Lead Us to Post-Oil Nirvana, Senator Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's recent comments on how bad things are when it comes to America's oil addiction really opened my eyes to the dangers we face regarding fossil fuels and global warming:

Coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. It's global warming, it's ruining our country, it's ruining our world. We've got to stop using fossil fuel. We have, for generations, taken it out of the earth, carved it out of the earth, and put it in the atmosphere, and it's making us all sick. It's changing our world.

I've always wondered why Harry reminded me of a walking, talking corpse. It's the oil, darn it! Our addiction to oil is hurting Harry! And if we're going to Save the EarthTM, along with Harry Reid, some changes are going to have to be made pretty darn quick.

And who better to lead the way than the man who made this nationwide epiphany possible? Being a leader in one of the most venerated American institutions today -- okay, I fudged that just a little -- gives Harry a voice of authority that ordinary Americans are sure to respond to. But it isn't just his reedy wheeze that will make us sit up and take notice. It's his firm grip on the tiller of this great ship we call America when he sets the example that we -- the humble American electorate, the people he in turn humbly serves -- are sure to appreciate. Therefore, I presume that Harry will be helping us to kick the oil habit by incorporating the following strategies into his role as top dog in the Senate:

  • Walk the walk. Harry will be among the first to extol the virtues of a healthy stroll on Capitol Hill. No longer will he ride in an SUV from one side of the street to another -- especially when he's headed to energy efficiency conferences. Like the rest of us, Harry should be proud to "take a walk for Gaia." He could even invest in a bicycle. (And if he gets one "built for two," he can invite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take fun lunchtime rides with him down Pennsylvania Avenue.) And, in the name of consistency, he might want to give up the other SUV that he keeps in his home state of Nevada.

  • Flying straight. When it comes to airline travel, the average American is being hit hard. Spiraling fuel costs mean that airlines must not only start charging more for luggage, but they're beginning to cancel flights, making it less convenient to book a flight any old time. In the past, this hasn't been a problem for Harry; he's on the short list of Senate members who frequently make use of their ability to charter a private jet for travel to and from Washington. But no more. Even though he can afford to, I expect Harry will be girding his loins and joining the rest of the Senate hordes in booking flights just like real Americans do -- one flight at a time, not multiple flights "just in case" they get out of session early. In addition, I look forward to Harry proposing a new rule that senators will no longer be allowed to travel to their home states on weekends, but will stay in Washington seven days a week while Congress is in session. If it was good enough for our elected officials in the days before airline travel, it should be good enough today.

  • Open window policy. One of the biggest energy hogs is air conditioning, and in his quest to heal America and the world from sickening fossil fuels, I know Harry will be leading the charge for all federal buildings, in Washington and elsewhere around the country, to turn off the AC and rely on the breezes that Gaia so helpfully provides us with to stay cool. (This would tie in neatly with Barack Obama's assertion that "we can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.") Harry could also suggest what many corporate entities do: provide "dress down day" opportunities in order to cut down the probability of public servants becoming prostrate from the heat in their suits and ties. And think of the fun they could have with Hawaiian shirt and tacky t-shirt themes!

  • Eat locally, think globally. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, whose colorful language has made him famous -- or is that infamous? -- on the many reality television shows he stars in, wants restaurants in Britain to rely only on locally grown, in-season produce. "I don't want to see asparagus on in the middle of December. I don't want to see strawberries from Kenya in the middle of March. I want to see it home-grown," he says. In fact, he's already suggested that it be made law in the UK. What a great idea! Harry could lead the way for Americans in this noble effort by revamping the Senate cafeteria menu to make sure nothing passes the lips of our glorious senators that isn't organic or that had to be trucked in from more than ten miles away. (Nancy Pelosi beat him to it, but better late than never.) Plus, as nanny staters continue to tighten their grip on unsuspecting American citizens, such a move will pave the way for future legislation such as Gordon Ramsay is suggesting for the UK.

  • No land for oil. If we are to wean ourselves from our debilitating addiction to oil, something's gotta give. We can start with banning the building of more shopping centers, which just encourage people to drive their cars and fritter away money on things like video games and kayaks. Therefore, land sales for shopping centers that involve senators tripling their investment while fudging the paperwork will be severely frowned upon by Harry. Yes, I know it's hard to tell when Harry's frowning, as his face doesn't seem to change expression. But seriously, I just know he's going to make sure Congress toes the line so that our elected officials can continue to be a shining beacon of light in these troubled times.

These suggestions are only the beginning of America's new golden age! With Harry Reid leading the way toward a greener, healthier America, the dependence on fossil fuels that is currently "ruining our country" will seem like one of those bad dreams brought on by late-night trips to Taco Bell. In fact, we may see the day where treadle-powered water pumps, foot-powered generators, and bicycles that filter water will no longer just be for third-world citizens -- they'll be available for everyone! Convenient, labor-saving devices? Fuhgeddaboutit. Gaia is calling and we must heed the summons.

And perhaps the best part about our kicking the oil habit is this: we won't be subject to Harry Reid's rants because there won't be enough electricity to be able to watch him on television, hear his prattling on YouTube, or send his speeches to each other via email. The Pony Express will ride again.