A Modest Proposal to Prevent the Pernicious Warming of our Fair Globe
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.
As an additional benefit, the carbon tax will provide the Treasury with sufficient revenue to provide adequate remuneration to many rulers of countries beside our own to induce them to adopt appropriate policies to counter global warming as well. The importance of doing this cannot be overstated. At present, most of the world consists of poor countries whose leaders are seeking wealth by attempting to grow industries. If this were done, many of the inhabitants of such countries might find ways to deviate from their current quaint impoverishment, just as their comparable types did in America and Europe in the past. Were this to happen, their contribution to global warming would multiply accordingly, and therefore, it must not happen. Fortunately, however, nearly all these countries are led by men of such bold character as would gladly keep their nations poor, provided that a sufficient consideration were allocated to them personally to compensate them for their time, trouble, and dedication to the cause of climate stabilization. The carbon tax can provide the necessary treasure to insure such friendly international cooperation, with rates of payoff conveniently standardized and enshrined under the imaginatively titled cap and trade treaty system.
Another good, albeit imperfect, initiative by the Obama administration and its congressional cohorts to stem the tide of global warming is the stimulus bill. I say imperfect, because there are some items in this bill, such as bridge repairs, that might, in fact, contribute towards stimulating, or at least maintaining, the economy. This, of course, is counter to the necessary objective, since, if global warming is to be halted, it is the contraction of the economy that is to be sought, rather than its expansion. Indeed, for those cognizant of the true threat of climate change, the measures contained within the stimulus bill to provide means of support to the unemployed, whether through the provision of paying employment or the extension of relief, can only be viewed with horror. They are after all unemployed; hence, their services are not required. Away with them, I say! What could be more clear; make away with them, and one can make away with their carbon footprints too. Surely, even such dunces as those assisting Mr. Obama in the Congress should be able to understand that. Indeed, in all candor, I can only ascribe their unwillingness to embrace the necessary policy as being due to their venal desire to obtain votes by feeding the riffraff. But at what cost to the planet?
It must be said that the stimulus bill might have been very bad, if not for the vision and leadership shown by Madame Pelosi. In the face of a horde of senators, who in a fit to appease an intemperate public, had inserted a provision to reduce the taxes by some $15,000 of all those willing to buy a house, she stood firm, and excised this madness from the legislation. Had she not done so, the price of houses might easily have been bid up to such a pitch so as to make good the mortgage securities dependent upon them, thereby rescuing those purveyors of credit holding such instruments. Thus freed from their distress, these unworthy institutions would without doubt have commenced again with their irresponsible investments, enabling all and sundry to go about their business, building this and manufacturing that, without any regard whatsoever for the effect of such activities upon the global climate. Fortunately, the great lady was up to the challenge, and the catastrophe was averted, leaving the bill with merely the more modest set of aforesaid defects.
But peace, while defective, the stimulus bill is still a fine piece of work, and fine qualities within it so outweigh its defects as to make it a cause for celebration. For, taken en bloc, what does it matter that the poor are given a few pennies to waste for a while, if at the same time the bloated bank accounts of the churlish middling sort can all be made worthless? Oh, those stout regiments of burghers, so proud of their houses, cars, and careers, so confident of their futures, so heedless in their consumption: see now their doom writ large! They thought that by saving money they would always have cash to continue to consume, consume, consume, come what may. But what will their precious stashes buy them when the government floods the world with trillions and trillions of paper identical to theirs? Were their petty fortunes left intact, their wild collective orders could yet have wrecked untold havoc upon our planet. But now they will soon be made tame, and thus humbled, the Earth made secure from their depredations. To this miracle we must credit the wisdom of the stimulus bill.
That said, if we are truly to deal as we must with the threat of climate change, our horrid health care system must clearly be reformed from top to bottom. This imperative cannot be denied or forestalled, as its adequate solution is the key to unlock the entire dilemma. And while much of what our new president has said in this line gives me great hope, still other remarks indicate a confusion of aims and objectives so severe as to instill some concern that determination might be lacking to push reform far enough to achieve the necessary result. For certainly, in the face of the climate emergency, the time is long since past for politicians to go on prating about improving the health care available to the general public, when the obvious necessity is to make it worse. Our glaciers are in danger! How then, can anyone even propose measures that might pointlessly continue the harmful lives of so many millions of miserable carbon footprinters, who otherwise could so easily been allowed to pass mercifully out of existence? And while I understand that Mr. Obama's plan will accomplish nothing of the sort, but simply provides an innocent means to increase the overall cost of the health system by shoveling tax dollars into it -- which, needless to say, taken by itself is an excellent idea -- still it sidesteps the fundamental problem, which is modern medicine itself. It is the practitioners of this craft, as well as their allies among those who seek grandeur by striking a pose as defenders of the public from microbes or other helpless creatures, who, unbound by any finer feelings or sense of environmental ethics, have filled the Earth with those whose otherwise unnecessary maintenance must perforce cause so much damage to its climate.
Now, lest I be misunderstood, let me be clear on this point. I am not against modern medicine itself. By no means. I am simply against its irresponsible practice. That the doctors have saved many refined and worthy people from an untimely death there can be no doubt, and certainly they should be allowed to continue with such noble work. The problem, however, is that lacking responsible governance, they inevitably go too far, and willy-nilly, save innumerable others without regard for the climatological consequences.
Therefore, in order to resolve this difficulty in the most practical way possible, I propose the following simple measure, which must surely be recognized by all people of sound opinions as elegant and proper.
To wit; that it be enacted as the cornerstone of the necessary reform of our health care system, that, prior to engaging in any action that might potentially extend a human life, that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional simply be required to file an environmental impact statement in which the carbon emission consequences of said life-extension are clearly set forth and arrayed against any environmental benefits that might ensue from the preservation of the individual in question.
This done, the operation would be duly submitted to a responsible official in the Environmental Protection Agency for proper approval, in just the same manner as would be required by those who wish to initiate any other form of enterprise. This would cause no inconvenience to those ladies and gentlemen of quality whose commitment to the cause of climate stabilization earned them sufficient endearment among the EPA staff to merit exceptional treatment. Yet, as a means of preventing excessive activity among the public by irresponsible medical practitioners, such a system could hardly be bettered. Finally, it may be noted that with all insured as per the president's plan, such restrictions on unnecessary medical operations need have no negative consequences for the income of the health care system, as a sufficiency of tax dollars will be available to support it on any scale or style desired, regardless.
In closing, I only wish to restate my affirmation of good will; that I make these important recommendations simply for the sake of the benefit they might afford our planet, without regard or appeal for monetary reward or public acclaim, and the fact that I have an ownership stake in many large cemeteries has not influenced my judgment on such matters in any way, manner, or shape, howsoever.