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“Global Warming” Elevator Pitch?

I keep getting this spam from relatives about how The Man is charging us too much for gas. Why, even $1.50/gallon is being overcharged! We should stop buying gas! Except, we can’t stop buying gas or how would we drive around? So, we’ll boycott different stations in turn . . . on every third Thursday, don’t buy gas from Chevron, etc.

And I wonder, please, let this be a tongue-in-cheek parody thing! Except, ah, we are Americans, and the people who send me this crap are well-intentioned consumer-advocatin’ types!

So, I wrote back, sort of a shorter version of my previous “America Hating” rant … keep it short, sell the point: Global Warming is Bad, Please Act Now. I wanted to convey that gas actually isn’t all that cheap, but not run it into a crazy-person rant. Here’s what I got:

Our gas IS cheap.

Every gallon we burn goes in to the atmosphere, which has not had this much carbon in it since the days when dinosaurs roamed the world. Over time, the planet will adjust to this new atmosphere. The North Pole has already melted through, and Northern glaciers are receding at very high speeds. Scientists are divided, but it is widely believed that there will be certain “tipping points” at which our warming atmosphere will cause ice sheets in Greenland and Antartica to slide off into the ocean, melting rapidly and causing sea levels to rise several feet in only a few years. If you think the situation in New Orleans is bad, multiply that by a thousand. THAT is what you are paying for gasoline.

So, yes, please, stop buying gas. Try taking the bus or grouping your errands together and save some of planet for the next few generations, which are going to have a rough go of it.

I like to think of it as a “Global Warming Elevator Pitch” — an “elevator pitch” is the sales pitch you make to a new aquaintance in the time it takes you to ride the elevator together. Basically, your thirty-second spiel. The above is too long, but I think one of the challenges of Global Warming is that it is hard to quickly and succintly communicate the magnitude and importance of the problem, so we just go on ignoring it . . .

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