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<nettime> Re: DEAR SANTA, I HEAR THE NORTH POLE IS MELTING
ernie yacub on Sun, 8 Dec 2002 07:10:31 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Re: DEAR SANTA, I HEAR THE NORTH POLE IS MELTING


Dear Alan,

You heard right, the North Pole is melting.  What an inspiring and heart 
breaking letter you have written Santa.  The elves are now very worried about 
the thin ice they tread and the bears are getting pissed off.

I am going to break with tradition and answer your request with a gift, right 
now.  It is not quite what you asked for but it is a tool that may get you, 
indeed all of us, into the next century without frying.  We have known about 
this tool for quite some time, and have been offering it as a gift to all and 
sundry but most people just can't see it.  We didn't see it until one of the 
elves heard about it from some weirdo friend of his on the north west coast 
of Turtle Island.  So he looked it up on the web, and sure enough, like any 
early adopter, he just ate it up and started bugging us day in and day out 
until we had to look for ourselves.  Guess what.  Most of us still couldn't 
see it.  But when we did, o boy, we thought we had the primo gift of all 
time, the holy grail of gifts, the gift that keeps giving, if you don't mind 
me using a trite old meme, which in this case happens to be true.

You know in the movie, the Gods Must Be Crazy, where the bottle drops out of 
the sky and the locals don't know what to make of it.  Well that's been the 
reaction to this tool - some see it, most don't.  It's not the perpetual 
motion machine, but once you start it up, it's always there to be used when 
you want it.  It is a tool, a strategy, a system that can help your community 
change patterns of consumption, production and energy flows. You know we gave 
this gift to some Argentinians a few years ago and they're sure making good 
use of it.

So Alan, we offer you this tool as a gift.  Treat it well and it will give 
you the guts you asked for....http://www.openmoney.org

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (we hope)

Santa the fictitious troll and his sad elves
ernie {AT} openmoney.org

***********************************************************************
 DEAR SANTA, I HEAR THE NORTH POLE IS MELTING

 © 2002 by Alan AtKisson
 Permission granted to turn this into an email virus.

 Dear Santa,

 This year, unlike certain previous years in my life, I have been a
 relatively "good boy."  Starting a family will do that to a person.  I'm
 betting that I've made your list for a pretty good present.

 However, I'm afraid that what I really want for Christmas this year, you
 can't give me: a new energy system for planet Earth.  A stabilization in
 our emission of greenhouse gasses.  The avoidance of global climate
 catastrophe.

 I'm betting that no amount of patient, no-complaints baby care gets you
 that big a pile of chips to play in the old Christmas Casino.  You can't
 cash in your karma on miracles.

 But Santa, you know, global warming is a lot more real than you are.  

 You know as well as I do that Nature does what it does, regardless of
 whether certain political leaders and automobile advertisers might like
 to pretend to the contrary.  

 In fact, you know the immutability of Nature's laws better than I do,
 since you're sitting up there on a melting sheet of ice that's thinned
 40% since the 1970s.  By mid-century, Santa, you'll need a summer
 houseboat -- for you, the elves, and several thousand homeless polar
 bears.

 And apparently, there's not a snowball's chance in Bangladesh that we
 humans are going to do much about it.  Did you see the news from India,
 Santa, about the latest international climate negotiations conference?  

 "Experts espousing the views of industry were thrilled with the shift in
 New Delhi," said the New York Times on November 3, 2002. The "shift" was
 this: the world is basically giving up on trying to stop or slow down
 global warming. "Industry" (not all industry -- some industry makes the
 "Nice" list) was thrilled because they won't have to invest in
 innovation, pay carbon taxes, reinvent their products, convert to
 zero-emissions energy systems.

 All the serious talk now, said the Times, is about adapting to the
 inevitable.  

 Santa, I know climate change is inevitable, because it is already
 happening.  I try to read the science journals, in between diaper
 changes: I know that hundreds if not thousands of indicators, from the
 pole-ward migration of warmer-climate species, to the increase in
 devastating El Niños, are "consistent with the expected effects of an
 increase in global temperatures."  
  
 Because I've been patiently taught, I know -- unlike about two-thirds of
 MIT graduate students tested on this question! -- that even if we
 stopped emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gasses today, global
 temperatures would continue to rise for years.

 It's called "a delay in the system." It is going to happen, for the same
 reason that summer days keep getting hotter even when they're getting
 shorter (after June 21, for you and me, who both live in the northern
 hemisphere).  

 You know all about delays in the system, Santa.  That's why after you
 make your lists, you check them twice, in case some naughtiness or
 niceness got reported late.  

 But delay or not, I'm not willing to just give up, and watch my favorite
 Andean glaciers or Swedish ski areas disappear. I don't like the idea of
 New Orleans vanishing under 20 feet of water when the next
 global-warming-enhanced hurricane goes partying on Bourbon Street.
  (People usually drink "Hurricanes" on Bourbon Street; this Hurricane
 could drink them.)

 Santa, I know it is unseemly for a grown man to come begging and
 pleading to a fictitious troll in a red polyester suit.  But I'm writing
 to you, rather than to our World Leader types, because the World Leaders
 have essentially tossed in their monogrammed towels. You -- the great
 dispenser of unexpected gifts for the often barely deserving -- seem to
 be our only hope.

 So, Santa, please give us something to replace the burning of fossil
 fuels.  

 You've got to give it to us quick, and it's got to be relatively cheap
 and easy to spread around -- because let's face it, Santa, everybody
 wants energy.  And food (grown with energy).  And water (transported
 with energy).  And transport (powered by energy).  But we've got, well,
 bad energy right now.  Energy is our major need, and our major problem.
  Major change is in order.

 For instance, if we're really going to do something about global
 warming, all our cars need different motors.  All our coal-fired power
 plants need to be converted to some space-age hydrogen fuel cell array,
 or maybe some wacky Tesla coil device, harvesting the warps and woofs of
 space itself.  

 I don't know if you've got something like that for us in that slick,
 reindeer-powered, zero-emissions sled of yours, Santa, but you better
 have something.  We're about to go to war over this stuff, again -- just
 in time for Christmas.

 But I'm not giving up hope.  We may be a kooky species who, when it
 comes to planetary management, is still a little slow on the uptake.
  But we try to be good.  We deserve to be on the "Nice" list, even if
 some of us are being a little naughty with our corporate accounting
 practices.

 Santa, please, give us a new energy system. Give us climate stability.
 Give our great-grandchildren the gift of a white, icicle-y,
 Frosty-the-Snowman Christmas.

 Or better yet -- give us the guts to do it ourselves.

 ---------

 Visit the AtKisson, Inc. website at <http://www.AtKisson.com. We do
 consulting on how to change the seemingly inevitable.  
  

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