Help GAIA Save the Planet

Today is Earth Day 2012.  This quasi-religious holiday has been celebrated with reverence and fervency since 1970.  And as the saying goes, "We started out to 'do good' and ended up 'doing well.'"  Such is the story of much of contemporary environmentalism.  The Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, and other major non-profits began small and are now multi-million-dollar businesses.  In their early years, even with little financial support, these organizations wielded much influence and helped to accomplish great strides in environmental improvement.

Today, though, as with many major corporations, they have enormous budgets; and, as their goals are impacted by Government, they have grown to be a substantial presence on Capitol Hill, with congressional connections and activities rivaling any of the hundreds of other lobbying groups.  However, leftist environmental lobbying groups are ostensibly distinguished from the garden-variety influence-peddlers in that most other lobbyists represent "evil, profit-motivated corporations," while environmental lobbyists defend our mother -- Mother Earth.  And so, while the dirty-industry lobbyist lusts after more money for the insatiable Corporation, the wholesome environmentalist longs to comfort and protect Mother.

Inspired by such an unassailable motives, and the Herculean efforts anticipated following the Durban, Copenhagen, Cancun, and (soon) Qatar climate summits, we unveil our new organization purely dedicated to our mother.  Our devoted order, named after Gaia, the Greeks' earth goddess, is GAIA -- the Group Against Industrial Activity.  Here are some snippets from our exciting forthcoming brochure introducing GAIA to the world community.

The Need: To aid our ailing mother, ravaged for years by industry and 7 billion germs (people), we need cash fast.  Trust us.  We are as serious and sincere in our mission as any eco-warrior, so you know your money will be spent wisely.  Also, like other eco-groups, we believe in sacrifice.  Your sacrificial offerings will go to the time-tested tactics of demonizing DDT and humanizing climate change.  And, although such an approach will most assuredly sacrifice the health and welfare of the world's poor, you can rest assured you did your part to rescue Mother Dearest.  Besides, we will use your gifts to campaign against disease and poverty, to wipe out their negative influence on the advancement of progressive environmental policies.

Climate Change: We know Gaia is getting exceptionally hot under the collar from her children's carbonaceous tomfoolery.  Amazingly, some still doubt this fact!  So, we will shovel much of your contributions into the honorable fight against any "deniers" who dare to challenge the oracle of an intolerably hotter planet by the end of this century?  (Sidebar: since the public may soon tire of the moniker "deniers," we welcome any new, creative derogatory names that can be used to smear contrarians, especially those taking advantage of the unfortunately named "Climategate."  Note that "court jesters," "anti-environment, right-wing zealots," and "Flat Earthers" have already been taken.)

Climate-Crisis Awareness: Additional money will be funneled into a movement dedicated to making sure that every last human being knows of his or her culpability in the planet's imminent doom brought on by merely existencing.  The plan is to lobby Congress and indeed the U.N. for funding to have all delivery rooms, birthing suites, and freelance midwives supplied with DVD players cued up with An Inconvenient Truth ready to roll upon crowning.

Cap-and-Trade: Just the mere mention of carbon trading can make any environmental lobbyist turn green with potential profits.  GAIA jumps right into the cash barrel with its own exceptionally simple, yet profitable and eco-lobbyist-friendly, 1,200-page cap-and-trade scheme.  A special supplement to the plan describes our greenhouse gas "siphon fee" for new and old coal-fired power plants to power down the nation's energy supply in order to power up our growing organization.  Join us as we make green history (in more ways than one)!

We could go on and on about our salvific projects, but you get the idea -- we're sincere, creative, and above all committed.  Plus, pending sufficient contributions, we hope to have the brochure finished before the continuation of the U.N.'s fabulously momentous climate change conferences -- this time in Qatar later this year.

We end with optimism for a bountiful future.  We suspect that as global temperatures rise, so will the dollar level in activists' coffers.  Therefore, we encourage our fellow eco-crusaders to make an earthy petition for a reversal in the cooling now underway.  After all, environmentalist-organization lobbyists old and new can look at a continued warming (or shall we say radiance?) of Gaia as a financial blessing from the gracious goddess herself.

(Note to fanatic environmentalists: this essay is satiric.  Please do not send any money to the authors or this fictitious organization.)

Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist specializing in air-quality issues.  He is working on a new book to be released this summer.  Susan T. Cammarata is an environmental and family-practice lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA.

