Recently, I received an e-mail from my favorite California winery. Within this e-mail was a newsletter covering many interesting wine-related topics. Then came the politically-correct message, from management, as to how this winery is "going green." Implicit in the winery’s announcement is that every person and every company can make a difference when it comes to protecting the environment. It also was implied that good/green corporate citizens typically attract enlightened customers who share similar values. Heck, I was beginning to wonder if I was worthy enough to buy wine from such a progressive company. My self-esteem, after all, isn’t high enough to regularly shop at Whole Foods Market — whose management states that it has "…a deep commitment to environmental stewardship that puts us at the forefront of the effort to make the planet whole and healthy." The few times I have been to a Whole Foods Market, I couldn’t help but notice the incredible wine and beer selections — and I found one of my favorite French wines there; thus I must find the courage to go back. That’s it, if I am going to confidently patronize these green businesses, then I must elevate my self-worth by doing my part to make Mother Earth whole and healthy once again. Accordingly, it is essential that I too "go green."
One way for me to go green is to reduce my "carbon footprint." Al Gore, keep in mind, has proven to us that manmade carbon dioxide is causing global warming; which is harming our precious planet. Since I refuse to give up my trusty SUV, I can still feel good about myself by decreasing my carbon footprint in other ways. This may be accomplished by minimizing my "secondary carbon footprint" which I have been told results from my purchasing habits. For example, if I go to the supermarket and buy foods that are out of season, it is obvious that such foods will have been either flown or shipped in from far away — all adding to my carbon footprint. Consequently, the following simple rules should be embraced in order to shrink one’s secondary carbon footprint — and I’m not making these up:
- Reduce your consumption of meat
- Don’t buy bottled water if your tap water is safe to drink
- Buy local fruits and vegetables, or even try growing your own
- Don’t buy fresh fruits and vegetables which are out of season, they may have been flown in
- Try to buy products made closer to home (look out for and avoid items that are made in distant lands such as China and India)
- Buy organic produce
- Don’t buy over-packaged products
- Recycle as much as possible
- Think carefully about the type of activities you do in your spare time. Do any of these activities cause an increase in carbon emissions? e.g., patronizing saunas, health clubs, restaurants, pubs, and going go-karting, etc.
In looking over this list, I can’t help but conclude that my carbon footprint is still too large. After all, my SUV emits a lot of carbon dioxide. Maybe I should personally boycott some industries that are big-time polluters recklessly spewing carbon dioxide into our cherished atmosphere. Moreover, I will stay away from the retailers who sell such monstrous products.
So I look in the refrigerator and the answer is staring me in the face. Not a single beer or wine in my refrigerator (nor in my wine chiller) was crafted in Oregon. I see wines and beers from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Spain, France, California, and Washington. How brutish! Just think how far these delicious beverages have been transported by ship, plane, and truck. What nerve these retailers have. By selling me beers and wines from across the globe, I clearly possess the carbon footprint of a Sasquatch.
After getting over the shock of my yeti-like carbon footprint, it becomes imperative that I shrink this footprint by boycotting carbon dioxide-emitting industries. Sadly, a byproduct of fermentation is carbon dioxide. With annual worldwide beer production being about 38 billion gallons and with wine production being around 20 billion liters, it is inescapable that wineries and breweries are contributing mightily to global warming. After all, let’s not lose sight of the fact that wine and beer are produced through the fermentation process. Considering that annual production of wine and beer amounts to billions of gallons, then it is a heartbreaking truth that these industries are populated by pernicious, carbon dioxide-spewing ghouls. Yet, is a personal boycott strong enough action?
Suddenly, my self-esteem zooms to the stratosphere. It is the aforementioned winery and Whole Foods Market that are no longer worthy of me. They are profiting from the sales of products that cannot possibly be crafted without producing that most evil greenhouse gas — carbon dioxide. In a progressively-lucid moment, which would make Al Gore proud, it strikes me that we can help save Mother Earth — from global warming — by bringing back prohibition. Just think of the incredible reduction, in carbon dioxide emissions, that prohibition will beget. And for those winery, brewery, and other workers displaced by prohibition, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives will most certainly have job openings for all of them. It is so simple. Bring back the 18th Amendment and watch Mother Earth begin her healing.
Gosh it is so easy to "think" like a progressive. Merely ban something, by the force of law, and the intended result will emerge exactly as planned. Look at the success of America’s gun-free zones. How in the world did communism fail?
Of course, the next step will be to integrate alcohol prohibition into the Kyoto Protocol. Fight global warming with global prohibition!
For those anthropogenic global-warming believers, I have an early holiday season tip for you. When cooking your Thanksgiving turkey, make sure that you rub it with your favorite herbs and spices. Next, and this is crucial, completely ignore that you even have an oven (much like ignoring the sun as does your beloved global warming "science"). Instead, place the turkey onto your garage floor and then turn on your automobile…and have the necessary faith that a carbon dioxide buildup can actually cook your turkey. Personally, I’ll put mine in the oven as I am not foolish enough to completely ignore the heat source. To be sure, a fine chardonnay will accompany my Thanksgiving meal. Carbon footprint be damned.
Eric Englund [send him mail], who has an MBA from Boise State University, lives in the state of Oregon. He is the publisher of The Hyperinflation Survival Guide by Dr. Gerald Swanson. You are invited to visit his website.