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Ed Driscoll

The Not-So-Final Countdown

January 31st, 2007 - 9:10 am

Back around 1988, I watched Ted Danson, then at the height of his fame as the star of Cheers appear on a late-night infomercial pitch for an environmental group. He ended the half-hour advertisement with his saying that “we only have ten years to save the world’s oceans”. (That’s a paraphrase, but as close as I remember the line.)

It’s a reminder that, with the exception of Hollywood’s greatest Greatest Generation-era stars (Cary Grant, Bogie, The Duke, Coop), Bill Whittle’s Lou Grant Effect is inviolable. Having a beer in Sam Malone’s bar while he recounts his glory days with the Sox sounds like infinitely more fun than listening to the doomsday prognostications of someone paid to recite lines written by others, with his performance calibrated by someone else.

But since the freshness date has long expired on Danson’s dire warning, and the oceans are, near as I can tell, all happily present and accounted for, there have been numerous additional Doomsday Countdowns, which always seem to run for a decade for some reason. Al Gore started his a year ago, and yesterday, aging man-child Leonardo Di Caprio and several accompanying B-list actors and musicians announced theirs.

As Glenn Reynolds writes, “Ten years to save the planet: Let’s start by banning private jets.”

Here are two extremely environmentally conscious sources who could immediately put their Boeings where their mouths are, and retire their privately-owned jumbo jets for Diet Cokes and a tiny bag of peanuts on Southwest.

Anytime now, fellas; we’re waiting…

And while we’re waiting, James Lileks has some very much related thoughts: “It