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A Modest Proposal to Prevent the Pernicious Warming of our Fair Globe

PJM offers ye a Jonathan Swiftian solution to stem the overheating of our precious orb.

by
Jonathan Swift

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March 17, 2009 - 12:00 am
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A Modest Proposal to Prevent the Pernicious Warming of our Fair Globe Whilst Enriching the Treasury of the Realm and Avoiding All Inconvenience to Ladies and Gentlemen of Refinement Who Otherwise Might Suffer Severe Annoyance From Such Climatory Consequences Were the Situation Left Unremedied

It is melancholy to contemplate the disastrous effects that global warming must have on this, our once splendid planet, should the horrific trend now underway be allowed to continue unabated. In this, I am not speaking of the increase of the oceans, as, with a current rise rate of one inch per decade, the expected inundations must perforce come in a time so afar and away into the future so as to expose he who would raise alarm thereby to ridicule, a result which would defeat my purpose. No, it is rather the consequences already apparent here and now that must draw our attention and inspire us with a due sense of alacrity to immediate and forceful countermeasures.

Let us consider: As a consequence of global warming, in nearly all places on our planet the last killing frost of the spring is occurring earlier, and the first killing frost of the fall happening later, than was customary in the past. This lengthened season of growing, combined with a general increase in rainfall, and an over abundance of carbonation within the air, has so encouraged and expanded the growth of plants as to fill the stalls of grocers everywhere with such an abundance of fruits and vegetables that must perforce have the most unfortunate results — to wit the gestation of further multitudes of unwashed, uncouth, and ill-mannered hordes of noisy unwanted and unnecessary personages to infest our world with their brutish countenances, bestial customs, and unattractive complexions. Furthermore, even were it possible to stem such unfortunate propagation of rabble by other means, it would still be the case that the excessive flourishing of wild botanicals induced by global warming would threaten to fill the world with so much banal greenery as to leave the desert-craving visual palette of the refined sort so impoverished as to make life hardly worth living for those who truly deserve to live.

It is to staunch these already ongoing disasters that I, and certainly all other people of proper opinions, insist on action appropriate to the level of the threat. However, while some good ideas have been offered from various quarters, these have been so confused and mixed together with counterproductive suggestions that, up until now, no comprehensive policy sufficient to meet the challenge has been fully enunciated. It is to remedy this distressing deficiency that the present report has been prepared.

So, let us begin by discussing the best idea currently in the public forum. This is the carbon tax. It is a very fine idea, and while, as we shall see, I have many disagreements with President Obama, in all candor I can only heartedly commend him for supporting it. Its purpose, however, is not, as he says, to encourage the proliferation of wind machines. As any arithmetician of even the most modest accomplishment can readily perceive, that could be done at a trifling fraction of the cost of the proposed measure by awarding bounties to allow the whirling menaces to make power with equal cheapness to the general run of electric generators, rather than tax the more than hundredfold product of others sufficiently to make it as dear as the tiny portion offered by the windmills. Indeed, were construction of such contraptions truly desired, that object could be accomplished far more expeditiously simply by having the government use a portion of its stimulatory funds to pay outright for the making of legions of wind machines. These then, given for free to utilities, could provide power very much on the cheap, as they require no fuel, and their new owners would owe no interest on their capital. While hardly efficacious compared to more businesslike ways of generating capacity, such an approach would create employments that yield some product of value, and therefore, thank heavens, was shunned by those wiser heads responsible for designing Mr. Obama’s policy. Rather, the purpose of the carbon tax is to make all things more expensive, and thereby quell the excessive appetites of the unwashed masses whose unconstrained desire to possess those items and conveniences more suited to those above their station has done so much to cause the expansion of unnecessary production responsible for global warming. This will have the most marvelous effects, not merely discouraging the mob’s purchases of carbon, but of everything. Thus, through this wise measure, we can reduce the depth of their carbon footprints by lightening the weight by which their purses cause them to press down upon their feet.

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