Regardless of political affilations or persuasions, every human being with a working set of lungs, eyes and nostrils can agree that the world is worth saving. Some of these actual ideas, however, make me wonder if our brains are beyond being rescued.
1.) Pass some more of scruffy, please Agent Smith from “The Matrix” (I know that’s probably the least intelligent source for literary criticism since the Bush Administration cited “24” in a torture memo, but hear me out) described humans as a “virus,” an organisms who’s single purpose in life is to use up all of the resources around it and move on to the next host. It turns out he was wrong. Little Scruffy is the virus. A book from New Zealand suggested that dogs have a deeper carbon footprint than humans, equating owning one with owning a Toyota Land Cruiser and driving it 6,000 miles a year. So their solution was for owners to eat their dog to reduce emissions based on the amount of meat and cereal it eats. The authors claimed they were not suggesting that owners take their advice literally since there were no recipes in the book, but they did title it “Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living” so it has to be in the cooking section in a bookstore somewhere in this world. [The Telegraph]
2.) Bringing stupid back Celebrities and green thinking go together like that redhead from “Mad Men” and snug tubetops, at least in my mind. Notice, however, that intelligence wasn’t part of that equation. Actor and singer Justin Timberlake got on the Hollywood environmental bandwagon by buying a golf course and turning it into the first LEED certified fairway complete with natural grasses and greens maintained without harsh chemicals. The problem is that he would have been better off using the land for something that didn’t require so much maintenance since golf courses are notorious for their environmental impact such as from gas powered mowers and water consumption rates. [Deceiver]
3.) Please keep your bladders in the upright and locked position Airlines don’t have the best record when it comes to, well, anything (customer service, cost containment, lube dispersement for passenger screwage, that last one is an industry term) but they are a big contributor of negative environmental effects. One Japanese airline thought they could reduce the effects their planes have on the atmosphere by asking their passengers to make a big sacrifice for them. All Nippon Airways instituted a pilot program that prevented passengers from using the in-flight bathrooms while they were in the air because the extra weight of, um, waste caused greater drag on the plane leading to higher fuel consumption. [Enviroboys.com]
4.) What the H-bomb? When it comes to war and science, the two have made more strides in killing each other than healing or preventing violence from spreading. That’s because when science comes up with a way to make war “friendlier,” it’s funnier than when Charlie Sheen tries to prove to the world that he’s not a hopped-up coke head on an ego bender. Scientists in Germany and the U.S. worked together to create a “green bomb” that would make detonating enemies in the field less harmful on the environment. The explosives were designed to release less toxins than conventional warfare fare by deriving their energy from carbon instead of nitrogen. And if you can’t figure out why LEED certified bombs are a dumb idea, then no one can help you. [Livescience]
5.) In space, no one can hear you breathe If you’re not concerned about global warming, you should be, not just for the effects it can wreak on the Earth but also from the boneheaded solutions that are being concocted to combat it. Several scientists, including a Nobel laureate, presented an idea to a United Nations conference on climate change that actually suggested pumping more smog into the atmosphere would protect the Earth from the harmful effects of greenhouse gases by blocking the excessive heat. It makes about as much sense as a smoker inhaling more smoke into his lungs to keep from freezing to death during a bout of hypothermia. [The Seattle Times]
6.) Drawing a total blanket I may not have been around the block as many times as the next guy, but I have learned one general rule of thumb that works pretty well in my life: if any idea involves a Snuggie, it probably came from the mind of a drooling simpleton who couldn't find his shoes if they were already on his feet. A very similar idea came from an American glaciologist who suggested that we could save the melting nation of Greenland by wrapping it in a giant blanket or, in a slightly less but still insane notion, wrapping the valleys that attracted more of the sun’s heat to prevent them from melting. [The Telegraph]
7.) Crow eats some crow You can bet that when someone famous is trying to save the world, it only works if it’s in a movie and only if that movie doesn’t feature Rob Schneider in a co-starring role. Singer Sheryl Crow, a noted and dedicated environmental champion, teamed up with Larry David’s former wife Laurie to spread the word of her cause about cutting down on excessive waste in the name of expanded populations. One of her brilliant ideas was for people to cut down on the amount of toilet paper they use when they flush or as she put it, “I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting.” [BBC]
8.) Silent but dumbly Cows have it pretty rough. Sure their lives consist of standing around in a field doing nothing but eating and farting, but they get blamed for causing a big part of the global warming epidemic simply because of the way they are. Oh and they get killed, slaughtered and butchered into delicious meat. This unbridled cow hate has produced what could be characterized as the greatest scientific attempt to study anything since the last time a scientist tried to write off a strip club tab as “research.” Scientists in Australia discovered that kangaroos are the only species of animal on the planet that cannot produce farts. Their stomachs contain special bacteria that do not produce methane, the chemical element in farts that make them dangerous to the atmosphere. So they decided to conduct further research to institute kangaroo fart technology in cows, only it will take at least three years for the bacteria to materialize in cows and there’s no solid chance the idea will even work. [The Age]
Danny Gallagher is a freelance writer, reporter, humorist and green being, of which it ain’t easy being. He can be found on the web at www.dannygallagher.net and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thisisdannyg.