Today is Earth Day 2012.  This quasi-religious holiday has been celebrated with reverence and fervency since 1970.  And as the saying goes, "We started out to 'do good' and ended up 'doing well.'"  Such is the story of much of contemporary environmentalism.  The Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, and other major non-profits began small and are now multi-million-dollar businesses.  In their early years, even with little financial support, these organizations wielded much influence and helped to accomplish great strides in environmental improvement.

Today, though, as with many major corporations, they have enormous budgets; and, as their goals are impacted by Government, they have grown to be a substantial presence on Capitol Hill, with congressional connections and activities rivaling any of the hundreds of other lobbying groups.  However, leftist environmental lobbying groups are ostensibly distinguished from the garden-variety influence-peddlers in that most other lobbyists represent "evil, profit-motivated corporations," while environmental lobbyists defend our mother -- Mother Earth.  And so, while the dirty-industry lobbyist lusts after more money for the insatiable Corporation, the wholesome environmentalist longs to comfort and protect Mother.

Inspired by such an unassailable motives, and the Herculean efforts anticipated following the Durban, Copenhagen, Cancun, and (soon) Qatar climate summits, we unveil our new organization purely dedicated to our mother.  Our devoted order, named after Gaia, the Greeks' earth goddess, is GAIA -- the Group Against Industrial Activity.  Here are some snippets from our exciting forthcoming brochure introducing GAIA to the world community.

The Need: To aid our ailing mother, ravaged for years by industry and 7 billion germs (people), we need cash fast.  Trust us.  We are as serious and sincere in our mission as any eco-warrior, so you know your money will be spent wisely.  Also, like other eco-groups, we believe in sacrifice.  Your sacrificial offerings will go to the time-tested tactics of demonizing DDT and humanizing climate change.  And, although such an approach will most assuredly sacrifice the health and welfare of the world's poor, you can rest assured you did your part to rescue Mother Dearest.  Besides, we will use your gifts to campaign against disease and poverty, to wipe out their negative influence on the advancement of progressive environmental policies.

Climate Change: We know Gaia is getting exceptionally hot under the collar from her children's carbonaceous tomfoolery.  Amazingly, some still doubt this fact!  So, we will shovel much of your contributions into the honorable fight against any "deniers" who dare to challenge the oracle of an intolerably hotter planet by the end of this century?  (Sidebar: since the public may soon tire of the moniker "deniers," we welcome any new, creative derogatory names that can be used to smear contrarians, especially those taking advantage of the unfortunately named "Climategate."  Note that "court jesters," "anti-environment, right-wing zealots," and "Flat Earthers" have already been taken.)

Climate-Crisis Awareness: Additional money will be funneled into a movement dedicated to making sure that every last human being knows of his or her culpability in the planet's imminent doom brought on by merely existencing.  The plan is to lobby Congress and indeed the U.N. for funding to have all delivery rooms, birthing suites, and freelance midwives supplied with DVD players cued up with An Inconvenient Truth ready to roll upon crowning.

Cap-and-Trade: Just the mere mention of carbon trading can make any environmental lobbyist turn green with potential profits.  GAIA jumps right into the cash barrel with its own exceptionally simple, yet profitable and eco-lobbyist-friendly, 1,200-page cap-and-trade scheme.  A special supplement to the plan describes our greenhouse gas "siphon fee" for new and old coal-fired power plants to power down the nation's energy supply in order to power up our growing organization.  Join us as we make green history (in more ways than one)!

We could go on and on about our salvific projects, but you get the idea -- we're sincere, creative, and above all committed.  Plus, pending sufficient contributions, we hope to have the brochure finished before the continuation of the U.N.'s fabulously momentous climate change conferences -- this time in Qatar later this year.

We end with optimism for a bountiful future.  We suspect that as global temperatures rise, so will the dollar level in activists' coffers.  Therefore, we encourage our fellow eco-crusaders to make an earthy petition for a reversal in the cooling now underway.  After all, environmentalist-organization lobbyists old and new can look at a continued warming (or shall we say radiance?) of Gaia as a financial blessing from the gracious goddess herself.

(Note to fanatic environmentalists: this essay is satiric.  Please do not send any money to the authors or this fictitious organization.)

Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist specializing in air-quality issues.  He is working on a new book to be released this summer.  Susan T. Cammarata is an environmental and family-practice lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA.

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