Happy (Life on This) Earth Day!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ordinarily, Earth Day passes, only for me to realize a few days after the fact that, in its honor, I should've dumped a few quarts of motor oil into a pond somewhere and enjoyed the dazzling colors from the resulting oil slick. Hippies like rainbows, too, right?

But this year, it seemed like every stinking section of the paper had something annoying to say about this wannabe religious holiday for the Church of Gaia. In particular, a list of "Earth Day Tips" (See below.) from the print edition of the Houston Chronicle irritated me enough that I decided to dedicate the evening barbecue I was already planning to Earth Day. The festivities started with me using a crumpled up piece of that rag in my chimney starter to light off my charcoal.

First of all, for my Earth Day checklist, with my comments [in brackets]:

  1. Turn off your computer. (Electronics on standby use 75 percent of electricity.) [Based on what? Besides, how the hell am I going to blog this without a computer? Damn the electrons! Full speed ahead.]
  2. Get a programmable thermostat. [Our house comes with one. I like it only because it saves me money.]
  3. Use compact fluorescent bulbs. [I prefer incandescents. Next.]
  4. Go solar. [Go to hell. Next.]
  5. Turn off the faucet. (A low-flow shower head along with faucet aerators can save nearly 8000 gallons of water a year.) [8,000 gallons of water costs me approximately oh, I don't know -- diddly-squat. I'll continue taking real showers. And, oh yeah, I own a few custom-made full-flow shower heads I can install should I find myself moving to some hippie enclave any time in the future. You know, all this low-flow shower malarkey reminds me of Ayn Rand saying something about hippies being able to pollute a stream simply by stepping into one.... But back to the point: I'll use whatever water I damn well please and I'll turn it off when I don't need to use it. Capisce? ]
  6. Check your tires. (Improve gas mileage by 3 percent or more.) [I do this already, and not because of what some sanctimonious environmentalist twit (I may have misspelled that.) wants me to do. The life you save may be your own.]
  7. Shop Smart. (Avoid plastic bags.) [Bugger off. Next.]
  8. Eat Less Meat. (U.N. says the industry generates about 18 percent of greenhouse gases.) [And.... New Effin' York strip steaks, baby! Deeeeee-lish! Buh-bye, Kofi!]
  9. Watch that packaging. (Recycle.) [Am I the only one left in America who finds being patronized and being addressed in the imperative mood extremely offensive? In any event, since recycling wastes the ultimate "non-renewable" resource, my time, it's not happening unless it happens to save me significant money to do so, as in when I wash clothes or dishes.]
  10. Eat Local. (Avoid shipping costs.) [Also avoid: variety, a balanced diet, economies of scale, and above all, thinking for yourself. Newp!]
My mother-in-law, who is visiting, racked up mucho bonus points for buying individually-wrapped steaks! Each juicy, mouth-watering one had its own styrofoam cradle and shrink-wrap package! Who says you can't like your mother-in-law?

And I added to my carbon footprint by grilling with "filthy-burning" charcoal (You're only pretending to grill if you're using gas -- especially on Earth Day.) and by imbibing a tasty Maredsous 8 (as shown at right, including the special glass) as I waited for the coals to whiten and enjoyed reading what I like to think of as the "antidote" to "the right virus". You know, if these global-thinking, local-acting, life-hating Purityrannical morons ever did anything fun, they'd know that beer was carbonated and probably attempt to outlaw it.

Aside from not having a picture of this momentous occasion to post here for your enjoyment, I only regret that no matter what I did, my "carbon footprint" was probably still not big enough to blacken a substantial amount of the surface area of the seat of Al Gore's pants.

The Earth is valuable only to the extent that we can live happy lives on it. If we're going to have an "Earth Day", that's what it ought to be about. And that's why I fired up the barbie today.

-- CAV

PS: I feel (even) better, now!


: I completely forgot to mention this amusing and quite apropos article....
One finding from Fraser's research has already generated a national stir. The study found low but significant concentrations of fatty acids generated from cooking meat on an open grill. Driven by Houston's image as a barbecue hot spot, news reports citing the link between barbecuing and air pollution circulated nationwide.

4-23-07: (1) One minor edit. (2) Added note on disposal of newspaper.


Anonymous said...

I totally forgot that today was earth day until this evening when I was catching up on the news. Hell, I would have eaten an entire cow today in celebration had I remembered that. Oh well, I have a full week ahead and a full freezer of red meat to keep me comfy :)

Gus Van Horn said...

Well, I do remember one article saying something like, "Every day is Earth Day." Looks like you're ready.

bbrown said...

You totally missed her idea for the dining sleeve and the reality show. I can just picture the ultimate winner: killing himself so that he can stop his materialistic ways and then fertilizing the soil by dying in a compost pile. Sounds like good TV to me.

Gus Van Horn said...

I wasn't blogging about Sheryl Crow here (knowingly, anyway), but I did get wind, so to speak, of a couple of her ideas, including the "dining sleeve", and blogged 'em here.

bbrown said...

Heh, I think I commented on the wrong post. Sorry.

Gus Van Horn said...

No biggie.

Anonymous said...

Yo, Gus, you quote: "Driven by Houston's image as a barbecue hot spot, news reports citing the link between barbecuing and air pollution circulated nationwide." Reminds me of something I read some time ago, that thanks to all the coffee shops in Seattle, there
are measurable traces of caffeine throughout Puget Sound. (Indeed, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the constant rains there consist of a dilute caffeine solution!) I think we should strive to combine these two human footprints so's to improve the quality of human life in this country--which of course means not drinking Starbucks.

Gus Van Horn said...

Amen to that!

Hmmm. The week before, I inaugurated the barbecue season by smoking a brisket. Perhaps rather than soaked wood chips, I should soak coffee beans and put them over the coals! Presto: caffeinated -- or at least coffee-flavored -- brisket!

And for any Starbucks drinkers present at such festivities, I can toss a half-used briquette into a coffee grinder and brew them a cup....