OK, that's it!

I’ve held my tongue long enough. Dark forces are afoot in this land, wolfish forces masquerading as green sheep. “How do you know this, Fishmonger?” you’ll be asking. “Whatever can we do about this menace?” you’ll ask, your voice quavering. And well that you should. But fear not, for The Fishmonger will tell you. Oh yes, I will tell.

These Dark Forces to which I referred take the form of – wait for it- people telling you to conserve paper for the good of the (I have to laugh - ha! ha!) environment! I laugh because I know (as do they) that nothing could be better for the environment than routine production of paper.

First a brief aside. I am not, of course, talking about paper produced from wood from old-growth forests. I am not talking about this paper because, as far as I am aware, NO SUCH PAPER EXISTS! Why would any sane person reduce a majestic old-growth tree to paper, when much more profitable avenues for the disposal of such trees (for instance, turning it into large boards and timbers) exist.

Yes, paper is made of junk trees. Or, more likely, farmed trees. These are trees grown as an agricultural commodity, like wheat, or beets, or ginseng. Cutting down trees planted for the purposes of paper production is no more wasteful of the resource than harvesting wheat for the purposes of making flour. If you are one of those few individuals who feel that wheat should be left to grow and shed its kernels in the natural order of things… let’s just say that I have nothing more to say to you on this topic. Go away. Now.

For the rest of us who are, perhaps, saner (though I don’t know to what degree), I will proceed by asking a question: what is the most pressing environmental issue of the day? Well, I might argue with you that it is the mysterious deaths of amphibians, or the sudden loss of countless honey bees. But the general consensus seems to be that the most pressing environment issue of the day is global warming. And this global warming is generally laid at the foot of greenhouse gasses, especially carbon dioxide. In fact, there exist a multitude of website that will help you calculate the amount of carbon dioxide that your existence puts into the atmosphere, and even plant trees as a means of offsetting that. You see trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and fix it as part of their substance. This would be useful if trees didn’t then decay (through rot or fire) and release that same carbon back intot he atmosphere.

What is needed is a means to sequester carbon. Some have proposed fertilizing the ocean so that algae will grow, then sink to the ocean depths where it will not decompose for ages. I propose that a similarly useful means of sequestering carbon is to bury it in a modern sanitary landfill. It is well known that modern landfills provide very little opportunity for decomposition of dry materials. Food scraps may decompose, but newspapers buried 60 years ago show little or no decomposition. Therefore, the means to combat global warming is obvious. Print out lots of unnecessary documents, then throw them out moments later. The paperless society would doom us! We need to use paper, and lots of it, then throw it away. Sure, our watersheds will be ruined, but our climate will be saved! Paper or plastic? Paper, please! Let’s not save our trees, let’s cut them down, make them into paper and bury them! Dump a log, save the planet!

(PS: information presented as fact in this blog post has likely been completely made up, in the tradition of america's government and news sources. Thank you.)

1 comment:

poppgrrl said...

Global warming sucks, let me tell you. We had the hottest August on record with daily highs over 90 every single day and I think seven of those were over 100. Therefore, I'm jumping wholeheartedly on your tree-killing bandwagon. Now, where's my chainsaw....