This week, while reading Al Gore’s new book, Inconvenient Humans, (Copyright © 2009, Al Gore), Stoos Views’ own Hugh Betcha, Chief of the Climate Change Bureau of the Stoos Views’ international media empire, was interrupted by a rather unexpected call from Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the EPA.
But this was nothing new for Betcha, who walks with kings and princes and is frequently summoned to Washington, D.C. whenever officials of the Obama Administration need to disseminate breaking news of international importance.
“Can you get here tomorrow?” Jackson inquired. Hugh detected a sense of urgency in the caller’s voice. But, as the world’s most trusted name in news, Hugh was used to frantic calls from heads of state, bureaucrats, and, at times, even the President himself–who frequently sought his counsel.
“Well, perhaps, but I need to check the commercial flights out of Sioux Falls and….”
“Don’t worry about that,” Jackson interrupted, “Al is sending his private jet for you.”
“Geeze, I am honored, but what about the carbon footprint, I would feel a little guilty about…”
“Never mind all that,” she said impatiently, “besides, Al is sending over one of his cleaner jets–The Green Machine. It emits a few tons less carbon that his other planes, so you need not feel badly about all that.”
After a long flight from Stoos Views headquarters in Wynstone, South Dakota, where the air is clean, crime is low, the folks vote red, and the centre still holds, Hugh arrived in the nation’s capitol to be whisked away in a private EPA limousine and escorted to the White House for a meeting with the EPA head.
As he was ushered into a conference room, Hugh was met with a strange sight indeed. Arising from an overstuffed chair and sounding a bit like Darth Vader, Ms. Jackson greeted Hugh wearing a rather odd looking appliance that closely resembled a gas mask.
“Hello,” she greeted him with hand outstretched, “thank you so much for coming. Please sit down.”
“What’s with the get up?” Hugh inquired.
“This is why I summoned you here,” she replied. “it is about our newest program to save the environment.”
“From what? Martians?” Hugh joked.
“Nope,’ she replied as she removed her mask, “from humans, actually.”
“You may recall last week that we in The Government have determined that carbon dioxide is hazardous to the environment and therefore we have decided to take the initiative to save the planet by restricting the emission of carbon dioxide.”
“Yes, I read that recently, but the mask?”
“I am getting to that. You may recall that my agency has previously decided to regulate cattle exhaust. I believe you did a piece on that subject, entitled “EPA To Tax Cattle Exhaust” (Canada Free Press) earlier. Great piece by the way.”
“Yes, I recall that.”
“Well, further studies have shown that, next to cattle flatus and auto exhaust, human beings pose the greatest threat to the environment. That gives me a wonderful opportunity to at once save the planet and intrude into the private affairs of all our citizens by regulating the most basic of human functions.”
“Why, breathing of course. Human exhalation, according to Mr. Gore, is the third greatest cause of polar bear deaths. Like the fact that the core of the earth is millions of degrees hotter than the sun, and all the ice in the world is going to melt within the next five years, it is a proven fact that your breathing and that of your countrymen is responsible for the projected deaths of 523 polar bears in the next decade.”
“Very simple. The more we all breathe, the hotter the atmosphere, the hotter the atmosphere, the more the polar ice caps melt. The more the ice caps melt, the more polar bears are set adrift in the ocean only to be separated by their cubs and eventually eaten by killer sharks when their ice floes melt. This is so tragic–and all because we humans choose to breathe. Therefore, my agency–in conjunction with Mr. Gore–has developed a solution to the projected problem.”
“Not a mask. It is a Government Atmospheric Safety Preserver (G.A.S.P.) device. We plan to outlaw breathing in the conventional sense, and require, under penalty of law, that all citizens over 18 purchase and wear the mask—which filters the toxic, planet-killing CO2 emissions from human breath and convert it to O2. This will reduce the ambient temperature of the world, save the polar bears, and–like the closing of Gitmo—cause all other nations of the world to love us.”
“And if we choose not to wear the device?”
“Fine and imprisonment–just like the Obama Universal Care for Health (O.U.C.H.) plan. If you don’t choose to go along, we will fine you or impose a prison sentence. After all, The Government knows best.”
“What about the intrusion upon our personal liberties?”
“Not at all, you have the freedom to choose to wear the mask or not wear the mask.”
“But you go to prison and are fined if you do not?”
“Now you get it. You still have choices. Buy and wear the mask or choose not to and go to jail.”
“Where does the public buy these?”
“We have negotiated a deal with one Government approved vendor…Gore Enterprises.”
“What a scam.”
“Not at all. Gore sells these to the Government at a reduced rate, the E.P.A. gives him carbon credits and tax breaks so he can live in his 40,000 square foot house, fly his private jets around the country, and lecture the public on the evils of pollution. It is a win-win for everyone!”
“Are the Chinese going to wear these? After all they are building coal fired power plants at the rate of one a week, are the world’s biggest polluters, and have billions of polar bear killing mouth breathers. What about them?”
“Nope, we cannot force them to, but by leading by example, we are certain the rest of the world will come around to our way of thinking. And, to prove the efficacy of the G.A.S.P. devices, we are going to test them on a control group which represents the largest concentration of hot air and noxious gas emitters in the country.”
“The United States Congress.”
Copyright © 2012 William Kevin Stoos
William Kevin Stoos (aka Hugh Betcha) is a writer, book reviewer, and attorney, whose feature and cover articles have appeared in the Liguorian, Carmelite Digest, Catholic Digest, Catholic Medical Association Ethics Journal, Nature Conservancy Magazine, Liberty Magazine, Social Justice Review, Wall Street Journal Online and other secular and religious publications. He is a regular contributing author for The Bread of Life Magazine in Canada. His review of Shadow World, by COL. Robert Chandler, propelled that book to best seller status. His book, The Woodcarver (And Other Stories of Faith and Inspiration) © 2009, William Kevin Stoos (Strategic Publishing Company)—a collection of feature and cover stories on matters of faith—was released in July of 2009. It can be purchased though many internet booksellers including Amazon, Tower, Barnes and Noble and others. Royalties from his writings go to support the Carmelites. He resides in Wynstone, South Dakota.
“His newest book, The Wind and the Spirit (Stories of Faith and Inspiration)” © 2011, is scheduled for release in the summer of 2011. All the author’s royalties go to support the Carmelite sisters.”
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