Friday, February 26, 2010

Daddy on the Edge of the End of the Frigging World

Did the title of this post get your attention? That's what it was supposed to do. Is it accurate? Doesn't matter - it got your attention, hopefully scared you a bit, and if I followed it up with simple solutions to stop the impending "End of the Frigging World", you might listen and implement a few of them. Then, even if it hadn't really been "The End of the Frigging World", you will still think that it could have been, had you not stood up and done your part to stop it. You're a God damned hero - pat yourself on the back.

You have to admit, "The End of the Frigging World" grabs you a hell of a lot more than "global warming". Global Warming - that sounds...almost comfortable, like snuggling up in a big, planet sized blanket with a crackling yule log in the fireplace. It doesn't sound scary, and that's the problem. Al Gore is a great mind, a great orator, and a great humanitarian - but he reallly dropped the ball in the marketing department.

Sometimes, you have to take a page from the Republicans, who are the de facto champions of fear mongering. Take for example, the estate tax. The Federal estate tax is imposed "on the transfer of the taxable estate of every decedent who is a citizen or resident of the United States." As the size of the estate gets larger, the taxes do start to add up, but an "estate tax" is hardly something that will make people quake in their boots. But, a "DEATH TAX!" - well now, that'll getcha nervous, now won't it? Sure, because what's the implication here - that the Federal Government is going to tax you, in essence charge you, for the privilege of dying? Of course, they're not going to do that per se, but some people will think that, and that's what matters in marketing - perception.

They do it all the time. "End of life counseling" - where a doctor talks over your hospitalized loved ones final wishes with you so you're all on the same page as to treatment - yeah, that's a "DEATH PANEL" now. The Republicans are pretty easy; basically just put the word "death" in there and they're halfway home. I'm surprised they've decided to call President Obama a socialist, when DEATH DEMOCRAT seems like such a gimme. Again, is it accurate? While the sane answer is, "no, of course not. President Obama's existence is not causing my death", it still leaves the door open in that it's sooo general. There are so many ways that someone could be causing your demise, can you be absolutely certain that the Death Democrats aren't indeed plotting your very destruction? Did you see what I did there? Now, it's not just Obama -it's the whole Death Demoncrat Party - it's Pelosi, it's Biden, it's Reid..(did you see...yeah, I thought so).

So why, why did we get saddled with a term so milquetoast as "Global Warming"? It's not scary, and, in our generally over-simplistic understanding of things, it's not accurate. We've had about a bazillion inches of snow in my area in the last couple of days, more than I can ever remember in a single storm. Why? Global Warming.

Insert laughter and confused looks here - "Um....Daddy? Doesn't Global Warming cold? Shouldn't it snow less if the globe is warmer? (more laughter) Dumb Ass Demoncrat."

See? It doesn't work. So, late in the game, we tried to re-brand global warming as "Climate Change". Better; it's more general which, as we pointed out earlier, opens the door to the possibilities. Still though, people expect climate change. You could say that climate change is what gives us seasons. Global warming naysayers say that the climate change that we've had in the last thirty five years is completely natural. And again, "Change" just isn't scary enough. People voted for "Change", for crying out loud - it was a good thing. This is what the marketing world calls a mixed message. It's ineffective.

You need something big. Something catchy. And, most importantly, something scary. Because this is scary. Polar Caps are melting, water levels are rising, hotter summers, colder winters, increases in the amount and severity of hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes - it's real, and it can be pretty damned terrifying if you let it be. So, here's my suggestion. Drop "Global Warming" - it wasn't doing you any favors. You can still use Climate Change if you must, but only as part of an explanation for what we are currently facing, which is;

See how we got "death" there? Gingrich would be proud. So, we've got scary - WORLD DEATH is definitely scary. We've got general - again, so many things can cause death - too hot, too cold - could be dying either way, right? And finally, although it's not clearly stated, we have a sense of urgency, a sense of immediacy. Death comes to us all, often suddenly, without warning and almost always sooner than expected.

It's good politically, too. Show of hands - who's in favor of WORLD DEATH?? Not even Eric Cantor is stupid enough to raise his hand on that one. Who wants to stop WORLD DEATH? Um...anyone who wants to be re-elected, that's who! Who do we have to kill to do it?!? one. What country do we have to invade to stop WORLD DEATH?!? Um...we don't have to invade anyone. Will we be greeted as liberators with candy and flowers?!? guys are really hung up on that whole image, aren't you? Iraq was an invasion, not a Prom date. Get over it.

So, what must we do to stop WORLD DEATH and be planetary heroes???

Here's the part that's just hard to make sexy, and ideally the solution should be sexy. I'll do my best;

Replace your light bulbs with CFL bulbs.
Plant more trees.
Eat less fast food (forests are cleared so that our big Mac can chew it's cud.)
Consider tankless water heaters, geothermal home heating and cooling systems, and residential solar panels for your home.
Drive a fuel efficient car.
Ask your government representatives why there aren't American made solar panels on every government building in the US.
Ask again.
Ask again.

Ask your government representatives why the US is not leading the way in solar, wind turbine, hydro-electric and smart building technologies, as all of these initiatives would not only help save the environment (and stop WORLD DEATH!), but would also mean thousands of new jobs, a revival of US exports, and a new and improved infrastructure and economy for the US.

You know the problem with the Grand Old Party? The "Old" part. These guys don't want change; all change will do is screw up their retirement funds. Well, I'm sorry, but I can't stand idly by and watch World Death overtake the planet just because some old politician doesn't want to rock the boat. Change is necessary. In nature, the rule is adapt or die. We can adapt. We must adapt. We can beat World Death.

And we can be God damned heroes.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you got that creative outlet, Ken. You should be feeling a LOT better now.