swarming crowd of fanatical and deadly pro-terrorist war protesters. However, my initial reaction -- though undoubtedly noble, God-fearing, Christ-like, and supportive of our troops -- gradually and imperceptibly gave way to the chilling awareness that global warming might have one particularly unacceptable consequence.

My dear reader, take care lest you forget that our indefatigable champion of American industry and ingenuity, our infallible economic shot in the arm from the day after Thanksgiving until the birthday of our Lord and Savior -- and especially the day after -- that jolly and unflagging supporter of lofty retail sales in every store in the land, Santa Claus, lives -- and perhaps for not much longer -- upon the surprisingly and distressingly thin ice of the North Pole. Now, since the days that I was a wee lad, I have of course known where Chris Cringle and his spouse reside, but it never occurred to me that their residence was constructed upon nothing more than a mere wafer of frozen water. I recently discovered, much to my alarm, that the North Pole is actually in the middle of a vast ocean.

Certain colleagues of mine, though undoubtedly well-intentioned, have suggested that our white-bearded friend could simply downsize, outsource, and relocate in the event that he lost his traditional polar fortress. Although in principle I am completely in favor of finding free market solutions to all kinds of problems -- from those regarding teen pregnancy to those involving our nation's sacred crusade against Islam -- I felt that on this matter I must draw the line. Come hell or high water, Santa must stay at the North Pole, period. That's the American way. Simulated ice could be constructed of some kind of durable and buoyant synthetic material. Thus, he would float upon the pole as before, but upon a much more reliable base than previously, one that might be immune to the caprices of a fickle climate. Disney might not unexpectedly collaborate in such a noble endeavor.

To me, that seemed like the best kind of solution, but my efforts to contact that noble corporation were frustrated by an infinitely complex and labyrinth-like automated telephone system. I did finally manage to speak to the general manager of the food court at Disneyworld, but she of course had no authority whatsoever to act upon a matter of such grave importance.

I must admit that my reflections upon the dire perils facing our beloved Christmas icon had quite unhinged me, and for several days I seriously considered starting a campaign to ban all carbon-producing industrial activity in order to bring an end to global warming. Yes, my friends, I had become utterly and completely unglued, and as a consequence was unable to change my socks for seven days.

However, one fine morning at breakfast, I was sipping eggnog liberally spiked with pure grain alcohol, and I was looking out the window at a cloudy sky, which quite suddenly parted to allow a bright ray of sunshine to burst through and fill my kitchen with a sanctified glow. Hallelujah!

A disembodied voice spoke to me, which most certainly had nothing to do with being off my psychiatric medication for a few days, nor with my savory breakfast beverage. My friends, I know a genuine mystical experience when I've had one, and let me tell you, I've had thousands. So, anyway, the voice said to me: "Thurston, set behind you all cares and concerns about the warming of this terrestrial globe, for this is what I desire." I asked in reply: "Who art thou?" The response was thus: "I am the Spirit of Heavenly Corporate Power, and I have chosen to reveal to you that which you will noise abroad to those whom I have enabled to understand my word, mostly overstressed parents that swear by corporal punishment for rebellious teenagers."

The voice then continued: "Oh, Thurston, how can it be that you, among all men, could have doubted me! Fear not for Santa Claus, for he is under my protection. At this very moment, he is preparing to move with his elves, reindeer, and Mrs. Claus to a large warehouse that has been rented for them in downtown Detroit, Michigan. They plan to employ several thousand recently laid-off auto workers living in the area. After putting together real cars for years, it'll be a cinch for those people to help make toy ones. Of course, they'll have to give up union membership and benefits and treat the elves as respected co-workers. Santa is indeed a jolly boss, but he knows how to run a tight ship, make no mistake."

"Great corporate spirit," I implored him, "may it please you to sprinkle a dewdrop of enlightenment upon my unworthy forehead. I wish to know why global warming must continue ahead unimpeded."

He gave reply: "My son, nothing must restrain or limit the growth of corporate power. What is the world? It is nothing more than a source of raw combustible materials that fuel the pistons of sacred industry. Let the polar ice melt, let the arctic creatures perish en masse, let the oceans rise, let the coastal cities drown, and let the whole planet roast like a burnt piece of toast. That's not our problem, my dear Thornton. No, our concerns are the gross domestic product, the corporate bottom line, and advancing our geopolitical agenda through military occupation of foreign lands. Nothing must be allowed to interfere with the collective holy will of stockholders. What good would it be to live upon a planet with clean air, a stable climate, and thriving natural environment if Bechtel and Halliburton went out of business because of a bunch of communist government regulations meant to stop global warming? Weep, oh, cry out my dear Thurston, tear thy garment at the very thought of it! Better to live on a sterile planet with impenetrable and un-breathable smog and a mean temperature of 800 degrees F than to strangle the blessed dove of corporate power with the villainous hands of environmental regulation."

Needless to say, I was so overcome by the awesome power of this divine revelation that I ate fifteen strawberry-flavored Twinkies right then and there.

So, in summary, I came to understand that the North Pole must cease to be the headquarters for Santa Claus, and must instead become part of a new shipping lane for transporting goods more quickly -- and therefore at lesser expense -- to and from Asia. My friends, global warming should not be stopped. The imperatives of a petroleum-based free market economy demand it.

"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...